Since 2006 and for the last ten matches between the Highlanders and the Lions the winners have alternated wins. The Lions won the last match between the sides.
The Highlanders and Lions have played each other 18 times in Super rugby and the Highlanders have won 11 matches and lost 7.
- The Highlanders have won five of their six home games against the Lions including their last two in a row; their solitary defeat came in 2011 at Carisbrook.
- The Highlanders have won their last 10 in a row at home, only once before have they gone on a longer such run (W13, 2000-2002).
- The Lions have lost their last two games, the last time they lost more was a three-game drought to open the 2015 campaign.
- Only the Crusaders (15) have scored more tries in the final quarter of games this campaign than the Lions (14); the Highlanders have scored just seven tries in this period.
- Ash Dixon has a throw success rate of 92% this campaign, the second best of any player to have made at least 30 throws this season.
We are waiting for the kick off.
Elton Jantjies kicks off and the match is underway.
2.00: The Lions win the first line out on the Highlanders throw. They take an age to pass the ball out so it is charged down and the Highlanders get the ball.
3.00: The Highlanders press the Lions into their 22. The Highlanders go through 6 phases and get though on the 8th phase as Lima Sopoaga dives over to score. Angus Gardner checks with his assistant and it’s good. TRY!
5.00: Sopoaga converts his try.
8.00: The Lions look strong as they move the ball through the hands. They get the overlap in the Highlanders 22 but the ball goes to ground. The Lions win a penalty.
9.00: Jantjies slots the penalty. Lions are on the board.
12.00: The Highlanders work the ball to the Lions 5m line. They pick and go and thee Lions run out of defenders and Liam Coltman crashes over. TRY!
14.00: Sopoaga adds the conversion from in front.
19.00: The Highlanders press the Lions back into their 22 again. The Lions defend well.
22.00 : The Lions win a scrum in their 22 and run the ball to the half way line,. The Highlanders knock on so the Lions have another scrum.
24.00: There is a mix up as the Lions lose the ball in the ruck. The Highlanders pass the ball back but it hits a Lions player and rebounds for Ben Smith who gets the ball and runs for the line and scores. The TMO reviews the try. There is much confusion due to the ball bouncing around from offside to side. No try but the Highlanders have a penalty for side entry. Sopoaga kicks for touch.
29.00: The Highlanders are keeping the Lions in their half and forcing them to defend.
30.00: The Lions get some rare quality attacking ball and run it from their 22 to the Highlanders 22. Most of the break comes from a big run from Lionel Mapoe. The Lions get the ball to the 5m line but then knock on.
31.00: The Highlanders win the scrum and kick the ball to safety and into touch.
32.00: The Lions win the line out. After two phases the Highlanders get the ball and start their attack.
34.00: The Highlanders keep the ball moving after a break by Rob Thompson, and it ends with Luke Whitelock scoring a TRY! Elliot Dixon had the final pass.
35.00: Sopoaga misses the conversion.
38.00: The Lions win a line out by going long. The Lions work the ball to the far side and then come back in and Harold Vorster scores. TRY!
39.00: Jantjies adds the conversion.
40.00: The Lions win a penalty after the siren. Jantjies kicks for touch and the line out.
42.00: Another penalty after the line out to the Lions. A warning for the Highlanders too. The Lions choose the line out.
43.00: The Lions win the line out and drive over the line. Robbie Coetzee comes up with the ball. TRY!
44.00: Jantjies takes the conversion kick and misses. Hit the post.
It’s half time.
The half time score was Highlanders 19 Lions 15
Sopoaga kicks off and the second half is underway.
44.00: The Lions try to run the ball out of their half. The ball is passed down the line but no one is there and it goes to ground. The Highlanders counter attack and Waisake Naholo eases in for the TRY! he is now the leading Highlanders try scorer.
45.00: Sopoaga slots the conversion.
47.00: Penalty to the Lions from the scrum. Jantjies puts the ball into touch for the line out.
48.00: The Lions use exactly the same move they did at the end of the first half and again Coetzee scores. TRY!
50.00: Jantjies misses the conversion.
54.00: The Lions go through the phases on attack in the Highlanders half but it ends with the Highlanders winning a penalty. They kick for touch.
58.00: The Highlanders work the ball into the Lions 22. They can’t get through and then get called back for a penalty. They take the line out option.
61.00: The Lions defend the line out and put the ball into touch. The Highlanders then win the line out but concede a penalty. The Lions kick for touch.
63.00: Rob Thompson chips the ball ahead and regains the ball and then offloads to Tei Walden who scores for the Highlanders. TRY!
64.00: Sopoaga adds the conversion.
66.00: The Lions have brought on all of their replacements looking for a strong finish.
69.00: The Lions run the ball into the Highlanders 22. When they get to the 5m line there is a knock on. Highlanders scrum.
70.00: Scrum penalty Lions. They kick for touch. The Lions win the line out and Marnus Schoeman slips over to score. TRY!
72.00: Jantjies adds the conversion.
75.00: Penalty to the Highlanders in the Lions 22.
76.00: Sopoaga takes the penalty kick and nails it. Highlanders lead by 9.
79.00: Penalty to the Highlanders.
80.00: Sopoaga takes the penalty kick and nails it.
The Highlanders have won.
The full time score is Highlanders 39 (19) Lions 27 (15)
Tries – L.Sopoaga, L.Coltman, L.Whitelock, W.Naholo, T.Walden
Pen – L.Sopoaga 2
Con -L.Sopoaga 4
Tries – H.Vorster, R.Coetzee 2, M.Schoeman
Pen – E.Jantjies
Con – E.Jantjies 2
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1:Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2: James Doleman
TMO : Glenn Newman
15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Sio Tomkinson
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Franco Mostert (captain), 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith
Replacements: 16 Jacques van Rooyen, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza