Live updates: Super Rugby - Highlanders vs Waratahs


80mins: Waratahs get the ball back from the scrum under immense Highlanders pressure, Gordon picks up, sets off on a dart and boots it into touch! What a comeback! Waratahs win!

79mins: Waratahs turn it over and Foley clears but only as far as halfway and the Highlanders will have another crack. They try going quick to Ben Smith on the right but he knocks on.

78mins: Waratahs do well to get the ball back with just a seven-man scrum and Foley clears up over their own 22m. 

77mins: Smith goes left from the scrum, gives it Sopoaga, he throws the dummy and looks to go through but Gordon makes a great tackle and forces the knock on.

76mins: Smith fires it to Li off the back of the five-metre scrum but Beale makes a great tackle before the second-five knocks on in an attempted intercept.

74mins: Sopoaga tries stepping his way through before Naholo charges onto a flat ball. Frizell could be over for the try but we'll go upstairs and have a look. He looks to be over for mine, but TMO says he's short. Highlanders do get the penalty however and Ryan is shown the yellow card for playing it from an offside position. 

72mins: Hemopo wins the lineout and Squire sets off on another strong run up the middle. Li gets it out wide, cuts back inside and the Highlanders are just five metres out.

70mins: Waratahs looking dangerous once again, making their way towards the try line. Highlanders are offside and concede the penalty. Foley slots the penalty and the Tahs extend their lead.

67mins: Highlanders too eager at the scrum and concede the free-kick. They look a bit lost at the moment but do welcome back Naholo to the fold. Foley goes high and it's Naholo who can't control it and knocks on.

65mins: Highlanders putitng it through the phases, going up the middle through their forwards. Waratahs holding firm however and are awarded the penalty at the breakdown.

63mins: Sopoaga throws the dummy before putting Thompson in a half a hole, he fires it wide to Li before the Highlanders come back inside.

61mins: WARATAHS TRY: FOLEY: Folau cuts through the Highlanders defence! He steps two before finding Phibbs on his inside, he switches direction right and gives it to Foley and he's in for his second try! Waratahs take the lead.

58mins: Foley's kick is in touch but not in the stands so Highlanders go quickly for Squire to charge and charge he does. Lentjes gets it on the left wing but is tackled into touch.

56mins: WARATAHS TRY - FOLAU: Beale gets the ball off the back of a turnover, spots a gap and he's through! He's got support inside and outside him, gives it to Folau and the fullback's in for the try. Game on!

54mins: WARATAHS TRY - FOLEY: Highlanders concede another penalty and this time the Tahs take the quick tap. They're only five metres out, Beale gets it, shows it, steps, rides the tackle and offloads to Foley and he's in under the sticks for the try.

52mins: Kepu makes a great run up inside the Highlanders 22m and Naholo is shown yellow for a high tackle on the prop. Tahs opt for the lineout.

51mins: Whitelock has a run from the back of the scrum before Hemopo goes close. Highlanders just a metre out, Smith tries to fire it wide for Naholo but Naiyaravoro intercepts and runs 30 metres before being dragged down.

49mins: Waratahs under all sorts of pressure on their own try line, Phipps looks to clear but it goes straight into his own player and the Highlanders will have the scrum.

47mins: Rona almost goes through but Lienert-Brown does well to hang on to drag him down. He then takes out Beale without the ball concedes the penalty.

45mins: Highanders win the lineout and begin to drive. Tahs defend it well but the visitors still have it. Thompson tries the grubber through but Phipps cleans up.

43mins: Highlanders putting it through the hands quickly before going to Li but he leaves it behind and the Waratahs turn it over and are eventually bundled into touch just five out from the try line.

41mins: We're back underway and Sopoaga takes in the kick-off before clearing up field towards the Highlanders 10m.


40mins: Naholo does well to clean up Foley's grubber kick through and Smith clears up to the 10m. Fitzpactrick's throw is a poor once again and it comes the Highlanders way. Ben Smith decides against running and kicks it out to took us into the break.

38mins: Naiyaravoro runs over the top of Sopoaga but the ball's stolen away from him before the Highlanders first-five throws a forward pass and the Tahs will have the scrum.

36mins: Waratahs do well to get up and steal the lineout ball, they kick through and chase well, forcing Naholo to hold onto the ball too long and concede the penalty. Fitzpatrick goes long with the lineout throw but it's not straight.

34mins: Highlanders demolish the Waratahs scrum, have the advantage so Smith puts the grubber through for Naholo but Naiyaravoro's there first. We'll come back for the penalty and Sopoaga slots the easy three.

32mins: Waratahs put the shove in at the scrum but the ball comes for Naholo and the Highlanders knock on just as it looked like Thompson was in for his second try. Some concern for Wells after he came off second best in a tackle. Stretcher has come out but Wells is back to his feet and is walking off. Great to see.

30mins: Hanigan collapses a promising Highlanders maul and is penalised. Sopoaga finds touch around the Tahs 22m for an attacking lineout. 

28mins: Sopoaga fires a long cutout pass to Naholo and he's in space down the right wing, gives it to Smith on the inside before getting back. Sopoaga tries the cross-field kick but it goes into touch.

26mins: HIGHLANDERS TRY - THOMPSON: Sopoaga does well to hold the ball, puts Walden in a hole, he finds Walden before offloading to Thompson, who cuts back inside and runs in under the sticks for the try.

24mins: Waratahs really struggling at the breakdown so Miller picks the ball up from the ruck and starts pumping the legs but Smith and Naholo combine to tackle him into touch.

22mins: Waratahs try putting it through the hands quickly but the Highlanders defence are up to it, holding firmly. Fitzpatrick's put into a gaping hole, finds Rona, he offloads to Hanigan and they're just 10 out but concede another penalty at the breakdown.

19mins: Folau looks to step out of the tackle but is forced to go to ground before Whitelock gets right up on him to force the penalty. Sopoaga slots the easy three.

17mins: Franklin gets up to win the lineout ball but Sopoaga's no-look pass goes to nobody before eventually turning it over.

15mins: We're struggling to get a scrum but it eventually comes for Foley before he gives it to a charging Naiyaravoro on his inside. Waratahs penalised for not releasing the ball.

13mins: Highlanders looking to play it out of their own 22m. Waratahs look to turn it over at the breakdown but concede the penalty for not rolling away.

11mins: HIGHLANDERS TRY - NAHOLO: Thompson makes a strong run up the middle. Sopoaga shows the ball and he's straight through! He's got Naholo outside him, draws the defender in and gives it to the winger and he's in for the try.

9mins: Thompson takes in the restart but the Tahs are over him and the Highlanders centre is penalised for not releasing. Foley lines up another shot at the posts and slots it through.

7mins: Highlanders looking to square things up and Sopoaga will lineup the shot at goal about 40 out. He hits it well and it goes straight down the middle.

5mins: Highlanders putting it through the phases, making metres up the middle through their forwards. Holloway concedes the penalty for not rolling way. 

3mins: Waratahs making in roads into the Highlanders defence and are awarded the penalty as Lentjes is pinged for offside. Foley slots the easy three and the Tahs strike first.

1mins: We're underway and it's starts with an error from Foley as his kick-off doesn't go the 10 and we'll have a scrum.

10:05pm: Players making their way out onto the field. Just moments away from kick-off, here's hoping for a tighter contest than the one we just had in Christchurch.

10:00pm: The Waratahs beat the Highlanders earlier in the season, but that win was marred by the red card given to Tevita Nabura for his karate kick.

9:55pm: Thanks for joining for part two of tonight's double header as the Highlanders look to become the third Kiwi team to book their spot in the Super Rugby semi-finals.

Kia ora and welcome to Sydney as the Highlanders take on the Waratahs in the third Super Rugby quarter-final of the 2018 playoffs.

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

Commentary will start at 9:55pm.


15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Jackson Hemopo, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Ask Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Matt Faddes.

15 Israel Folau, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley (c), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Will Miller, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.

Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Cam Clark, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

Match officials
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referees:Nic Berry, Will Houston
TMO:George Ayoub

Previous results
19 May 2018 Waratahs v Highlanders 41-12 Sydney
27 May 2017 Waratahs v Highlanders 28-44 Dunedin
18 Mar 2016 Waratahs v Highlanders 26-30 Sydney
27 Jun 2015 Semi Waratahs v Highlanders 17-35 Sydney
14 Mar 2015 Waratahs v Highlanders 19-26 Dunedin

Highlanders $1.57 Waratahs $2.40

Pre-match banter: Refreshed Highlanders ready for playoff run to begin with win over Waratahs

Influential All Blacks backs Ben and Aaron Smith are back in a refreshed Highlanders side to face the Waratahs in their Super Rugby quarter-final.

Coach Aaron Mauger has made six starting changes for Saturday's clash in Sydney from the makeshift side which finished the regular season with a 43-37 home win over the Melbourne Rebels.

Mauger wanted to rest key figures who have endured a heavy workload to prepare them for the Australian conference champions.

Veteran fullback and co-captain Ben Smith is a leading light in their counter- attacking style while halfback Aaron Smith dictates the speed of their game and is a lethal tactical kicker.

Also back is outside centre Rob Thompson, one of their big improvers this season, along with regular first-choice forwards Luke Whitelock, Tom Franklin and Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Whitelock's return pushes Liam Squire to the side of the scrum, leaving Mauger to include two All Blacks test blindside flankers - Shannon Frizell and Elliot Dixon - on his reserve bench.


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