The Highlanders and the Chiefs kicked off the New Zealand incarnation of Super Rugby with style. The hosts overcame a bit of a historic bogey by sneaking a one-point win thanks to a Bryn Gatland’s drop goal in the dying minutes.
While overall there’s been little difference between the two teams in the past – with the WLD ration shared equally, the hosts have had a tendency to lose at home more often.
Prior to Super Rugby Aerotoa starting, the last time these two sides met, it ended in a draw – a rare sight in rugby.
But most curious of all is the single point that separated the two sides.
Over the years, both the Highlanders and the Chiefs have managed memorable big wins over each other.
But dig a little deeper and a little nugget reveals itself.
The average points difference between these two sides is one – with the average score line being Highlanders 23-24 Chiefs. Astonishingly, even the average tries scored in a match (five) rang true.
Under normal circumstance (what’s that again?) and especially after a long time out of action, such numbers would easily be dismissed as folly. But it seems history does repeat itself for Super Rugby matches between the Highlanders and Chiefs.
For interest’s sake, the prediction odds tipped Chiefs as favourites to win by four points, perhaps based on the fact that the Highlanders tended to lose at home more often.
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Antoinette is a recovering journalist, having written for Sports Illustrated, The Guardian, Daily Maverick and others. She has won multiple SAB Journalist of the Year awards, across a variety of categories. She thinks it’s strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she’s playing as herself in The Sims…which she’s been doing for over 20 years.