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Highlanders vs Reds Predictions & Tips - Highlanders backed for home win

24 May 2023
Ralph Staniforth 24 May 2023
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  • Watch Highlanders vs Reds on Friday in Super Rugby (08:05 BST)
  • Reds have lost their last 5 games against the Highlanders
  • Can the hosts close the gap to the quarter-finals?
Highlanders rugby
Highlanders backed to cover in Super RUgby clash (Getty Images)

Highlanders vs Reds Predictions

The Highlanders are in an almost must-win situation if they want to keep their quarter-final hopes alive. At home I am giving them the edge given their record against the Reds.
  • Highlanders vs Reds Predictions
  • Head to Head
  • Highlanders Form
  • Highlanders Team News
  • Reds Form
  • Reds Team News

  • Highlanders have won their last 5 matches against the Reds.
  • Highlanders have won their last 5 matches against the Reds by an average of 12 points.
  • Highlanders have lost 5 of their last 6 matches.
  • Reds have won 3 of their last 5 matches.

Head to Head

Highlanders have won their last five matches against the Reds by an average of 12 points.

Highlanders Form

The Highlanders are ninth in the Super Rugby table with just four wins from their 12 games. They are by some distance the worst performing New Zealand side this season.

After losing their opening three matches, the Highlanders made somewhat of a comeback, winning their next three. That was however followed by five straight losses.

Last week the Dunedin-based outfit put a halt to that losing momentum, beating the Rebels 20-17 on home soil. It was not a very good performance but they got the job done, which will hopefully give them confidence heading into this clash.

Highlanders Team News

Highlanders (1-15): Ethan de Groot, Andrew Makalio, Jermaine Ainsley, Pari Pari Parkinson, Max Hicks, Shannon Frizell, Billy Harmon (c), Hugh Renton, Aaron Smith, Freddie Burns, Jona Nareki, Sam Gilbert, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Jonah Lowe, Mitch Hunt

Bench: Rhys Marshall, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Saula Ma’u, Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, Sean Withy, Folau Fakatava, Connor Garden-Bachop, Scott Gregory

Reds Form

The Reds are in a precarious position in Super Rugby currently. They are seventh on the table, inside the quarter-final births but have little hope of climbing the table with the Waratahs eight points clear.

However, the Reds are just four points ahead of the Highlanders and defeat on Friday could see them drop out of the playoff places. After beating the Force at the end of April, the Reds suffered a 32-24 home defeat to the Waratahs.

The Queensland outfit then produced a major upset, beating the then unbeaten Chiefs in Hamilton 25-22. They could however not continue that momentum last week, losing 45-26 at home to the Blues.

Reds Team News

(1-15): Peni Ravai, Matt Faessler, Zane Nonggorr, Angus Blyth, Connor Vest, Liam Wright (co-c), Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott (co-c), Tom Lynagh, Mac Grealy, James O'Connor, Josh Flook, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jock Campbell

Bench: Richie Asiata, Dane Zander, Sef Fa'agase, Jake Upfield, Seru Uru, Kalani Thomas, Lawson Creighton, Hunter Paisami


The Highlanders will be a tough nut to crack at home for the Reds. I am backing the hosts to get over the handicap.

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