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Recap: Super Rugby Pacific round three blog

By Finn Morton
(Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

The ladder-leading Chiefs will play their first game at home this season on Friday night, and it’s an absolutely doozy against New Zealand rivals the Highlanders.


After shocking the rugby world with a staggering 31-10 win over defending champions the Crusaders in round one, the Chiefs recorded another bonus point win over Moana Pasifika in Super Round.

Playmaker Damian McKenzie has been absolutely phenomenal since returning to New Zealand, and has played a starring role in their early season success alongside Brad Weber and Shaun Stevenson.

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But two wins doesn’t win you a championship. Playing in front of their home fans at FMG Stadium, the Chiefs will be eager to keep maintain their unbeaten start to the season against the Highlanders.

As for the Highlanders, they’ll be desperate for a win.

The Highlanders were outclassed by the Blues in the opening round of the season at Forsyth Barr Stadium – but outclassed doesn’t do the dominance of the Auckland-based outfit justice.

It was a 40-point win for the visitors that day, and things went from bad to worse for the Landers in Super Round.


Coming up against South Island rivals the Crusaders, the Highlanders had no answers for Richie Mo’unga’s brilliant display.

The Crusaders’ vintage display saw them run away with a comfortable victory, while the Highlanders fell to an 0-2 start to the 2023 season.

Highlanders flanker Billy Harmon, who has not been named to face the Chiefs, told reporters that the team wouldn’t get “too disheartened” following their disappointing start to the season.

“It’s only round two, we’re not going to get too disheartened,” Harmon said.


“We just still want to keep growing, keep (getting) better. The funny thing is I felt like we did get better in our attack and our D.

“Obviously with that scoreline we weren’t quite accurate and a team like the Crusaders, they can pounce on any opportunity and turn that into points.”

The Highlanders will be boosted by the return of All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith, who has been named to start in the halves alongside Mitch Hunt.

In the second game on Friday, the Melbourne Rebels will host the NSW Waratahs at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.


The Rebels are coming off a tough loss to the Hurricanes in Super Round, while the Waratahs defeated the Fijian Drua.

Already, this seems like a key game for both teams – and it’s only round three.

RugbyPass will be keeping you updated on all the latest action throughout the night, which you can follow below.


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