Rugby Union

Highlanders
26
Blues
20
Full Time

Match Tracker

Highlanders
Blues
H1
13
20

    Highlanders Events

  • 8 mins - penalty goal, M.Banks
  • 27 mins - try, B.Smith
  • 28 mins - conversion, M.Banks
  • 41 mins - penalty goal, M.Banks

    Highlanders and Blues Events

  • 11 mins - try, C.Faumuina
  • 13 mins - conversion, P.Francis
  • 18 mins - penalty goal, P.Francis
  • 23 mins - penalty goal, P.Francis
  • 36 mins - try, G.Cowley-Tuioti
  • 37 mins - conversion, P.Francis
H2
13
0

    Highlanders Events

  • 45 mins - try, M.Fekitoa
  • 46 mins - conversion, M.Banks
  • 54 mins - penalty goal, M.Banks
  • 72 mins - penalty goal, M.Banks

    Highlanders and Blues Events

ET
0
0

    Highlanders Events

    Highlanders and Blues Events

Scorers

Highlanders
Blues
Goal Scorers Highlanders Blues
Tries Smith (1), Fekitoa (1) Faumuina (1), Cowley-Tuioti (1)
Conversions Banks (2/2) Francis (2/2)
Penalty Goals Banks (4/4) Francis (2/2)
Drop Goals

Team Statistics

Highlanders
Blues

Statistics

Highlanders Blues
Tries 2 2
Conversions 2 2
Penalty Goals 4 2
Drop Goals 0 0
HighlandersGoal Scorers
Players K LB MT OF RC YC R T TA
B.Smith 1 0 14 0 0 0 6 5 0
T.Li 0 0 49 0 0 0 9 3 0
M.Fekitoa 1 0 51 0 0 0 9 4 0
R.Buckman 0 0 12 0 0 0 7 12 0
P.Osborne 1 0 53 0 0 0 6 1 0
M.Banks 9 0 18 0 0 0 2 6 0
A.Smith 9 0 25 0 0 0 5 4 2
D.Lienert-Brown 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 7 0
L.Coltman 0 0 21 0 0 0 6 7 0
S.Halanukonuka 0 0 5 0 0 0 2 5 0
A.Ainley 0 0 9 0 0 0 9 12 0
T.Franklin 0 0 7 0 0 0 5 11 0
E.Dixon 0 0 18 0 0 0 8 10 0
D.Hunt 0 0 6 0 0 0 1 6 0
L.Whitelock 0 0 13 0 0 0 10 15 0
G.Pleasants-Tate 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 0
A.Seiuli 0 0 5 0 0 0 2 5 0
S.Tokolahi 0 0 9 0 0 0 2 3 0
J.Wheeler 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
L.Squire 0 0 19 0 0 0 4 6 0
K.Hammington 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
F.Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M.Faddes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
BluesGoal Scorers
Players K LB MT OF RC YC R T TA
M.Collins 1 0 57 0 0 0 13 3 0
M.Duffie 2 0 52 0 0 0 10 1 0
R.Ioane 0 0 12 0 0 0 7 9 0
G.Moala 0 0 28 0 0 0 10 4 0
M.Nanai 0 0 17 0 0 0 5 2 0
P.Francis 14 0 11 0 0 0 4 10 0
A.Pulu 3 0 45 0 0 0 7 4 2
P.Manu 0 0 3 0 0 0 5 9 0
J.Parsons 0 0 10 0 0 0 5 5 0
C.Faumuina 0 0 14 0 0 0 9 4 0
G.Cowley-Tuioti 0 0 5 0 0 0 5 9 0
S.Scrafton 0 0 2 0 0 0 6 6 0
J.Kaino 0 0 20 0 0 0 7 6 0
B.Gibson 1 0 40 0 0 0 10 9 0
S.Luatua 0 0 22 0 0 0 11 9 0
M.Moulds 0 0 14 0 0 0 8 0 0
S.Prattley 0 0 11 0 0 0 2 2 0
O.Tu'ungafasi 0 0 5 0 0 0 5 1 0
J.Tupou 0 0 5 0 0 0 3 4 0
A.Ioane 0 0 13 0 0 0 4 0 0
B.Guyton 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0
B.Gatland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S.Bill Williams 0 0 33 0 0 0 4 0 0

Match Details

Highlanders
Blues
START TIME
5:35PM
VENUE
Forsyth Barr Stadium
Highlanders 26 Blues 20
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Sonny Bill Williams covers sponsor BNZ's logo, as Highlanders hold off Blues in Dunedin

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Sonny Bill Williams has put himself back in the news by taping over a bank sponsor's logo on his Blues jersey in his Super Rugby comeback.

A New Zealand Rugby spokesperson told radio station Newstalk ZB that dual international Williams had lodged a conscientious objection to displaying the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) logo.

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Highlanders trump Blues as SBW returns

Sonny Bill Williams' return to rugby off the bench wasn't enough to ignite the Blues, as the Highlanders defeated their New Zealand rivals 26-20 in Dunedin.

It has been interpreted as a religious stand by Williams - a devout Muslim - who was playing his first match in the 15-man game since the 2015 World Cup final after recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered at the Rio Olympics.

In reaction to comment on social media, Williams tweeted on Sunday: "In regards to my jersey during the game I'll clarify the situation during the week."

While the NZR were unaware that Williams planned to plaster over the BNZ logo on his collar in Saturday's loss to the Highlanders, the spokesman said there wouldn't be a misconduct charge and it was an issue for the Blues to handle.

He said any player could lodge a conscientious objection to promoting finance, alcohol, tobacco, gambling companies and banks. Islam is opposed to usury, or the charging of interest on lent money - something banks including BNZ do.

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Blues assistant coach Steve Jackson said the matter would be addressed with Williams' management during the week.

"The sponsors pay our wages and you look to do everything you can to make them happy, so I'm not really sure what occurred or what's really happened," Jackson told Newstalk ZB.

A BNZ spokeswoman said the bank didn't have a problem with Williams' action.

"He's entitled to have religious beliefs and customs around that and it's really between him and the Blues as to how that manifests itself. So we have no issue with it," she told Fairfax Media.

Williams, making his long-awaited return to rugby since rupturing his Achilles tendon during last year's Rio Olympics, was injected into the match in the 55th minute of the game.

The big man looked sharp enough in his first game of rugby since the 2015 World Cup final against the Wallabies, but it wasn't the Blues' night in the south.

Like their 16-12 loss to the Highlanders in an error-ridden eye-sore in Auckland last month, the Blues' hands let them down when they needed them most.

They had multiple chances in the second half, including a gilt-edged opportunity blown by Sam Prattley, who took a sharp Williams offload but didn't pass to the two unmarked players outside him.

Moments later, it was Williams who botched a raid inside the redzone after a limp pass found the turf and was hacked away by Highlanders pivot Marty Banks.

The Blues dominated possession and territory to hold a deserved 20-13 lead at halftime, before the Highlanders struck back with an early second half try to Malakai Fekitoa.

It was the midfielder's fourth try in five games against the team which didn't want him in 2014, and swung momentum their way in front of a rowdy crowd at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

After nailing all eight shots at goal last week, Banks continued his fine form with the boot by landing another six off the tee.

He's nailed all 19 of his kicks this season.

The Blues, who haven't won an away New Zealand derby since round two of the 2013 season (Hurricanes), will no doubt rue their inability to put two halves together.

Led by winger Matt Duffie, who took three brilliant bombs in the first four minutes of the match, the visitors had the Highlanders on the back foot for much of the first half.

Duffie was also heavily involved in his team's first try, when he busted the Highlanders open out wide, before feeding Augustine Pulu inside.

Big prop Charlie Faumuina dived over a couple of phases later to give the Blues an early 7-3 lead.

With next to no ball to their name, the Highlanders struck back just inside the half hour mark courtesy of Ben Smith.

He touched down under the sticks from close range, but the movement started way back inside their own half after winger Patrick Osborne flicked a sensational ball behind his back to halfback Aaron Smith.

While Blues fans no doubt screamed it was forward, referee Jamie Nutbrown allowed the frantic passage of play to continue.

The Blues, who still haven't won in Dunedin since 2011, had ample chances to strike late, but they couldn't add to their halftime score after failing to breech the home side's outstanding defensive line.

Stuff.co.nz

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