Live updates: Super Rugby - Highlanders vs Rebels

Live updates: Super Rugby - Highlanders vs Rebels
Photo credit: Getty

FULLTIME: HIGHLANDERS 43 - 37 REBELS

80mins: Koroibete's free down the right wing from the set move! He's up inside the 22m, gives it to Maddocks on the inside and Naholo NAILS him before Faddes gets up over it to win the penalty. Game over.

80mins: Rebels making good progress up the middle and they're just a couple of metres out now. Highlanders penalised again and the Rebels opt for the shot at goal. They kick it and will have on last crack. Rebels get it back from the restart and the Highlanders are offside, penalty given.

78mins: Rebels playing for pride now. Naivalu makes a nice run, stepping one before the Highlanders concede the penalty at the breakdown. Rebels have the lineout inside the Highlanders 22m.

76mins: HIGHLANDERS TRY - FRANKLIN: Highlanders forwards going to work, bashing their way towards the try line. They're just a couple of metres away now. Franklin has a crack and he scores the try! That's game. 

74mins: Rebels looking to play it out from inside their own five-metre line. They look to bash their way forward but Tuiloma shows great strength to hold the player up and force the turnover. 

73mins: Rebels try the set move once again and the Highlanders read it well and shut down Koroibete on the inside. Meakes cleans up a loose pass before beating one. Ball comes free for Renton and he gives it to Naholo! He cuts back inside and the Highlanders are up inside the 22m. They go left, putting it through the hands and Walden's in for the try! Oh no. Li's final pass to Walden was forward. No try.

70mins: Mafi loads up once again and once again he's well contained. Rebels go through Meakes but he's driven backwards. Rebels up to the 22m, making steady progress. Highlanders defence holding up well and Naholo's up over the ball to win the penalty.

67mins: HIGHLANDERS TRY - PLEASANTS-TATE: Mafi loads up and is smashed by Frizell! Rebels still have it as Rangi has a crack. Ruru kicks from the ruck and McKay shows it before stepping and he's away! He ghosts right through the middle before finally being dragged down around the 22m. Highlanders look good to score here, picking and going up the middle and Pleasants-Tate is over for the try!

64mins: HIGHLANDERS TRY - LI: Highlanders building steadily up the middle through their forwards. They finally break away to the left, Faddes shows quick hands to free up Li on the left wing and he rides the tackle to crash over in the corner. 

62mins: Ioane can't seem to find the sideline as another penalty is wasted. Rebels attack through Mafi but Walden's right up on him at the breakdown and forces the penalty. Ioane is rightly replaced by McKay.

60mins: Ruru's box kick goes straight up and bounces the way of Ioane to rake it in. Highlanders in possession just inside the Rebels half and they win the penalty. Haylett-Petty not rolling away.

58mins: Walden looks to rip the ball away from Rangi's grasp but holds on too long and concedes the penalty. Hodge will line up the easy shot at goal and he sends it straight through. Rebels extend their lead.

56mins: Umaga-Jensen goes through a gap up the middle before being tackled up over halfway. Sopoaga kicks for Li to get and get it, he fires the offload back in field to Walden and he is SMASHED by Koroibete and knocks on. 

53mins: REBELS TRY - HODGE: Ioane looks to kick long but Hodge is right up on him to charge it down, gets the bounce and it's a simple canter in under the sticks to score his third try of the game! He's been sensational. Rebels extend their advantage.

51mins: Ruru does really well to hold the ball up down the left wing, long enough to put the kick ahead. Highlanders track back and the Rebels concede the penalty for hands in the ruck. Highlanders caught out down that short side.

49mins: Meakes takes it up and is hit hard but holds on to the ball. Highlanders do well to get up and hold the player up and the force the maul and the turnover. Was Hemopo who got there to keep Mafi off the ground.

47mins: Hammington darts from the scrum and makes a good 20 metres before finally being dragged down. Highlanders picking and going, making their way towards the Rebels 10m. Sopoaga tries an inside ball to Li but it's forward.

45mins: Cottrell wins the lineout at the back and Meakes charges up the middle. Rebels keeping it tight, taking it up through their forwards but Koroibete wants a piece and knocks on at the ruck.

43mins: Rebels' throw isn't straight so it'll be a Highlanders scrum. Just looking back at that Koroibete tumble. Ioane got underneath him, but he didn't really go for the ball so he's perhaps quite lucky they didn't get the TMO to have a look.

41mins: Sopoaga gets the second half underway and the Rebels are looking to play it out of their own 22m. They're making good metres and Ruru clears and Koroibete comes down hard in his attempted catch.

HALFTIME: HIGHLANDERS 22 - 24 REBELS

40mins: HIGHLANDERS TRY - WALDEN: Highlanders looking to hit back right before the break. Frizell charges ahead and they're into the 22m. Sopaoga kicks cross field for Naholo, he catches, holds his defender up, offloads to Lentjes and he fires it on the inside to Walden to score the try.

38mins: Rebels keen to play it the ball out of danger with Ruru back on the field. Meakes makes a strong run before Ruru clears from the ruck. Maddocks goes long with the kick but it rolls dead.

36mins: REBELS TRY - HODGE: Rebels try another set move but Meakes ball can only find the turf as the Highlanders look to counter. Walden spots space behind the defence, tries the kick ahead but Hodge reads it brilliantly, plucks it in mid-air to run away to score under the sticks.

34mins: HIGHLANDERS TRY - HAMMINGTON: Hemopo does brilliantly to rip the ball free from Mafi's grasp and the Highlanders look to counter. Walden shows the ball and he's away! He cuts back inside, rides the tackle of Fainga'a and offloads to Hammington and the halfback's in for the try.

32mins: Frizell's not held so he has another crack. Sopoaga is smashed in the tackle by English but he knocked on in the tackle. Highlanders get it back from the scrum, go through Hammington but his pass is knocked on by Sopoaga.

30mins: Rebels guilty of closing the gap too early at the lineout and the Highlanders opt for the scrum from the free-kick. Sopoaga finds Naholo with the long cutout pass and he kicks ahead.

28mins: HIGHLANDERS TRY - NAHOLO: Highlanders counter at the ruck and win the turnover! Squire and Walden show quick hands and Sopoaga's in space. He gives it to the flyer, Naholo and the winger sprints 60 metres to go in untouched for the try. What wheels!

26mins: Umaga-Jensen is hit hard and knocks on. Rebels look to counter quickly down the left as Naivalu and Koroibete combine! The winger looks to give it back on the inside but Naholo does enough to intercept and go into touch.

24mins: Highlanders go to Sopoaga from the scrum and he's upended in what could be a deliberate trip from Ruru. We'll have a look upstairs. Looks quite bad and he's shown the yellow card. 

22mins: Rebels try another set move but just end up going sideways as Li makes a good tackle on Naivalu. Rangi looks to give it on the wrap around but knocks on.

20mins: Rebels keen to play as Mafi charges up to the 10m. Ruru finally clears from the ruck and Sopoaga knocks on. He just backed away from it as he looked to secure the catch. Highlanders up against it.

18mins: REBELS TRY - HODGE: Rebels try the set move from the scrum but the Highlanders defence are up to it. They shift left, ball comes free for Hodge, he gives to Naivalu, passes to English before returning it back on the inside for Hodge to go over for the try.

16mins: Naholo bumps off three or four players but another error sees the ball come free for the Rebels inside their own 22m. Ruru clears it from the ruck and the Highlanders will have the lineout on the visitors' 22m.

14mins: Li's in space down the left wing and he takes the Highlanders up inside the 22m. Ioane steps a couple of players but the ball's come loose before it's bobbled into touch. Rangi's throw is not straight so the Highlanders will have another crack.

12mins: Coltman pounces on the Rebels error at the restart and the Highlanders are up near the 22m. Squire looks to charge but drops it cold. Rebels get it back from the scrum and look to run it out through Meakes and they win the penalty.

10mins: REBELS TRY - MAFI: Rebels win the lineout and look to drive. They're making easy metres as the Highlanders are marched back onto their own try line. Mafi breaks away, spins out of Frizell's tackle and touches down for the try.

9mins: Lomax is penalised at the scrum for going straight down. Not the best of starts against his former team. Hodge finds touch for a Rebels lineout just fives metres out from the try line.

7mins: Highlanders try the cross-field kick and Li somehow taps it back in field and they're just five metres out from the try line now. Rebels guilty of being too eager at the breakdown and concede the penalty. Sopoaga slots it through to even things up.

5mins: Sopoaga goes short with the restart but the Rebels are there to claim it. They go wide with a long pass and English is hammered by Naholo. Hodge finally clears and Squire makes a great run on the return.

3mins: Rebels ploughing up the middle but aren't really go anywhere. Meakes has a crack and gets driven backwards by Squire. Highlanders are up offside though, so the Hodge will line up the shot at goal and he sends it home.

1mins: Hodge gets us underway and it's Ainley who takes it after a little bobble. Hammington clears from the ruck but it's poor and the Rebels can counter.

5:14pm: Lentjes leads out the Highlanders in what could well be Sopoaga's final game at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Moments away now.

5:12pm: Just a few minutes away from kick-off. Rebels making their way out now. They can book their spot in the playoffs for the first time in their history with a win tonight.

5:10pm: Right. So both teams with plenty to play for. The Rebels NEED to win if they are to make the playoffs., while the Highlanders are playing to find out next week's opponent.

Kia ora and welcome to Forsyth Barr Stadium as the Highlanders take on the Melbourne Rebels in the final round of Super Rugby before the playoffs.

We bring you live streaming written commentary, (BE SURE TO REFRESH YOUR BROWSER), and all the action.

Commentary will start at 5:10pm.

Lineups

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

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.

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

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.

Match officials
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Referees: Paul Williams, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Chris Hart

Previous results
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 Highlanders v Rebels 51-12 Dunedin
Sat, 26 Mar 2016 Highlanders v Rebels 27-3 Melbourne
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 Highlanders v Rebels 33-30 Dunedin
Fri, 12 Jul 2013 Highlanders v Rebels 37-38 Melbourne
Fri, 30 Mar 2012 Highlanders v Rebels 43-12 Dunedin

Head-to-head
Highlanders $1.21 Rebels $4.25

Pre-match banter: Highlander Tyrel Lomax out to spoil former team's playoff hopes

He's the former Melbourne Rebel who now stands in the way of their Super Rugby play-off hopes.

Highlanders prop Tyrel Lomax is also the embodiment of the damage caused to Australian rugby by its drawn-out licence standoff last year when five teams were reduced to four.

Rising front-rower Lomax, 22, found himself having to finalise his career direction when the Highlanders came knocking last year.

An Australian schoolboy and age group star, he earned a Rebels contract in 2017 and was fast-tracked into Michael Cheika's wider Wallabies squad.

It forced him to weigh up his allegiance, at a time when the future of the Rebels and Western Force was under a cloud.

"It wasn't until I got called into camp with the Wallabies that I started to have a real think about my future and what I wanted to do if I played international rugby," Lomax told AAP.

"When the Highlanders approached me, everything was happening with the Rebels possibly getting cut. It just seemed like the right time to take up the offer to come home."

The 125kg tighthead has thrived with the sixth-placed Kiwi outfit, his 13 appearances matching the figure he played for the Rebels.

The son of former Kiwis rugby league international and Canberra Raiders prop John Lomax, Australian-born Tyrel dabbled in both codes growing up in Wellington and Canberra.

His decisions around sport and country appeared justified when he won selection for the Maori All Blacks last year.

He believes he's made enormous strides at the Highlanders, particularly with his fitness, and won't hold back when facing desperate former Rebels teammates in Dunedin on Saturday.

The eighth-placed visitors require a win to secure their first play-off berth.

"They've had a pretty good season. Getting those Force players added a lot more depth to the squad and I know they're going to come out firing," he said.

"But we're not going to make it easy for them. We're going for 14 straight at home so we want it just as bad as them."

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