Super Rugby

Highlanders beat Rebels in Dunedin




The first Super rugby match on Saturday in the final round is in Dunedin where the Highlanders host the Rebels in a match that will decide who travels to play an away play off.

The Highlanders are currently in sixth place on 40 points with a -14 points differential. They could overtake the Chiefs but the current points difference is over 100 points so they will most likely be playing to consolidate sixth place.

  • The Highlanders have won five of their previous six games against the Rebels, including their last three on the bounce and a fixture-record 39-point win in their last meeting.
  • The Highlanders are undefeated on home turf against the Rebels from three attempts (W3), with 10 of their 16 tries in that time coming in the second stanza of games.
  • The Highlanders have lost their last two games on the spin (both 45-22); the last time they went longer without a win in a campaign was a three-game drought to see out 2014.
  • The Highlanders have won their last nine games on the bounce when hosting teams from Australia, last losing such a fixture in Round 5, 2014 against the Force (31-29).
  • The Rebels will be searching for back-to-back wins in New Zealand for the first time in Super Rugby after notching up a 20-10 win over the Blues in Round 16.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off.
In the meantime why not have a look at the match preview.

The Rebels kick off and the match is underway.

2.00: The Rebels win an early penalty for offside by the Highlanders. Recce Hodge lines up the posts. He slots the penalty and the visitors lead.

4.00: The Highlanders look to hit back immediately as they work the ball to the Rebels 5m line. Penalty to the Highlanders.

5.00: Lima Sopoaga takes the kick and nails it to level the scores.

8.00: The first scrum of the match ends in a penalty for the Rebels. Hodge kicks for touch as the Rebels want the line out.

9.00: The Rebels win the line out. They set up the maul and drive over the line – Amanaki Mafi scores. TRY! 

10.00: Hodge takes the conversion and nails it. The Rebels lead again.

11.00: The Rebels win a scrum in their half and run the ball to the half way line where they win a penalty. The Rebels tap it and take it quickly and make around 5 more metres but then they knock on.

13.00: The Rebels continue to up the pace and this is catching the Highlanders off guard.

17.00: The Rebels attack down the wing and Reece Hodge goes for the corner and scores from next to nothing. TRY! The crowd has been silenced.

19.00: Hodge adds the conversion from the sideline.

22.00: The TMO is called on to review a late tackle on Lima Sopoaga by Michael Ruru. The video replay shows an ankle out in the tackle so Ruru is yellow carded.

24.00: The Rebels are still in control despite being a man down as they move the ball up the field and into the Highlanders 22. Lima Sopoaga does not look himself following that tackle.

25.00:The Highlanders turn the ball over in their 22. The Highlanders move the ball wide out to Waisakle Naholo who races away down the wing leaving the Rebels defenders in his dust and scores. TRY!

27.00: Sopoaga takes the conversion kick from outwide and he nails it. Highlanders trail by 7.

32.00; The Highlanders are taking advantage of the yellow card as they use the numbers advantage. The Highlanders attack on the Rebels 22 and Kane Hammington slips through and scores. TRY!

33.00: Sopoaga adds the conversion to level the scores.

35.00: The Highlanders kick upfield but the ball is caught by Reece Hodge who races away to the line and scores. TRY!

36.00: Hodge converts his try. Rebels lead again.

39.00: The Highlanders strike on the stroke of half time as Teihorangi Walden scores in the corner. TRY!

40.00: Sopoaga can’t convert so the Rebels lead at half time.

It’s half time.

The half time score was Highlanders 22 Rebels 24

The Highlanders kick off and the second half is underway.

42.00: The first scrum of the second half ends in a penalty for the Rebels. Hodge kicks for touch and the line out.

46.00: The Highlanders look dangerous on attack as they open up the Rebels but the final pass is forward.

48.00: After back to back scrums The Highlanders win the ball but Hammington’s pass to Sopoaga is awful and the ball is lost forward forcing a third scrum. Hammington is replaced and Josh Renton comes on.

50.00: The Rebels win the scrum and attack down the wing. The ball is chipped ahead into the Highlanders 22 but there are hands in the ruck at the breakdown so the Highlanders have a penalty. The ball is cleared into touch.

51.00: The Highlanders clear the ball but Hodge charges it down, chases it and scores. TRY! Hat-trick for Hodge. 

52.00: Hodge adds the conversion.

Unofficial score is :

Hodge 26
Highlanders 22

54.00: The Highlanders win a scrum and move it down the wing. They attack at pace but when they get wide the ball is lost and the Rebels turn the ball over and kick it upfield.

55.00: The Highlanders counter attack but then concede a penalty. Hodge kicks for touch.

58.00: Penalty to the Rebels from the breakdown. Hodge kicks for touch and nails it.

61.00: The Highlanders win a penalty. They kick for touch and are going to the bench.

62.00: The Highlanders attack in the corner and Matt Faddes gets the ball to Tevita Li. The TMO will have a look. Li loses the ball in the tackle but regains it and scores. TRY! 

64.00: Sopoaga takes the conversion kick from the touchline and nails it.

65.00: The Highlanders have sprung into life! Josh McKay slices through the Rebels backs and gets them into the Rebels 22. The Highlanders keep the ball moving and . Greg Pleasants-Tate picks the ball and goes for the line and scores.

66.00: Sopoaga slots the conversion and for the first time in the game the Highlanders lead.

71.00: The Highlanders attack again and go wide to Naholo. They change sides when Naholo is stopped and this time Teihorangi Walden goes over in the opposite side. The TMO reviews the try as there were two potential forward passes in the build up. No try – forward pass. Penalty against Ruru for a high tackle. Sopoaga kicks for the corner.

74.00: The Highlanders go on the attack in the Rebels 22. They grind the ball up to the tryline.

75.00: The Highlanders pick and go next to the posts and Tom Franklin scores. TRY!

76.00: Sopoaga takes the conversion kick from in front and extends the lead. The Rebels no longer have a losing bonus point.

79.00: The Rebels have a penalty in the Highlanders 22. They will take a shot at the posts. Jack Debreczeni slots it so that the Rebels have a losing bonus point and get the ball from the restart.

80.00: The Highlanders go deep. The Rebels start their attack but the HIghlanders turn it over and kick it out to end the match – or so they think. Penalty to the Rebels.

81.00: The Rebels take the line out and spin the ball out wide. The Rebels race away but Naholo flattens the attack with a massive tackle on Jack Maddocks. Penalty to the Highlanders who kick it out to end the match.

The Highlanders have won.

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The full time score is Highlanders 43 (22) Rebels 37 (24)


Tries – W.Naholo, K.Hammington, T.Walden, T.Li, . G. Pleasants-Tate, T.Franklin
Pen – L.Sopoaga
Con – L.Sopoaga 5
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – A.Mafi, R.Hodge 3
Pen – R.Hodge 2, J.Debreczeni
Con – R.Hodge 3
Drop –
Cards – M.Ruru (yellow 22nd min)

Match Officials
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 2:Brendon Pickerill
TMO :Chris Hart



1. Aki Seuili,2. Liam Coltman,3. Tyrel Lomax,4. Alex Ainley,5. Jackson Hemopo,6. Shannon Frizell,7. James Lentjes (C),8. Liam Squire,9. Kayne Hammington,10. Lima Sopoaga,11. Tevita Li,12. Teihorangi Walden,13. Thomas Umaga-Jensen,14. Waisake Naholo,15. Josh Ioane

Replacements : 16. Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Kalolo Tuiloma, 19. Tom Franklin, 20. Dillon Hunt, 21. Josh Renton, 22. Matt Faddes, 23. Josh McKay


1. Fereti Sa’aga , 2. Anaru Rangi , 3. Sam Talakai , 4. Matt Philip , 5. Ross Haylett-Petty , 6. Angus Cottrell , 7. Colby Fainga’a , 8. Amanaki Mafi , 9. Michael Ruru , 10. Reece Hodge , 11. Marika Koroibete , 12. Billy Meakes , 13. Tom English ,capt.) , 14. Sefa Naivalu , 15. Jack Maddocks

Replacements : 16. Nathan Charles , 17. Tetera Faulkner , 18. Jermaine Ainsley , 19. Sam Jeffries , 20. Richard Hardwick , 21. Harrison Goddard , 22. Jack Debreczeni , 23. Lopeti Timani

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