The exciting new Trans Tasman competition is set to kick off this weekend and will feature the Highlanders and the Reds in the opening match.
The Highlanders had a below-average season in the 2021 instalment of Super Rugby Aotearoa, winning only 3 from their 8 outings and finishing up second from the bottom on the overall log with a total of 14 points.
They ended their tournament in Wellington where they faced the Hurricanes but fell prey to the men in yellow, 41-22.
The Reds, by contrast, were fantastic in Super Rugby AU, eventually snatching the title from the Brumbies as the clock ran into the red. Brad Thorn’s charges won 8 of their 9 exchanges, losing out only to the Force in Round 10.
Looking at the last five encounters between the sides, recent history is heavily in favour of the Highlanders, who have managed to win four of the five. The Reds, however, are in fantastic form and have as good a chance as any to stick one on their New Zealand rivals in the latter’s own backyard.
The last encounter between the two was back in 2019 – a high-scoring game which was, in the end, taken by the Highlanders, 36-31.