Highlanders vs Chiefs



  • Highlanders
    Ben Smith (c), Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Rob Thompson, Tevita Li, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Liam Squire, James Lentjes, Gareth Evans, Tom Franklin, Alex Ainley, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown.
    Reserves: Adrian Smith, Craig Millar, Guy Millar, Jackson Hemopo, Elliot Dixon, Kayne Hammington, Fletcher Smith, Matt Faddes.

    That might be the best backline in Super rugby right there



  • The Gallagher Chiefs team to play the Pulse Energy Highlanders at 7.35pm on Friday is:

    1. Kane Hames (9)
    2. Hika Elliot (104)
    3. Nepo Laulala*
    4. Dominic Bird (11)
    5. Brodie Retallick (71)
    6. Taleni Seu (18)
    7. Mitchell Karpik**
    8. Liam Messam (146)
    9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (67)
    10. Aaron Cruden (captain) (73)
    11. James Lowe (37)
    12. Johnny Faauli**
    13. Anton Lienert-Brown (24)
    14. Toni Pulu (13)
    15. Damian McKenzie (33)

    RESERVES:

    1. Samisoni Taukeiโ€™aho**
    2. Siegfried Fisiโ€™ihoi (11)
    3. Atu Moli (11)
    4. Mitchell Brown (3)
    5. Lachlan Boshier (8)
    6. Jonathan Taumateine**
    7. Tim Nanai-Williams (77)
    8. Shaun Stevenson (7)

    () = Gallagher Chiefs caps in brackets
    *denotes Gallagher Chiefs debut
    **denotes Investec Super Rugby debut



  • the good old "on paper" match up is interesting. I really like the Highlanders 8-15, while i reckon we look better at 1-5.



  • @mariner4life said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    the good old "on paper" match up is interesting. I really like the Highlanders 8-15, while i reckon we look better at 1-5.

    +1



  • The big question is whether Brown can get the most out of a no-name forward pack. Will be very interesting to see what difference Joseph's absence makes.

    Bloody good Highlanders backline. That Faauli guy will be under a lot of pressure. This is a huge year for McKenzie. Will he show consistent form at 15? I wouldn't rate him in the top 4 in NZ there.



  • Hames and Tokolahi in a scrum battle against their former teams.

    Hika should make a big difference to the Chiefs scrum. Cane is obviously a huge loss. I will be interested to see how Karpik goes because while he looks good at NPC level his size might be an issue in Super rugby.

    The choice at reserve hooker and halfback are filled by a 19 and 20 yr old who weren't part of the original squad.



  • That Chiefs backline looks pretty decent, but the Landers one has the makings of something special. Experience, speed to burn, plenty of robust attackers that like to offload in the tackle, accurate goal kicker in Lima, the best passing halfback, excellent defensive midfield.

    Their pack isn't too different to last year and am expecting continued improvement from the likes of DLB, Ainley and Squire.

    Should be a great game to watch I reckon.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    That Chiefs backline looks pretty decent, but the Landers one has the makings of something special. Experience, speed to burn, plenty of robust attackers that like to offload in the tackle, accurate goal kicker in Lima, the best passing halfback, excellent defensive midfield.

    Their pack isn't too different to last year and am expecting continued improvement from the likes of DLB, Ainley and Squire.

    Ainley is 35. Not sure how much improvement you're going to get...



  • @Frye said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    @ACT-Crusader said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    That Chiefs backline looks pretty decent, but the Landers one has the makings of something special. Experience, speed to burn, plenty of robust attackers that like to offload in the tackle, accurate goal kicker in Lima, the best passing halfback, excellent defensive midfield.

    Their pack isn't too different to last year and am expecting continued improvement from the likes of DLB, Ainley and Squire.

    Ainley is 35. Not sure how much improvement you're going to get...

    LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚



  • @mariner4life said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    the good old "on paper" match up is interesting. I really like the Highlanders 8-15, while i reckon we look better at 1-5.

    If anyone is having difficulty with your tips for this fixture, bet on the team with the better spine...



  • @Frye said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    @ACT-Crusader said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    That Chiefs backline looks pretty decent, but the Landers one has the makings of something special. Experience, speed to burn, plenty of robust attackers that like to offload in the tackle, accurate goal kicker in Lima, the best passing halfback, excellent defensive midfield.

    Their pack isn't too different to last year and am expecting continued improvement from the likes of DLB, Ainley and Squire.

    Ainley is 35. Not sure how much improvement you're going to get...

    Don't be so ageist...

    He only made his debut back in 2015 and last season made a big step up at this level. A sign of things to come.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    @Frye said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    @ACT-Crusader said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    That Chiefs backline looks pretty decent, but the Landers one has the makings of something special. Experience, speed to burn, plenty of robust attackers that like to offload in the tackle, accurate goal kicker in Lima, the best passing halfback, excellent defensive midfield.

    Their pack isn't too different to last year and am expecting continued improvement from the likes of DLB, Ainley and Squire.

    Ainley is 35. Not sure how much improvement you're going to get...

    Don't be so ageist...

    He only made his debut back in 2015 and last season made a big step up at this level. A sign of things to come.

    True, true. Basically a spring chicken.

    alt text



  • @Frye indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

    Its funny as I recall there were a few doubters about him making it at Super level. @Chris-B never did though.



  • @ACT-Crusader Big hardworking engine on Alex! ๐Ÿ™‚



  • Was that a high tackle from Fekitoa?



  • Different season, same old Fekitoa under pressure ๐Ÿ™‚

    7 - 3 to the Chiefs.



  • Sign that French contract buddy.



  • Fekitoa, what a tool! It may have been ASmith's pass that was intercepted, but it was the result of that stupid flick backwards from Feki. Do that kind of fancy stuff when you're leading by 17 points or more!



  • Fekitoa looks like he's trying too hard ...



  • @Tim said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    Was that a high tackle from Fekitoa?

    He'd be third best of the current Auckland centres



  • LOL!



  • Jesus - who tipped Tasman's James Lowe as top try scorer @Me.

    At this rate he's going to get about a thousand!



  • Highlanders backs gifting tries at will...



  • Shit, BFA! Doesn't look good!



  • @Stargazer said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    Fekitoa looks like he's trying too hard ...

    I have a few concerns for fekitoa ,

    With the emergence of new young talent , I think he will get overtaken in the pecking order



  • Faddes running sideways and throws a shit pass.



  • Pretty scrappy so far. Li looking very sharp.



  • That was a very average first half.



  • I forgot Hammett was on the Highlanders coaching staff now, before picking them to win



  • Fekitoa and Smith look to have formed a new comedy duo over the summer break. Can deal with it from Fekitoa but when Smith is missing tackles, spraying kicks and throwing bullshit passes all over the place then it's going to heavily effect the time...See Sopoaga's numbnuts cross kick when there was a 6 on 3 outside him.

    Bugger about BFA.



  • Highlanders all look like Fekitoa, trying to hard, except Li - he's looking decent.



  • Lots of helter skelter - very little accuracy. Aaron Smith needs to shave that moustache. Squire looked good til he dropped that ball. Seu looks bulked up. Ben won't be doing accounts for a while.



  • Highlanders making most of the play, but lacking accuracy and getting burned. Aaron Smith sort of symptomatic of their game - lots of endeavour, some good stuff, but too many mistakes.

    Chiefs pushing the envelope with penalties on defence - bin wasn't far away for someone.

    On balance, the Chiefs not really worth their lead - but, Highlanders imbued with Christmas spirit.



  • Is Aaron Smith the new Steve Devine?



  • Yeah liking the look of Seu again. And I don't think Bird is outta the frame for the ABs, hope he keeps his form up. TKB is noticeably quicker at the breakdown than previous seasons so that's good to see.

    The highlanders... hmmm... Thompson is looking to pick up where he left off last season! I think he's another who could be a dark horse for the ABs, another for that centre/wing stable.



  • @Tim said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    Is Aaron Smith the new Steve Devine?

    No.

    Yes we know you don't like him!



  • @Tim said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    Is Aaron Smith the new Steve Devine?

    Steve was never good.



  • @Bones said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    Yeah liking the look of Seu again. And I don't think Bird is outta the frame for the ABs, hope he keeps his form up. TKB is noticeably quicker at the breakdown than previous seasons so that's good to see.

    The highlanders... hmmm... Thompson is looking to pick up where he left off last season! I think he's another who could be a dark horse for the ABs, another for that centre/wing stable.

    ๐Ÿ˜† come on!



  • @Tim said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    @Bones said in Highlanders vs Chiefs:

    Yeah liking the look of Seu again. And I don't think Bird is outta the frame for the ABs, hope he keeps his form up. TKB is noticeably quicker at the breakdown than previous seasons so that's good to see.

    The highlanders... hmmm... Thompson is looking to pick up where he left off last season! I think he's another who could be a dark horse for the ABs, another for that centre/wing stable.

    ๐Ÿ˜† come on!

    ?



  • @Bones He's an NPC level player.


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