Friday 15th February 2019

Event of the Day: Chiefs versus Highlanders

Our event of the day is the Super Rugby fixture between the Chiefs and the Highlanders at the FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. This opening day match sees two former league champions face off in the hopes of starting their respective seasons the right way. The Chiefs have announced a line up full of experience, supplemented by a number of exciting young players in the backs. Meanwhile, the Highlanders are fielding a strong team of seasoned veterans. Be sure you don’t miss this exciting match. Club rugby returns to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and Argentina with the start of the Super Rugby season. Opening weekend will feature a clash between the Chiefs and the Highlanders, two New Zealand teams. While not a rivalry match per se, both teams are veterans of the competition, having been founding members of the league back in 1996. Since then, they have met 31 times, with the Chiefs taking 18 wins and the Highlanders taking 13. Last season, the Chiefs won both matches against the Highlanders and both teams made the postseason. However, neither team made it past the quarterfinals. The Chiefs are two-time league champions, having won back to back titles in 2012 and 2013. Meanwhile, the Highlanders have a single title to their name, having won in 2015.

Tonight, the Chiefs will debut four new players on a squad that blends youth and experience. One of their debuting players is nineteen-year-old Etene Nanai-Seturo, a player that many are eagerly waiting to watch. The speedy fullback entered the national spotlight as part of New Zealand’s gold medal winning rugby sevens team at last year’s Commonwealth Games. While being part of the Chief’s opening day line-up is akin to being thrown in at the deep end for the youngster, people have high hopes for Nanai-Seturo. The Chiefs will also debut new signing Ataata Moeakiola. The twenty-two year old Tongan-born Japanese wing is a relative unknown but has been described as a “wrecking ball” and is best known for his hat-trick for Japan against South Africa in the 2016 World Under-20 Championships. While the Highlanders field a much more veteran heavy team, this will be the first major test for their new No. 10, Josh Ioane. Ioane was impressive in limited action last season and will be motivated to prove he deserves his place in the starting XV given the talent that the Highlanders have in their system. The teams met in the opening round of the 2017 season, a match that Chiefs won 24-15. With the squads that the two teams have announced, be sure you don’t miss what will be an exciting opening to the 2019 Super Rugby season.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Big Bash League, where the Melbourne Renegades host the Sydney Sixers in the league’s second semi-final. Whoever wins will face the Melbourne Stars in Sunday’s final. The Renegades will look to bowler Kane Richardson, who led the league during the regular season in wickets taken, with 19 wickets in 10 matches. However, the Sixers have the 3rd, 4th and 5th best wicket takers. Expect a bowling duel between two of the strongest sides in the league in a match that is guaranteed to excite. Elsewhere, in Serie A, Juventus host Frosinone at Juventus Stadium. On the PGA tour, the Genesis Open continues at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. In the NHL, the Anaheim Ducks host the Boston Bruins at the Honda Center. In snooker, the Welsh Open continues in Cardiff. On the WTA Tour, the Qatar Total Open continues at the Khalifa International Tennis Arena in Doha.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by Super Rugby

 

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