March 4 - 2006 Highlanders win in Cape Town

After being thumped by the Crusaders in their first match the Highlanders got their season back on track with a win over the Blues in Dunedin, then beat the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein and followed up with a clear cut win over the Stormers.

Highlanders 30 - 15 Stormers

It was an encouraging start for the Dunedin based side, one that had something of a United Nations look about it with a number of players e g Evans, Newby, Kahui, Kinikinilau, Blair, Brew - who had started their careers outside the franchise.

Nick Evans - MVP

“Saturday March 4 at Newlands, Cape Town, 5.00pm

Ref. Brett Bowden (AUS) Crowd 34,000. H/T 17 – 10 Highlanders

By Stephen Neil at Newlands

The Highlanders came, saw and conquered with disquieting ease at Newlands.

It was a fine and richly deserved victory for the New Zealanders, but set the alarm bells ringing in Cape Town.

The Highlanders’ dominance was absolute and not reflected in the scoreline. They overshadowed the Stormers in the first phases and were menacing on the counter-attack. Their big backline players also cut the Stormers to shreds on numerous occasions. Greg Cooper’s men turned the screws in every area and feasted off the Stormers’ mistakes. Roy Kinikinilau’s two first-half tries had their roots in a poor chip kick by De Wet Barry and a free kick that was awarded when Hanyani Shimange took too long to throw the ball in at a lineout.

The dominance continued in the second half as Ben Blair succeeded with two penalties before Richard Kahui .- on as a replacement for Kinikinilau — intercepted a pass from Schalk Brits and scored.

Brits, who had come on for Shimange, struggled with his lineout throwing and the result was that the Stormers could not sustain their momentum.

The ultimate insult for the home side was when some of the crowd headed for the exits after Kahui’s try.

Rugby News Best and Fairest: Nick Evans (Highlanders) 3, Roy Kinikinilau (Highlanders) 2, Bolla Conradie (Stormers) 1.”

From “Rugby News”, Issue 4 2006 p. 28.