Super Saturday: Highlanders and Crusaders Convincing Winners

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In two matches on New Zealand soil, Super Rugby Round Nine proved that the high standards of the competition leading conference are certainly consistent. Both fixtures earned high scores, with home fans leaving each fully satisfied on another ‘Super Saturday’. While the rugby was the focus, as happened last night in Napier, ‘rugby remembered’ the […] READ MORE


Super Saturday: Blues Send Fans Home Happy, Highlanders and Stormers Triumph

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Last Word On Rugby was on hand in Auckland to witness the Blues result first-hand, with the match in Canberra a riveting one to follow on radio traveling home. The audio heightening the dramatic conclusion. Then, to top it off watching the all out scoring action between the 'Wolves and Stormers (see main picture) was a terrific end to the night--that small selection made this Super Saturday one to savour. READ MORE


Blues v Highlanders Derby Match a Scrappy Affair

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So both sides will leave the Park with challenges ahead. That is the beauty, and the difficulty of the NZ local derby games like the Blues v Highlanders. When teams have a tough start to the competition [like the Highlanders] they just have to quickly turnaround, stand tall and look forward to the next challenge. READ MORE


Highlanders: High Stakes Rugby, High Cost Outcome

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In any event, the high stakes rugby is costing the Highlanders. In the 2016 semi final, they were unable to combat the open-style of the Lions (on the Johannesburg ground) and paid the price. They did take the right decisions in the quarter final, and the side must make precise decisions from now on. Dropping points now will be hard to recover in the later stages of Super Rugby. And after a high risk outcome last week, the time is now to play more settled, no nonsense rugby to get back into winning form. Rebuild their battered confidence--before they can again, look to incorporate any 'high stakes rugby' in their game. Oh, and get Ben Smith back to full health asap! READ MORE


The Art of the Intercept Try

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Can it be countered? To a degree yes - 'keep the ball in the tight forwards'. But across an 80 minute match, countless occasions may be more fallible to an intercept try--although, the best ones seem to be unplanned. And that is sport in a nutshell. Unpredictable, beautiful but also, incorrigible. READ MORE


Chiefs Finally Grab Win Over Highlanders in Season Opener

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The Chiefs always looked the more composed side when the big moments came. A better executed set play was a big difference maker for the Chiefs, and it provided Hika Elliot his ninth try in Super Rugby. James Lowe was gifted two tries from intercepts, and in the end, the Highlanders never dotted over the line themselves. READ MORE


Chiefs Not Focused on Highlanders Losing Streak

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Super Rugby begins this weekend, and the Chiefs have drawn arguably their toughest opponent for the opener. The Chiefs haven’t got the best history against the Highlanders in recent years; the last win coming in 2014. Since then, the Highlanders have won all games against the Chiefs; granted some of them were fairly tight affairs. […] READ MORE



Dissecting Aaron Smiths’ All Black Return

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All Black halfback Aaron Smith will want to forget the events of the past two months, but it is going to take time and a little patience. The rugby-loving public of New Zealand and its media are ruthless when it comes to the performances of the 15 lucky men that put on the All Blacks […] READ MORE