Super Rugby 2019 live: Crusaders v Highlanders in Christchurch

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Crusaders 38 - 14 Highlanders

Full-time: That's it in Christchurch - just too good in the second half and the champions march on - with a clinical display over the Landers - stay tuned for the match wrap. 

80 min: Josh Ioane makes a huge break but is taken down 20m out. 

78 min: Knock on from Crusaders and the Highlanders look to counter. 

77 min: Crusaders scrum just 30m out - can they score another? and make it four straight tries. 

76 min: Pretty much just a game of scrag now - both team kicking back to each other and are waiting for the time to run out. 

74 min: The Crusaders are just six minutes away from yet another semi-final. What a second half display from the lads in red.

71 min: The Highlanders win a penalty and will look to get the last laugh against a very very good Crusaders side. 

69 min: TRY - Crusaders, just relentless from the hosts - and Mo'unga gathers a kick and scores the final blow. Kick is good.  Crusaders 38 - 14 Highlanders.

66 min: Sloppy from both sides as the Highlanders need a miracle here. 

60 min: Penalty called against the Highlanders after Tom Franklin swore at the ref. 

59 min: Forward pass called on Aaron Smith and that ends the movement.

58 min: Penalty won by the Highlanders as they look to hit back - they desperately need points. 

55 min: TRY - Crusaders, massive from the Crusaders - another lineout drive and Michael Alaalatoa scores. Kick is good. Crusaders 31 - 14 Highlanders.

54 min: Penalty for the Crusaders off the scrum - they will kick for touch.

53 min: Scrum called for the Crusaders - they have looked to have taken it up a notch. 

50 min: Massive break by Mo'unga who makes a break and chips the ball forward - it falls to the Landers and Ben Smith kicks for touch. 

48 min: TRY - Crusaders, far too easy for the huge pack of the Crusaders, they drive through in the lineout and Whetu Douglas scores. Kick is good. Crusaders 24 - 14 Highlanders.

46 min: Massive 10 mins now for the Landers with a man down. 

43 min: No attempt to wrap is the call against Liam Squire and he is sent to the bin for a no arms tackle. 

43 min: Mistake from Ioane who doesn't kick the ball out on the penalty. Crusaders charge now. 

42 min: Liam Coltman makes a huge turnover and the Landers clear - Hemopo wins a penalty on half time - a massvie momentum shift. 

41 min: Huge start to the half from the Crusaders who go within 5m before the Highlanders clear. 

41 min: Kick off for the second-half - it's one of these teams final 40 minutes of the season! Lets go. 

Half time - what a cracker of a first half. The Highlanders are right in this one and will have the Crusaders thinking about their ball handling and error rate , this should come down to the wire. 

41 min: The Crusaders have one last scrum in the first half - they lose it and Smith kicks it out.

39 min: Great defence from the Highlanders and they force a mistake - scrum Highlanders.

36 min: TRY - Highlanders, simple yet so effective , Aaron Smith throws a bullet to Walden and he beats Goodhue and dives over. Kick is good. Crusaders 17 -14 Highlanders.

34 min: Held up there the Highlanders, good attack but great defence - anther 5m scrum, Landers feed. 

32 min: Very close again for the Highlanders, sloppy defence from the Crusaders and the visitors will have a 5m scrum - need a try here. 

31 min: David Havili kicks for touch and the Highlanders will have a line out - Ben Smith took a huge knock but wont go off for an HIA.

28 min: TRY - Crusaders, magical from the Crusaders - George Bridge gets the move underway he finds an offload to Dougals and he passes it to Mo'unga who scores. Kick is good. Crusaders 17 - 7 Highlanders. 

27 min: The Crusaders go close but can't seem to link on the final pass - the Highlanders clear into touch and the Crusaders will have a lineout. 

25 min: Knock on called on the visitors and the Crusaders will have a scrum. 

22 min: TRY - Crusaders, weird defence from the Highlanders - the Saders move the ball and Mo'unga finds David Havili for an easy try under the sticks. Kick is good. Crusaders 10 - 7 Highlanders. 

21 min: The Crusaders have a scrum in a good position - they win a penalty off the scrum and will kick for touch. 

17 min: TRY - Highlanders, gorgeous try - a great backline move, Josh Ioane gets the ball and beats one before giving the ball to Ben Smith who hands it to Sio Tomkinson who scores. Kick is good. Crusaders 3 - 7 Highlanders 

15 min: Really good from the Landers - a cross field kick from them sees Naholo in some space - but he steps out, really good move.

15 min: A mistake from the Landers and the Crusaders get the ball and clear. 

14 min: Another penalty for the Highlanders, this time they kick for touch. 

11 min: Really nice start from the Highlanders - throwing everything at the Saders, penalty won by the visitors and will kick for the points. It hits the post. Crusaders 3 - 0 Highlanders. 

10 min: Crotty turns the ball over for the Crusaders but the Landers get the ball back and are on the attack. 

8 min: Mistake from Codie Taylor - the throw wasn't straight, Landers scrum. 

6 min: The Highlanders go very close, they are awarded a try but they go upstairs and it's overruled. Penalty to the Crusaders.  

5 min: Free kick won from the Lander and they are 10m out.

4 min: Mistake from Bryn Hall, off side at the ruck and the Highlanders will have a scrum. Big moment for the visitors here. 

2 min: Penalty won by the Crusaders after an intentional knock on - kick for goal is the call. It's good. Crusaders 3 - 0 Highlanders.

1 min: Crazy start - really frantic from both sides and lots of big hits. 

1 min: Kick off here in Christchurch

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Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's coverage of the Super Rugby quarter final between the Crusaders and the Highlanders from Christchurch. 

TAB Odds: Crusaders $ 1.12  Highlanders $6.30

Super Rugby 2019 live: Crusaders v Highlanders in Christchurch

Pre-match banter: Ben Smith returns for Highlanders quarter-final against Crusaders

Ben Smith's timing is as immaculate as ever for the Highlanders, who have included the fit-again All Blacks fullback in their team to face the Crusaders in the Super Rugby quarter-finals.

Smith has recovered from the hamstring injury that threatened to prematurely end his Highlanders career and will start in Friday's match in Christchurch.

The 33-year-old's 152nd Super Rugby match against the Chiefs seven weeks ago seemed to be his last, as the Highlanders stumbled over the closing rounds.

Super Rugby 2019 live: Crusaders v Highlanders in Christchurch

But a thumping 49-12 win over the Waratahs in the final round last week and some favourable results elsewhere handed them the eighth and lowest playoff spot, and an unenviable assignment to topple the top-qualifying Crusaders.

Smith, who has signed for French club Pau next season, is co-captain of a Highlanders team at close to full strength.

Seven All Blacks feature in the starting XV, including flanker Liam Squire, who has impressed in his two appearances, since overcoming long-term injury problems.

Crusaders: 1-Joe Moody, 2-Codie Taylor, 3-Owen Franks, 4-Scott Barrett, 5-Sam Whitelock, 6-Whetu Douglas, 7-Matt Todd, 8-Kieran Read, 9-Bryn Hall, 10-Richie Mo'unga, 11-George Bridge, 12-Ryan Crotty, 13-Jack Goodhue, 14-Sevu Reece, 15-David Havili

Reserves: 16-Andrew Makalio, 17-Tim Perry, 18-Michael Alaalatoa, 19-Luke Romano, 20-Jordan Taufua, 21-Mitchell Drummond, 22-Mitch Hunt, 23-Braydon Ennor

Highlanders: 1-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2-Liam Coltman, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4-Jackson Hemopo, 5-Tom Franklin, 6-Liam Squire, 7-James Lentjes, 8-Luke Whitelock (co-capt), 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Josh Ioane, 11-Tavita Li, 12-Patelesio Tomkinson, 13-Rob Thompson, 14-Waisake Naholo, 15-Ben Smith (co-capt),

Reserves: 16-Ash Dixon, 17-Sef Fa'agase, 18-Siate Tokolahi, 19-Josh Dickson, 20-Shannon Frizell, 21-Kayne Hammington, 22-Marty Banks, 23-Elliot Dixon

 

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