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Highlanders 20 - 42 Sharks
That's full time! Sharks put together a clinical performance to thrash the Highlanders in game one of their season.
80min - TRY - Sharks - they seal the deal with a lovely counter-attack try. The Highlanders go for the intercept, they knock it on and the ball goes to Aphelele Fassi who scores another. Kick is wide.
74min - TRY - Highlanders, lovely work from Teariki Ben-Nicholas, a kick in behind and he taps the ball from going out - to the hands of Michael Collins and he scores. Kick is charged.
73min - TRY - Sharks, that should be all she wrote now, a little lucky - Aphelele Fassi grabs the ball after a mistake from Nareki, it goes between his hands and off his foot, he gathers and scores. Kick is good.
71min - Huge scrum on their own 10m line from the Sharks, they win a penalty and will clear for touch.
69min - From the lineout- Thomson knocks the ball on.
68min - Lovely from the hosts, they make a break through Parkinson and Nareki - they win a penalty and they kick for touch - 5m out.
67min - Highlanders win a penalty and kick for touch.
65min - The Highlanders are throwing everything at the visitors here, looking for a way back in.
61min - TRY - Highlanders, very nice from Mitch Hunt - a simple cross field kick and Nareki is waiting for the catch, he beats a man and scores. Kick is wide.
59min - The Highlanders win another penalty at the scrum, they opt for the scrum.
58min - A rare penalty at the scrum from the Highlanders, they kick for the corner and lose the ball in the lineout - throw was not straight too.
54min - The Landers win a penalty and kick for the corner, but once again the Highlanders can't convert a lineout. Sharks clear.
47min - TRY - Highlanders. Dillon Hunt scores, Nareki charges forward off the lineout, the Landers recycle and Hunt goes over. Kick is good.
44min - Another penalty against the Highlanders and the Sharks add three more. Highlanders 3 - 30 Sharks.
41min - Back underway for the second half.
That is half time and the home side has it all to do in the second 40.
39min - TRY - Sharks, off the lineout, the Highlanders try a backline move, it's a little off, and they knock it on, it falls to Madosh Tambwe who offloads it to Mapimpi who has his second. Fantastic counter-attacking rugby. Kick is good. Highlanders 3 - 27 Sharks.
35min - TRY - Sharks. They strike again, lineouts are terrible at the mo for the hosts, the Sharks cut through and Makazole Mapimpi scores again- lovely. Kick is good. Highlanders 3 - 20 Sharks.
31min - TRY - Sharks, it comes from nowhere, the Highlanders spill a kick and the Sharks pounce, an offload to Sikumbuzo Notshe who flies in to score. Kick is good. Highlanders 3 - 13 Sharks.
29min - Another really nice move from the Highlanders, they get to 10m out and then Ioane knocks the ball on.
27min - Lovely from Hunt, a cross field kick, it's taken and the Highlanders go for another huge cut out pass... once again, it's nearly intercepted - another knock on.
25min - The Sharks win another penalty and will kick for three. It's good.
23min - Incorrect entry and another penalty, this time it's against the Highlanders - the Sharks will clear.
21min - Another penalty around halfway for the Highlanders, they kick for touch again.
19min - Another poor lineout from Coltman, the Sharks gather and clear.
18min - Massive work at the breakdown from Lentjes, he gets over the ball and will give them a chance to kick for the corner.
17min - Highlanders looks very good with ball in hand, throwing the ball and keeping their hands on it.
13min - The Highlanders aren't scared to throw the pill here, Mapimpi nearly steals an intercept but knocks the ball on, the Landers need to be careful with that cutout pass.
12min - Another penalty for the Sharks and they will take the shot at goal - it's good. Highlanders 3 - 3 Sharks.
10min - Great back line move from the Landers, they come up short but Lentjes is penalised at the breakdown - the Sharks will clear, but it's not out.
7min - Another penalty at scrum time, du Toit again, Highlanders kick for touch.
6min - A penalty at scrum time by the Shark and the Highlanders will kick for goal - it's good, Highlanders 3 - 0 Sharks.
2min - A bad throw from the lineout and the Sharks are just 15m out, but the penalty comes at the breakdown, great work from Hunt - Landers penalty, they kick for touch.
2min - A stab kick in behind from Bosch and the Sharks have some good field position.
1min - We are underway.
7:01pm - Both sides running out now, the Landers' first game of the season is moments away.
Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage as the Highlanders host the Sharks from Forsyth Barr in Dunedin.
TAB Odds: Highlanders $1.46 Sharks $2.70
Pre-match chat: Highlanders name twin playmakers in youthful backline
The departures of Ben Smith and Waisake Naholo has seen a rethink at the Highlanders.
Coach Aaron Mauger has named a youthful backline for their Super Rugby season-opener against the Sharks in Dunedin on Friday.
All Blacks first-five-in-waiting Josh Ioane will start at second-five, allowing a Highlanders No.10 debut for Mitch Hunt, who has travelled south from the Crusaders.
Selecting the two talented pivots in the starting XV suggests the Highlanders brains trust are keen on dual playmakers to run a backline rich with gamebreakers.
All Blacks stalwart Aaron Smith starts at halfback, with explosive Rob Thompson selected at centre.
Former sevens star Jona Nareki and powerful Tasman ball-runner Tima Fainga'anuku start on the wings, with Josh McKay beating out Michael Collins for the No.15 jersey.
World Cup All Black Shannon Frizell is on a minutes restriction, meaning a start off the bench for the loose forward powerhouse.
Exciting No.8 Marino Mikaele Tu'u will start alongside skipper Jame Lentjes and one-test All Black Dillon Hunt in the loose forwards.
Liam Coltman has won the hooker berth ahead of Ash Dixon, while former Chiefs second-rower Jesse Parete will make his HIghlanders debut off the bench, with Paripari Parkinson and Josh Dickson locking the scrum.
Highlanders: 1-Ayden Johnstone, 2-Liam Coltman, 3-Siate Tokolahi, 4-Paripari Parkinson, 5-Josh Dixon, 6-Dillon Hunt, 7-James Lentjes, 8-Marino Mikaele Tu'u, 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Mitch Hunt, 11-Jona Nareki, 12-Josh Ioane, 13-Rob Thompson, 14-Tima Fainga'anuku, 15-Josh McKay
Reserves: 16-Ash Dixon, 17-Daniel Liernert-Brown, 18-Josh Iosefa-Scott, 19-Jesse Parete, 20-Shannon Frizell, 21-Kayne Hamington, 22-Michael Collins, 23-Teariki Ben-Nicholas
Sharks: 1-Ox Nche, 2-Kerron van Vuuren, 3-Thomas du Toit, 4-Ruben van Heerden, 5-Hyron Andrews, 6-James Venter, 7-Tyler Paul, 8-Sikumbuzo Notshe, 9-Louis Schreuder, 10-Curwin Bosch, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 12-Andre Esterhuizen, 13-Lukhanyo Am, 14-Madosh Tambwe, 15-Aphelele Fassi
Reserves: 16-Craig Burden, 17-Juan Schoeman, 18-John-Hubert Meyer, 19-Le Roux Roets, 20-Henco Venter, 21-Sanele Nohamba, 22-Boeta Chamberlain, 23-Jeremy Ward