Highlanders v Bulls

  • Highlanders

    1 Ayden Johnstone
    2 Liam Coltman
    3 Tyrel Lomax
    4 Jackson Hemopo
    5 Tom Franklin
    6 Liam Squire
    7 James Lentjes
    8 Luke Whitelock (c)
    9 Aaron Smith
    10 Josh Ioane
    11 Tevita Li
    12 Patelesio Tomkinson
    13 Rob Thompson
    14 Waisake Naholo
    15 Josh McKay

    16 Ash Dixon
    17 Sef Fa’agase
    18 Siate Tokolahi
    19 Josh Dickson
    20 Shannon Frizell
    21 Kayne Hammington
    22 Marty Banks
    23 Thomas Umaga-Jensen

    Unavailable due to injury: Ben Smith (hamstring), Daniel Lienert-Brown (knee), Teihorangi Walden (concussion)

    Season ending injuries: Tevita Nabura (knee), Richard Buckman (achilles), Bryn Gatland (foot)

    The Pulse Energy Highlanders are at home to the Bulls and will be focussed on a win to kick start a run to the finals. Head Coach, Aaron Mauger, has selected an experienced pack and will welcome the return of Liam Squire for his first match of the season, also back  from injury are Jackson Hemopo and Tevita Li. Josh McKay will get his first start of the year at fullback and Sef Fa’agase comes onto the bench for an injured Daniel Lienert-Brown.
    It’s a big night for Luke Whitelock who will captain the side in his 100th Super Rugby game and will also bring up 50 games for the Highlanders. Whitelock will be presented with a mere by NZ Rugby post-match to acknowledge this milestone. It may also be an emotional evening for a number of long serving Highlanders who will in all likelihood be making their last home appearance at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Fan favourite, Waisake Naholo, will finish his time to the sound of his name ringing around the ground as the Highlanders Club has invited fans to come along for one last chant for the popular winger. Additionally, at the end of the game fans will be invited onto the field to be part of a special presentation  to Highlanders legend Ben Smith to commemorate his stellar career with the club.
    Notes on Luke Whitelock
    Highlander #245 Whitelock debuted for the Highlanders in 2016. The youngest of the four Whitelock boys with brothers Sam and George both becoming All Blacks and brother Adam represented Canterbury and the Crusaders.  A hard driving loose forward who has also played occasionally at lock, he made the NZ U20 team in 2010/11 and played 50 games for the Crusaders between 2012-2015. He made 8 appearances for the All Blacks between 2013 – 2018, captaining the All Blacks against a French XV in 2017. He was made co-captain of the Highlanders in 2019.
    He has signed to play for French club Pau later in the year.


  • Pretty happy with that side, without getting Smith & Walden back yet, that's about as good as it gets I reckon. Thank fark Ioane really, really stepped up this year (cue him dropping back to Li levels this weekend just to spite me).

    Of course if Li could be replaced by anyone it would be great. Go on Hammington, you know it's better when you don't have to pass much anyway....

  • I know he wouldn't get much game time in his first year of SR, but still a bit disappointed we haven't seen more of Folau Fakatava.

  • @Stargazer especially when Hammington has been dire at times, but I guess they had to persevere with him as he's been pretty handy in past seasons.

  • Bulls

    15 Divan Rossouw (24, 15)
    14 Cornal Hendricks (38, 65)
    13 Dylan Sage (8, 0)
    12 Burger Odendaal (54, 30)
    11 Johnny Kotze (44, 45)
    10 Handré Pollard (c; 57, 598)
    9 Embrose Papier (22, 5)
    8 Marco van Staden (23, 15)
    7 Hanro Liebenberg (41, 30)
    6 Ruan Steenkamp (18, 0)
    5 RG Snyman (46, 10)
    4 Jason Jenkins (50, 35)
    3 Trevor Nyakane (105, 15)
    2 Schalk Brits (73, 20)
    1 Lizo Gqoboka (51, 15)

    16 Jaco Visagie (44, 5)
    17 Simphiwe Matanzima (14)
    18 Wiehahn Herbst (47, 0)
    19 Jannes Kirsten (29, 20)
    20 Johannes Grobbelaar (3, 0)
    21 Ivan van Zyl (28, 35)
    22 Manie Libbok (16, 50)
    23 JT Jackson (2, 0)


  • Referee: Angus Gardner
    AR1: Paul Williams
    AR2: James Munro
    TMO: Ben Skeen

  • Parkinson's star has faded abruptly. The expectations were great thanks to a very good Mitre 10 Cup. What happened ?

  • @cgrant first season and all, he's played well in his appearances but then so have all the other more experienced locks.

  • Bulls taking people out way beyond the ruck and looking for niggle ... and it's the first minute!

  • @cgrant Everyone at Tasman seemed to be rated very highly for some reason.

  • 4.5 minutes in, the Landers looking equal parts dangerous and equal parts tits for hands with 3 knock ons...

  • Tomkinson makes a lot of errors.

  • King Luke looking every bit an AB so far.

  • @Bones said in Highlanders v Bulls:

    King Luke looking every bit an AB so far.

    The experiment of him at 6 was an absolute fail.

  • Unbelievably untidy from the Highlanders, what are they up to 7 or 8 turnovers including knock ons, penalties and kicking out on the full all inside the first 8 minutes.

  • @KiwiMurph said in Highlanders v Bulls:

    @Bones said in Highlanders v Bulls:

    King Luke looking every bit an AB so far.

    The experiment of him at 6 was an absolute fail.

    Great point.

  • Josh McKay's first Super Rugby try!

  • Bit of a minties moment for that Bulls back.

  • Points on the board, hopefully that’ll settle them down.

    There is something very Ben Smith-esq about this McKay kid from what I’ve seen so far. Might be the similar running style, but might also be the time he seems to have.

    Terrible defence as I type by the Clan

  • Hammett said to watch Brits...so they did.

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