Highlanders 25 (10) Blues 13 (7)

Live Vodacom Super 14 commentary from the House of Pain.

SCORERS:

Highlanders – Tries: Tom Donnelly, Vilimoni Delasau, Roy Kinikinilau. Conversions: Nick Evans (2). Penalties: Evans (2).
Blues – Try: Nick Williams. Conversion: Luke McAlister. Penalties: Tasesa Lavea (2).
• Yellow card: Roy Kinikinilau (52min)

LIVE COMMENTARY:

FULL-TIME

80min – Highlanders secure another turn over at the breakdown. That’s been the story of the match.

79min – Blues win the line-out only to turn it over. Highlanders clear.

79min – Lavea kicks over the Blues defence and the Highlanders dot it down for a 22m drop out.

78min – Blues drive it up and are awarded a penalty 5m out.

77min – Lavea breaks through the Blues defence. The grubber is put through, but Evans covers well and kicks into touch.

74min – Blues awarded a penalty which they kick into the Highlanders half. They win the line-out, but are driven back in the tackle and it’s a scrum to the Highlanders.

72min – CONVERSION MISS HIGHLANDERS. Evans (4/6)
HIGHLANDERS 25
BLUES 13

71min – TRY HIGHLANDERS. A brilliant grubber by Evans sees Kinikinilau ground the ball over the tryline just before Woodcock. The Blues prop says he reached it first so we’ll go to the TV ref again. The try’s awarded.

64min – PENALTY BLUE. Lavea (2/3)
HIGHLANDERS 20
BLUES 13

69min – The Highlanders steal the line-out ball and appear to be stopped just short of the Blues tryline. Referee asks for the TV replay. 5m scrum to the Highlanders.

68min – Replacement scrumhalf Morland sends through a grubber that finds touch on the Blues 22m line.

62min – Kinikinilau returns from the sin bin. The Highlanders scored 7 points to nil while he was off.

59min – CONVERSION HIGHLANDERS. Evans (4/5)
HIGHLANDERS 20
BLUES 10

58min – Blues win the line-out but Delasau intercepts a poor pass from Tuitavaike and runs 60m to score under the posts.

56min – Howlett breaks down the right hand touchline and kicks ahead. The Highlanders counter attack and kick back into Blues half. Highlanders are penalised at the ruck and Lavea finds touch.

52min – YELLOW CARD BLUES. Nacewa is high tackled by Kinikinilau, who is sent to the sin bin.

49min – Blues gain 60m with an attack that begins inside their own half, but Mealamu knocks on just when they look like scoring. Another wasted opportunity.

46min – PENALTY BLUES. Lavea (1/2)
HIGHLANDERS 13
BLUES 10

45min – Blues take the ball up into the Highlanders half. Highlanders penalised for coming in from the side on their 22m line. Chance for Lavea.

43min – PENALTY HIGHLANDERS. Evans (3/4)
HIGHLANDERS 13
BLUES 7

42min – Highlanders take the ball through several phases from the kick off, with Evans and Mapusua prominent. However, the Highlanders are penalised for holding on and the Blues kick for touch.

HALF-TIME

37min – Nacewa takes a gap and takes it up into the Blues 22, but the visitors knock on again soon after.

36min – Mealamu gains 10m with a storming run, but Collins knocks on in the tackle.

34min – PENALTY MISS BLUES. Lavea (0/1)

32min – Blues penalised for not rolling away. Highlanders kick for touch and relive the pressure.

31min – Tipoki breaks through the Highlanders defence and Nick Williams spills the ball just before the tryline. Blues should have scored there.

26min – CONVERSION HIGHLANDERS. Evans (2/3)
HIGHLANDERS 10
BLUES 7

25min – TRY HIGHLANDERS. The home side goes left, Blair takes the gap and offloads to Donnelly who scores.

24min – Highlanders kick into the Blues half and Lavea drops a sitter. The Blues are really struggling now as the Highlanders forwards take control.

23min – McAlister takes another hit – this time to his jaw. Devine also receives attention.

23min – Evans knocks on in midfield.

21min – Blues kick off goes straight into touch.

20min – PENALTY HIGHLANDERS. Evans (1/2)
HIGHLANDERS 3
BLUES 7

18min – McAlister takes a big hit from Evans and goes down.

15min – Blues bash it up in midfield, but lose the ball at the breakdown. Highlanders get the penalty.

14min – Blues botch a two-man overlap and the ball is turned over again.

13min – Blues get a kickable penalty, take the tap and gain 1m after several passes. Highlanders force the turn over.

11min – Blues win the line-out and are awarded a penalty. Lavea finds touch on the Highlanders 22.

10min – Highlanders get a free kick from the scrum, take a quick tap, and turn the ball over. Blues find touch on the Highlanders 10m line.

9min – The Highlanders storm back into Blues territory. Cowen sends through a grubber 5m out and the ball is turned over. Play called back for a Blues knock on.

8min – PENALTY MISS HIGHLANDERS. Evans shot goes left of the posts (0/1)

7min – Blues offsides. Evans goes for posts.

5min – CONVERSION BLUES. McAlister (1/2)
HIGHLANDERS 0
BLUES 7

4min – TRY BLUES. Rokocoko breaks out off his half and offloads to Tiutavaike, who finds Lavea. The flyhalf breaks the defence and passes to Ali Williams. No 8 Nick Willams scores the try.

2min – PENALTY MISS BLUES. McAlister’s shot hits the left hand upright (0/1)

1min – Blues take the ball through several phases from kick off and the Highlanders are penalised 10m out from their tryline. McAlister goes for goal.

TEAMS:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Vilimoni Delasau, 13 Neil Brew, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Roy Kinikinilau, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Jimmy Cowan; 8 Craig Newby, 7 Josh Blackie, 6 Hoani MacDonald, 5 James Ryan, 4. Tom Donnelly, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Anton Oliver, 1 Nick White.
Subs: 16 Jason Macdonald, 17 Chris King, 18 Filipo Levi, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Callum Bruce, 22 Richard Kahui.

Blues: 15. Isa Nacewa, 14. Doug Howlett, 13. Anthony Tuitavaike, 12. Luke McAlister, 11. Joe Rokocoko, 10. Tasesa Lavea, 9. Steve Devine, 8. Nick Williams, 7. Daniel Braid, 6. Justin Collins, 5. Ali Williams, 4. Greg Rawlinson, 3. John Afoa, 2. Keven Mealamu (Captain), 1. Tony Woodcock
Subs: 16. Tim Dow, 17. Saimone Taumoepeau, 18. Kurtis Haiu, 19. Anthony Boric, 20. John Senio, 21. Rua Tipoki, 22. Vili Waqaseduadua