Richard 'Barracuda' Buckman ignites late attack as Highlanders outclass plucky French Barbarians in Invercargill

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's coverage of tonight's rugby match between the Highlanders and the French Barbarians at Rugby Park in Invercargill tonight.


The Highlanders were simply too good for the French as they managed to find their groove on attack in the second spell. Passes began to stick with the Highlanders bench players making a big impact. The home side ran in four tries in the second half with the French managing a consolation try in the 80th minute.

80 mins - HIG 29 FRB 10

TRY! France get the last say with a consolation try through left winger Hugo Bonneval. The French opt for a drop kick from out wide as the final siren sounds and the kick is good.

78 mins - HIG 29 FRB 3

TRY! Richard Buckman sets up the fourth try for his side looks to throw a pass on the inside but he puts his foot down down the right edge then sucks in the last defender before passing the ball to Rob Thompson.

Josh Ioane lands his first conversion of the match.

72 mins - HIG 22 FRB 3

NO TRY! The French get so close to scoring off a rolling maul but they lose the ball forward as centre Damian Penaud reached out to ground the ball.

66 mins - HIG 22 FRB 3

TRY! Greg Pleasants-Tate powers over to score from close range after a superb pick and go. Lima Sopoaga's night is over and Josh Ioane takes over the kicking duties.

Ioane's first shot at goal is no good.

61 mins - HIG 17 FRB 3

TRY! The Highlanders cross over for their third try with Lima Sopoaga strolling over to score after the Highlanders showcase some sweet passing, putting the No. 10 into a massive hole. Josh Ioane delivered the first pin-point pass for Rob Thompson with the Highlanders centre throw an easy pop pass for Sopoaga to score.

Lima Sopoaga nails his first conversion of the night from easy range.

60 mins - HIG 10 FRB 3

LINE-OUT! The Highlanders earn themselves another penalty and turn down the option at scrum with Lima Sopoaga kicking the ball into touch. The home team have an attacking line-out five metres out of the French goal-line.

57 mins - HIG 10 FRB 3

SCRUM! The French come up with a huge mistake at line-out time as they fumble the ball deep inside their own 22. The home team are in excellent position to pile on more points.

47 mins - HIG 10 FRB 3

TRY! The Highlanders spin the ball wide and Josh McKay finishes off an excellent Highlanders play. Lima Sopoaga throws and awesome wide pass to Elliot Dixon with the Highlanders No.8 popping a perfect pass to McKay who dots down over in the left hand corner.

Lima Sopoaga is offline with his kick at goal from the sideline.

42 mins - HIG 5 FRB 3

France's fullback Julien Dumora opts for a chip and chase play inside the Highlanders' 22 his winger Arthur Retiere almost regathers the ball but he knocks the ball on.

40 mins - HIG 5 FRB 3

And we are back underway with the French kicking off short to the Highlanders!

Lima Sopoaga of the Highlanders in action during the Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Lions played at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand, Saturday 12 May 2018. Copyright Image: Joe Allison /
Lima Sopoaga of the Highlanders in action during the Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Lions played at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Source: Photosport


39 mins: HIG 5 FRB 3

The French Barbarians' defence holds up as they hold out another flurry of attack from the home team. The Highlanders let another try-scoring chance go begging, losing the ball in close quarters deep inside the visitors' half.

37 mins: HIG 5 FRB 3

SCRUM! The Highlanders are hot on attack but they fumble the ball and the French have a defensive scrum 5m out of their own goal-line.

31 mins: HIG 5 FRB 3

MISS! James Lentjes is penalised for not releasing the ball at the breakdown. The French Barbarians first-five and captain Jean Marc Doussain misses his shot at goal from 40m out.

29 mins: HIG 5 FRB 3

PENALTY! Just as it looked like the Highlanders were going to muster another attack French Barbarians flanker Yoan Tanga Mangene earns his side a break with a much needed turnover. The Highlanders are penalised for not releasing the ball in the tackle.

22 mins: HIG 5 FRB 3

Josh Renton makes a fantastic break from inside his own 40m line, he throws a dummy and the French defence opens up. He beats the fullback and offloads the ball to winger Matt Faddes, the Highlanders winger tries to offload the ball to his teammate but he passes it to a French player.

17 mins: HIG 5 FRB 3

TRY! The Highlanders set a solid line-out drive and power over the try-line with James Lentjes scoring the first five-pointer of the match.

Lima Sopoaga's conversion attempt slides just across the uprights.

16 mins: HIG 0 FRB 3

PENALTY! The Highlanders screw the scrum and earn themselves a penalty, Lima Sopoaga kicks the ball over the sideline and the Highlanders have an attacking line-out deep inside the French team's 22.

13 mins: HIG 0 FRB 3

THREE! Jean Marc Doussain slots his penalty kick from out wide and the French Barbarians are on the scoreboard first.

11 mins: HIG 0 FRB 0

The home team get their first shot on attack opting to shift the ball inside their own 22. Lima Sopoaga delivers a pin-point pass to Josh McKay who makes a surging run down the left flank. His offload doesn't find its mark and the French regain possession.

5 mins: HIG 0 FRB 0

The French are ruled to not have thrown the ball in straight and they hand the ball back to the home side.

4 mins: HIG 0 FRB 0

PENALTY! The Highlanders are penalised for an infringement in the ruck and the French get their first chance of attacking off a set play. They kick the ball deep into the Highlanders' 22. 

3 mins: HIG 0 FRB 0

The Highlanders get out of their danger zone after winning a scrum inside their own 22. They spread the ball through the hands in the backline and the Highlanders' Josh McKay kicks the ball over the halfway line. A good clearance from the fullback.


KICK-OFF! Lima Sopoaga kicks off short to the French Barbarians.


Despite a number of front-line players involved with the All Blacks in Dunedin tomorrow, the Highlanders still have a formidable side with the likes of Lima Sopoaga and Elliot Dixon named to start against the French.

Sopoaga will be sharing the captaincy with hooker Ash Dixon.

Richard Buckman partners up with in-form Super Rugby centre Rob Thompson in the midfield.

Their Southern rivals the Crusaders defeated the French Barbarians 42-26 in Christchurch last week.


Highlanders: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Matt Faddes, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga (co-captain), 9 Josh Renton, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Josh Dickson, 5 Paripari Parkinson, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (cc), 1 Aki Seiuli.

Reserves: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Guy Millar, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Dan Pryor, 20 Marino Mikaele Tu'u, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Thomas Umaga-Jensen.

French Barbarians: 15 Julien Dumora, 14 Arthur Retiere, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 Pierre Fouyssac, 11 Hugo Bonneval, 10 Jean Marc Doussain (captain), 9 Thibault Daubanga,
8 Fabien Sanconnie, 7 Patrick Sobela, 6 Yoan Tanga Mangene, 5 Swan Rebbadj, 4 Florian Veraeghe, 3 Sebastian Tafifenua, 2 Quentin Lespiauca-Brettes, 1 Quentin Bethune.

Reserves: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Antoine Tichit, 18 Pierre Bougarit, 19 Thomas Jolmes, 20 Judicael Cancoriet, 21 Francois Cros, 22 Alexis Bales, 23 Emerick Seitiano.

39 mins: HIG 5 FRB 3
39 mins: HIG 5 FRB 3
60 mins - HIG 10 FRB 3
66 mins - HIG 22 FRB 3

Ryan Crotty admits All Blacks underutilised kicking game in loss to South Africa

All Blacks midfielder Ryan Crotty admitted an area his side failed to utilise in their loss to the Springboks was their kicking game.

The 30-year-old said at a press conference overnight in Argenitna that keeping the ball in hand during their Rugby ChampionshipTest match in Wellington a fortnight ago put them under more pressure.

"I think potentially...we could have kicked a little bit more," Crotty said.

"(We) could have put them under a little bit more pressure. We held the ball a lot and created some opportunities."

The All Blacks went down 36-34 at Westpac Stadium, in a match that went right down to the wire.

"They made a lot of tackles, but potentially we could have put them under pressure in other ways," Crotty said.

The All Blacks are in Argentina, where they take on the Pumas in Buenos Aires on Sunday at José Amalfitani Stadium.

Ryan Crotty.
New Zealand All Blacks v South Africa Springboks. Rugby Championship test match. Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand. Saturday 15 September 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga /
All Blacks midfielder Ryan Crotty in action against the Springboks in Wellington. Source: Photosport



Revitalised by Springboks loss, All Blacks 'jumping out of their skin' for Argentina Test

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster revealed that there was a new revitalised energy at training amongst the team, ahead of their Sunday Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

After reviewing their 36-34 loss to the Springboks a fortnight ago in Wellington, Foster said the players were eager to correct their mistakes.

"I think everyone was jumping out of their skin to get onto the training park and have a good blowout today," said Foster.

"Two or three days of recovering and our normal processes of reviewing and planning, a bit of added spice to it from our last game."

Argentina will have a lot of confidence going into Sunday's Test, after defeating Australia 23-19 in the Gold Coast two weeks ago.

"We try to keep our processes as consistent as possible because what we are trying to do is review a performance, not just a result," Foster said.

The ABs assistant coach says there is a new energy in the team following their upset. Source: All Blacks TV

"It does add a little bit when you come off a poor performance and the fact that that performance equated to a loss is a bit of a double whammy."

The All Blacks need a bonus point victory against the Pumas this weekend to secure the Rugby Championship title for a third consecutive year.

"We've pulled a few things apart and we are pretty happy as to where we have got to," Foster said.

Argentina defeated the Springboks last month 32-19 in Mendoza but were outclassed 46-24 by the All Blacks the last time they met at Trafalgar Park in Nelson earlier this month.

Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks fends off Tomas Lezana of Argentina during a Rugby Championship match, All Blacks V Argentina , Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand, 8th September, 2018. Copyright photo: John Davidson /
Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks fends off Tomas Lezana of Argentina during a Rugby Championship match in Nelson. Source: Photosport



England can overtake All Blacks 'within a year' says John Mitchell

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell believes that England can overtake New Zealand in less than 12 months, having recently joined Eddie Jones' coaching set-up.

Having been in charge of the All Blacks in an ill-fated stint from 2001-03, 54-year old Mitchell now finds himself as England's defence coach, and will take on old team in November.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mitchell says that beating the All Blacks is a key motivator for his new side, but says that it can happen in less than 12 months.

"I really believe that England can get better and be the best within a year's time. I really do believe that. Why? Because of what I've seen in the past."

"They [the All Blacks] are outstanding, but I guess what gives us all life is that it is a World Cup year and a World Cup does close the gap.

"It's knockout rugby and you just need to focus on being the better team yourself.

"New Zealand have set the benchmark and sent out the signal to all of us – 'you come and get us'."

Conrad Smith against England Source: Photosport


'Never give up until your time is finished' - Israel Dagg still dreaming of All Blacks recall

Former All Black Israel Dagg says he refuses to believe his time in the black jersey is over, after falling down the pecking order in Steve Hansen's side.

Dagg, 30, is currently in the middle of a stint with the Canon Eagles in Japan, appearing to be behind the likes of Rieko Ioane, Ben Smith, Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo in the reckoning for a spot in the All Blacks' back three.

Speaking to Stuff though, Dagg says that he's confident of adding to his 66 Tests, having this year won a second straight Super Rugby title with the Crusaders.

"You never give up until your time is finished in New Zealand. I'll go back to Christchurch next year and give it one last whirl and if it works out, it works out," Dagg said.

"It's pretty competitive in the back three, especially in my position, so we'll see how it goes. I've just got to start playing well for the Crusaders and hopefully things take care of themselves."

With less than a year until the next World Cup in Japan, Dagg also says that he's using the memory of 2015 as motivation, having been overlooked for Steve Hansen's squad for the England tournament.

"It does light a bit of fire in the belly. I hold no grudges, [missing the 2015 Rugby World Cup] was a long time ago. Being a family man now, you kind of can deal with things a lot easier now. Whatever happens, happens. I'll go back to New Zealand and give it my best."

Dagg is yet to feature for the Canon Eagles due to a calf injury, but is available to make his debut on Sunday against the Coca-Cola Red Sparks.

Israel Dagg Source: Getty