Highlanders 31 Chiefs 31 (Please refresh your browser for latest score)
Fulltime: What a finish! The Chiefs rumble down field with ease and the Landers look out on their feet....but Stephenson losses the ball forward in the tackle and Josh McKay is away but great cover from McKenzie breaks down the movemnen....Hamington from the scrum fires the ball over the sideline with Tavita Li unmarked!!! Game is over. What a superb contest.....really enjoyable game with the Chiefs winning the final 20 mins 19-3.
79mins - TRY CHIEFS - Angus Ta'avao: Wow! Luke Jacobson outstanding from the kickoff. The Chiefs pile on the pressure and gi close multiple times...eventually Ta;avao crashes over next to the posts....McKenzie converts. 30 secs to play. 31-31.
78mins - PENALTY GOAL HIGHLANDERS: Josh Ioane makes no mistake. HIG 31-24.
77mins - Another penalty. This time Whitelock says "three-points please" and Ioane with have a shot from in front.
76mins - Huge scrum from the Highlanders wins them a crucial penalty. With points on offer they opt for touch.....10m out.
75mins - Not good signs for Ben Smith. Took a heavy knock to the head and looks like he has a knee injury to boot.
73mins - Long period of play as the two sides fight for field position. Highlanders have the ball now on halfway but the Chiefs defending well. Ben Smith hammered by Jacobson...looked an okay tackle...but Jacobson's head made contact with Smith's jaw...doesn't look good for the ABs fullback.
69mins - TRY CHIEFS - Tyler Ardron: Try of the game. Jacobson on the edge finds a sweet offload to ALB who is away down the left...ALB with an inside pass to Ardron who runs away from the defence to score a crucial try. Converted by McKenzie. HIG 28-24.
66mins - Chiefs attack from the scrum - Shaun Stevenson makes space but is bundled over the touchline on halfway....but the Chiefs win the lineout.
64mins - Chiefs with all the ball but they can't break halfway. Ben Smith knocks the ball on competing for a loose ball and the Chiefs have a scrum just inside their own half.
59mins - TRY CHIEFS - Angus Ta'avao: Great set-piece try. Weber gets the ball back from the lineout..he finds Harris down the tram-lines..great tackle from Aaron Smith but Harris gets the inside ball away to Ta'avao who scores in the corner. Not converted. HIG 28-17.
58mins - Chiefs with all the possesion the last five or so minutes but not making much impact. Eventually the win a penalty and theu have a lineout 22m out.
52mins - TRY HIGHLANDERS - James Lentjes: Too much pressure. 13th phase..Smith with a huge wide pass finds Lentjes unmarked outwide and he crashes over. Superb pass from Smith beat three defenders. Hemapo is back on. Ioane converts from out wide again..the young fella is making his name tonight. he has been brilliant. HIG 28-12.
51mins - Chiefs rush defence is cut open by Ioane...he makes it as far as the 22 before Stevenson makes the tackle. Highlanders looking to wrap this up here. . through 8 phases....5m out.
49mins - Chiefs with a solid period of possesion...McKenzie stabs the ball through the defensive line but Manu is in front of the kicker...Penalty Landers on their own 22. Hemapo off injured.
46mins - TRY HIGHLANDERS - Matt Faddes: The pressure pays off as Aaron Smith goes short side at the ruck and finds Faddes with a ridiculous pass....Faddes bounces off Nanai-Seturo to score. Ioane adds the two from the sideline...great effort that. HIG 21-12.
44mins - Parete rips the ball away from the lineout drive - Elliot Dixon gets isolated but then Parate then loses the ball forward in contact and it's a scrum 5m for the Landers.
42mins -Highlanders opt for the lineout again and they have another advantage...Chiefs defence holding up but the Landers looking dangerous. Another lineout 5m coming.
Second-Half: Ioane gets the game back underway and the Chiefs make a mess of it. Highlanders straight on attack and have a penalty advantage..5m out.
43mins - Highlanders defend well and win a penalty...Smith clears and that's halftime. Great half. Be back in 10m.
40mins - Chiefs break out and ALB is taken high. They kick for touch and will have a chance to add to theor score here in added on time.
38mins - Highlanders on attack but Hemapo loses the ball in contact...Chiefs try to break out under advantage but ALB's pass is intercepted by Whitelock. Scrum Chiefs inside their own 22.
33mins - TRY CHIEFS - Luke Jacobson: McKenzie puts Tumua Manu in a gap - Chiefs must score.. he finds Nanai-Seturo but great cover from Faddes....reset from the Chiefs and Jacobson shoots down the blindside and powers over for a Chiefs try. McKenzie can't convert. HIGH 14-12.
31mins - Chiefs are well set defending that lineout drive and they hold the ball up to earn a defensive scrum. Nice drive from the Highlanders but they couldn't get the ball out.
30mins - Highlanders earn a scrum penalty - Moli collapsing the scrum against the impressive Tyrell Lomax. The Landers opt for the attacking lineout over sure fire points and it's a great touch finder from Ioane. Lineout 5m.
28mins - Chiefs have lost Michael Allardice and Lachlan Boshier to injury.
27mins - Chiefs clear the lines through Weber despite a great scrum from the Highlanders.
25mins - Comes to nothing. That was a great period of play - Chiefs look dangerous but can't find the key pass. Highlanders fantastic on the counter attack but they can't convert that pressure - Walden mis-handling 5m out.
24mins - Marty McKenzie through a gaping hole inside Highlanders territory but he can't link up...Highlanders break out through Aaron Smith, Hemapo and Coltman. Hot on attack here the Highlanders.
20mins - TRY HIGHLANDERS - Ben Smith: The skipper benefits from great build up work from his side. Franklin and Coltman go close on the pick 'n go bit it's Smith who goes over with the quick recycle. Converted by Ioane. HIG 14-7.
19mins - Highlanders attack again. Ioane with a chip kick inside his own half and he collects and is away...brought down by Alaimalo. Highlanders playing under an advantage and they are almost there.....
17mins - Great defensive scrum from the Chiefs - the Highlanders looking for a push over but the Chiefs scrum is too good. Dixon from the back is hammered by Weber and Boshier and the Landers are pinged for sealing the ball off.
15mins - Franklin goes close from the pick n' go but Tumua Manu looks to have got underneath him. Yep, scrum 5m for the Highlanders. that was excellent rugby from the Highlanders - working the ball from a midfield scrum on halfway with hard running and quick ball.
14mins - Highlanders hot on attack - great ball retention as they hit 12 phases. 5m out.
9mins - TRY CHIEFS - Brad Weber: Superb try. Boshier with an inside pass close to the defensive line finds Ardron who is in a hole. The big Canadian runs through to the 30m, draw and pass finds Weber, who runs away to score. Converted. 7-7.
6mins - TRY HIGHLANDERS - Josh Ioane: Too easy. They fake te drive from the lineout and Elliot Dixon powers ahead...5m out. The ball comes to the right and Ioane breaks a tackle and dives over. Try converted. HIG 7-0.
5mins - Highlanders on the attack - inside the 22 now, good workk from Aaron and ben Smity and they win a penalty. They opt for the lineout.
3mins - Lucky break for the Highlanders. Thompson trying to create for the Highlanders, his offload goes astray and he toes the ball ahead...and again..he collects and it appears ALB has scored. TMO has a look but has found a knock on against ALB. Thompson's pass was propelled forward from ALB's wrist.
2mins - A game of force back is eventually won by the Chiefs. Marty McKenzie finds touch on the Landers 22.
Kick-off: Players and officials are out and ready for action - Smith clears to their own 40m line off the kick-off.
7:28pm - In case you missed it, here's the wrap from the Hurricanes sketchy win against the Rebels.
7:22pm - Massive marbles on the line tonight - a win for the Chiefs will keep their slight playoff chances alive, while the Highlanders can create distance between themselves and the Blues, while they could also end up with the equal third best record in the tournament if the get the nuts.
Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Super Rugby clash between the Highlanders and the Chiefs from Forsyth Barr.
TAB Odds: Highlanders $1.23 Chiefs $4.05
Pre-game chat: Ben Smith returns for Highlanders clash against Chiefs
The Highlanders welcome back co-captain Ben Smith for their crucial clash against the Chiefs in Dunedin on Saturday.
Smith was rested during the Highlanders 52-0 thrashing against the Sunwolves in Tokyo last weekend, as part of the All Blacks welfare policy.
His return means Matt Faddes moves to the right wing to replace Patelesio Tomkinson in the only changes to the Highlanders starting side 15.
On the bench, Ayden Johnstone replaces Sef Fa'agase, while Josh McKay comes on for Bryn Gatland, who has been ruled out for the season with a foot injury. Tomkinson is also on the reserves, taking the spot of Dillon Hunt.
Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger anticipates another tough encounter.
"Typically, your NZ conference games are fiercely contested," he said. "That was certainly the case earlier in the season against the Chiefs, so we are expecting nothing less from this game."
The Highlanders beat the Chiefs 30-27 in their season in February and head into the rematch on a two-game win streak, while the Chiefs have lost their last two.
Highlanders: 1-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2-Liam Coltman, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Jackson Hemopo, 5-Tom Franklin, 6-Luke Whitelock (cc), 7-James Lentjes, 8-Elliot Dixon, 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Josh Ioane, 11-Tevita Li, 12-Teihorangi Walden, 13-Rob Thompson, 14-Matt Faddes, 15-Ben Smith (cc)
Reserves: 16-Ash Dixon, 17-Ayden Johnstone, 18-Siate Tokolahi, 19-Josh Dickson, 20-Shannon Frizell, 21-Kayne Hammington, 22-Josh McKay, 23- Patelesio Tomkinson
Chiefs: 1-Atu Moli, 2-Nathan Harris, 3-Nepo Laulala, 4-Michael Allardice, 5-Mitchell Brown, 6-Luke Jacobson, 7-Lachlan Boshier, 8-Tyler Ardron, 9-Brad Weber, 10-Marty McKenzie, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12-Anton Lienert-Brown, 13-Tumua Manu, 14-Sean Wainui, 15-Solomon Alaimalo
Reserves: 16-Liam Polwart, 17- Ryan Coxon, 18- Angus Ta’avao, 19- Jesse Parete, 20- Taleni Seu, 21-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22- Shaun Stevenson23- Bailyn Sullivan