Live updates: Super Rugby Aotearoa - Highlanders v Chiefs from Forsyth Barr Stadium

Highlanders 23    Chiefs 26

Chiefs 26 (Nanai-Seturo, Ta'avao tries, McKenzie 2 conversions, 4 penalty goals)

Highlanders 23 (Lentjes, Smith, Ione tries, Hunt penalty goal, Ioane conversion, penalty goal)

Click here for full match wrap and highlights.

Full time 

84 mins - Penalty goal to Chiefs to McKenzie

Big, big moment. From the 22 metre drop out, Frizell takes the ball into contact on halfway but Lienert-Brown wins a huge breakdown penalty. 

McKenzie will have a second opportunity to win it with a penalty goal right on halfway. 

He nails it to win it for the Chiefs. What a kick!!

83 mins

From the scrum, the Highlanders go wide to hunt who is brought down 15 metres out. Two phases later, Ioane drops back in the pocket, right in front but he misses the drop goal. 

82 mins

After nine phases, Jona Nareki puts a surprising kick into touch on the Chiefs 22. 

At the lineout, there is an early jump from the Chiefs and the home side will have a scrum. Big opportunity. 

81 mins

The Highlanders get the first opportunity to attack just inside the Chiefs half. 


We are underway for golden point! It's the first time to score to decide who wins this contest. Ioane gets us back underway.

80 mins 

The Chiefs win the ball back from the kickoff and build their attack just short of the home sides 22. After eight phases McKenzie drops back into the pocket and has a drop-goal attempt but slices it to the left. 

From the 22-metre dropout, the Chiefs win a penalty right on halfway and as the siren goes. 

McKenzie will have a shot at goal to win it. From right on halfway he misses it and we will have golden point.

76 mins - Penalty goal Highlanders to Josh Ioane 

Great attacking play from the Highlanders that sees Hunt go just metres short. Smith gets fast-ball and Frizell who makes a strong charge and forces Jacobson to give away the breakdown penalty. 

Ioane will have a shot at the goal to level the scores from right in front and he nails it. (23-23)

74 mins 

A big moment for the home side who disrupt a defensive lineout from the Chiefs just outside the visitors 22 and force a knock on. 

Scrum to the Highlanders on the 22-metre line. 

71 mins - Try Highlanders to Josh Ioane

The Highlanders work a perfect lineout maul that goes down inches short of the line. Smith gets fast ball with the Chiefs defence shot to bits and Ioane crashes over next to the posts. 

He converts his own try to set us up for a grandstand finish. (CHI 23-20)

68 mins

The Highlanders finally get their opportunity to attack, with Ioane making a strong run before offloading to Punivai who in turns looks to offload but only finds Chiefs replacement Nankivell. At the breakdown Renton wins a crucial penalty and Hunt gives his side a lineout five metres out. 

65 mins

The game is definitely swinging into the home side favour. McKenzie puts a high kick up that Hunt can't handle to give the Chiefs a scrum just inside the home sides half. 

From the scrum, Weber puts a perfect touch finder in to give the home side a lineout just five metres short of their own line. 

62 mins - TRY Chiefs to Angus Ta'avao

The Chiefs are on fire. A great offload from Jacobson finds Lienert-Brown who sprints down to inside the 22 where he offloads to Weber who is brought down just metres short. Three phases later, McKenzie delivers a short ball to Angus Ta'avao who crashes over. 

McKenzie converts the try. (CHI 23-13)

59 mins 

From a lineout, the home side goes wide straight away where Gregory makes a great back downfield to the Chiefs 22 where he is just brought down. In contact, he looks to offload but knocks the ball on. 

57 mins - Penalty goal Chiefs to McKenzie

The Chiefs respond well after conceding points. Lowe puts a great high kick in that lands short of the home sides 22. Hunt tries to crawl along the ground but gives away the penalty for a double movement. 

McKenzie will look to give his side the lead again with a shot at goal from 30 metres out on the angle. He nails it. (CHI 16-13)

54 mins - Penalty goal Highlanders to Hunt

From the scrum, the Chiefs look to clear through McKenzie, his forwards are lazy are advancing before the kicker has put them onside. 

Hunt will have a shot at goal from 34 metres out from basically in front and he gets this one to level the scores. (13-13)

51 mins 

The Highlanders almost worked a brilliant set play. Smith finds Hunt who comes back behind the ruck on the Chiefs 10 metre line. He puts a cross-field kick in for Punivai but he knocks it on with a clear run to the line. 

49 mins 

The Chiefs are continuing their hot start to the half with Naitoa Ah Kuoi making a mini-break before offloading to Weber who is brought down inches short. 

The visitors look to go wide but Johnstone wins a crucial breakdown penalty to ease the pressure. 

45 mins - Penalty goal Chiefs to McKenzie 

The Highlanders will want to start this half again. Hunt looks to put up a high kick but his forwards never retreated behind the kick and are called offside. 

McKenzie will have a shot at goal from 30 metres out and he strikes it sweet and nails it to re-take the lead. (CHI 13-10)

43 mins - Try Highlanders to Aaron Smith 

What a try from the Highlanders. Evans gives a great short pass to Frizell who sprints into a huge hole. He's brought down inches short but he offloads to Smith who crashes over. 

Hunt misses another kick. His radar is well and truely off tonight. (10-10)

42 mins 

The Chiefs have front foot ball just inside the Highlanders half to start the second half but Jacobson gives away a breakdown penalty. 

Hunt gives the home side a lineout just short of the 22. 

40 mins

We're back for the second half, only five points in it! Trask kicks off.

Halftime - A very even half of rugby with a lot of kicking on show as both teams tried to win field position. 

The Chiefs grabbed the games first try after six minutes when Nanai-Seturo finished acrobatically in the corner. 

The home side responded just four minutes later with a move from the training ground that saw Lentjes crash over. 

McKenzie and Hunt struggled off the tee missing simple kicks to keep the scoreboard close. We should be in for an intriguing second half. 

40 mins - Penalty goal to McKenzie

The Highlanders look to build their attack off the back of the lineout but Lienert-Brown wins a breakdown to give McKenzie a shot at goal from 45 metres out. Will it be third time lucky as the siren goes?

McKenzie makes no mistake this time around to give his side a five point lead at halftime. 

38 mins 

The Chiefs are building their attack inside the home sides half but after seven phases poor hands has let them down but it'll be a scrum. 

Weber uses his captain's challenge for a dangerous tackle on Brown and it's successful and McKenzie gives his side a lineout just 10 metres out. 

From the scrum, Trask makes a strong run. The next phase sees Tupaea carry strongly but Parkinson wins a crucial breakdown penalty. 

35 mins 

The game is really swinging in the visitor's favour. From the 22-metre dropout, McKenzie brings it back strongly again and the Highlanders give another breakdown penalty away.

McKenzie will have another shot at goal this one is much easier from right in front but he has missed it. The kickers are really struggling today and they can't complain about the conditions.

33 mins 

The Highlanders kick the ball away down to McKenzie who carries the ball back strongly to halfway where he is just brought down. At the ruck, which is messy, Bryn Evans gets trapped on the wrong side and gives away a penalty for not rolling away.

McKenzie will have a shot at goal from 53 metres out on the angle and he has the distance but misses it right. 22-metre dropout to the home side. 

30 mins 

The Highlanders ae building some nice phases of attack going from side to side before Tupou Vaa'i wins a breakdown penalty to ease the pressure. 

From the lineout, Samisoni Taukei'aho fails to throw the ball straight and it'll be a scrum on the Highlanders 22. 

28 mins 

The home side is really starting to set up camp in the Chiefs half with Lentjes making a half break. They get fast ball and Smith puts a nice grubber kick in and forces McKenzie to clear his lines down to the 10 metre line. 

25 mins 

From a defensive lineout just five metres out from the Chiefs line, Brown carries strongly but is smashed by Parkinson. The next phases sees Trask clear to just past the 22. 

The Chiefs have used their captain's challenge for the tackle on Brown but it's ruled legal and the visitors lose their challenge. 

The Highlanders look to build their attack just short of the 22 but they knock the ball on to ease the pressure. 

22 mins 

More kicking to continue the contest as both sides try to play field position. Hunt puts a high kick up to just short of the Chiefs 22 and he is blocked out by Brown who gives away a penalty for shepherding

Hunt will have a shot at goal from about 30 metres out near the righthand touch line but he misses another one. 

19 mins 

The Highlanders get an opportunity to attack from a lineout on the Chiefs 22 but they make a meal of it trying to be too clever. A bit of a let-off there. 

16 mins - NO Try Chiefs

McKenzie puts a midfield bomb up and he wins the contest in the air before offloading to Tupaea who gets down to the 22-metre line. 

Four phases later, Lienert-Brown goes inches short of the line before Aidan Ross crashes over but the referee has gone upstairs. 

The television match official has ruled it out for McKenzie knocking on when trying to regather his high kick. 

12 mins 

A lot of kicking to start this contest and it's more of the same here. The ball ends up with Garden-Bachop in his own 22 and the Highlanders fullback finds touch on halfway. 

10 mins - Try Highlanders to James Lentjes

A try straight from the training ground. From the lineout, it comes down to James Lentjes at the back of the maul. He dummies and goes down the short side where there is no Cheifs defenders and he crashes over for the Southerners first try in the opening 20 minutes this season.

Coach Tony Brown liked that one. Mitch Hunt can't convert the try (CHI 7-5)

9 mins

The Highlanders win the lineout against the throw. After two phases the Chiefs give away a breakdown penalty and Hunt gives his side a lineout 10 metres out. 

8 mins

The sides trade kicks following the try before Hunt settles things down with a touch finder on halfway. Line out to the Chiefs on halfway. 

6 mins - Try Chiefs to Etene Nanai-Seturo

The Chiefs have got the first try of the evening. They work a short side move where Tupaea is wrapped up just seven metres out. He finds a way to drop the ball back to Weber who offloads to Nanai-Seturo who finishes acrobatically in the corner.

McKenzie nails the conversion from out wide. (CHI 7-0)

4 mins 

The Chiefs win the ball back from the 22-metre dropout and build their attack inside their own half. After six phases the visitors win a penalty for Patelesio Tomkinson taking McKenzie out off the ball. Lineout to the Cheifs 22 metres out.  

2 mins 

The sides trade kicks to get us going before referee Ben O'Keefe awards a penalty for Cheifs players being in front of the kicker. Mitch Hunt will have a shot at goal from 39 metres out but right in front. 

But he misses it to the left and it will be a 22 metre drop out. Hunt must have been affected by the wind under the roof. 


We're underway! Mitch Hunt kicks off to get us going.


We're all good to go under the roof in Dunedin with both sides are out on the ground.

Chiefs flanker Mitchell Brown is celebrating his 50th Super Rugby match while the Highlanders will hope to spoil the party as they hunt their fourth straight victory against the side from Hamilton.

6:30pm - Good evening! We should be in for a treat tonight, with the opening Super Rugby Aotearoa match of the weekend. We're under the roof in Dunedin, which will hopefully translate into a good game!


Kia ora, welcome to Newshub's live updates of the Super Rugby Aotearoa clash between the Highlanders and the Chiefs, from Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Both sides come into the contest in good form, with the Highlanders riding high after their shock upset win when over the Crusaders, while the Chiefs have won two on the trot since breaking their 11-game losing streak.

The visitors sit one point behind the Highlanders in third place and six behind the Blues in second and know this is a huge game as they hunt a grand final spot.

The Chiefs will look to make it three straight, but will do so without their captain Sam Cane, who was ruled out for four to six months with a pectoral muscle injury.

Kaylum Boshier will start in the No.7 jersey in place of Cane, while Tupou Vaa'i comes in to start ahead of Samipeni Finau, who drops to the bench.

Boshier is preferred to older brother Lachlan, who'll return from a foot injury in Taranaki club rugby, while the exciting duo of Etene Nanai-Seturo and Jonah Lowe start on the wings, with Shaun Stevenson moving to the bench.

The Highlanders have welcomed back two of six suspended players as they look to hunt down the Blues.

Patelesio Tomkinson is back to start at centre for Tony Brown's side, while Josh Ioane will come off the bench.

Scott Gregory moves from the wing into second-five, with Thomas Umaga-Jensen out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury.

Aaron Smith starts as co-captain from halfback, after the impressive Folau Fakatava also had his season ended by a knee injury.

James Lentjes and Josh Hohneck start at openside flanker and tighthead prop respectively, replacing Billy Harmon and Siate Tokolahi.

Highlanders: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Ash Dixon (cc), 3-Josh Hohneck, 4-Bryn Evans, 5-Paripari Parkinson, 6-Shannon Frizell, 7-James Lentjes, 8-Kazuki Himeno, 9-Aaron Smith (cc), 10-Mitch Hunt, 11-Jona Nareki, 12-Scott Gregory, 13-Patelesio Tomkinson, 14-Ngatungane Punivai, 15-Connor Garden-Bachop

Reserves: 16-Liam Coltman, 17-Ayden Johnstone, 18-Siate Tokolahi, 19-Josh Dixon, 20-Billy Harmon, 21-Kayne Hammington, 22-Josh Ioane, 23-Hugh Renton.

Chiefs: 1-Aidan Ross, 2-Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3-Angus Ta'avao, 4-Tupou Vaa'i, 5-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 6-Mitchell Brown, 7-Kaylum Boshier, 8-Luke Jacobson, 9-Brad Weber (c), 10-Kaleb Trask, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12-Quinn Tupaea, 13-Anton Lienert-Brown, 14-Jonah Lowe, 15-Damian McKenzie

Reserves: 16-Bradley Slater, 17-Ollie Norris, 18-Joe Apikotoa, 19-Samipeni Finau, 20-Pita Gus Sowakula, 21-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22-Alex Nankivell, 23-Shaun Stevenson. 

TAB odds:

Chiefs $2.25 Highlanders $1.59

Pre-match banter:

Highlanders welcome back suspended players to face Chiefs

The Highlanders are welcoming the availability of the six players who were stood down before last week's victory over the Crusaders, after breaching team protocol.

Before facing the Crusaders in Christchurch last Friday, the Highlanders axed the group of Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, Sio Tomkinson, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Sione Misiloi, Daniel Lienert-Brown and All Black Josh Ioane.

The group were all scratched for selection for round six of Super Rugby Aotearoa for disciplinary reasons, but without them, the Highlanders caused the shock result of the competition so far, beating the defending champion Crusaders 33-12 in front of their own fans.

The Highlanders celebrate against the Crusaders
The Highlanders celebrate against the Crusaders Photo credit: Photosport

While some teams would choose to keep faith with a winning formula, the Highlanders instead insist they will have their entire available squad to pick from when they face the Chiefs in Dunedin on Saturday.

"As Tony [Brown] said last week, they have to earn their way back in," assistant coach Clarke Dermody says. "For them, it's about earning the trust of the boys again.

"They're doing that. They've put their heads down and have started working, and they are all available for selection, but it's up to the coaches and leaders to see if they have earnt that spot."

The news is welcome for the Highlanders, who lost midfielder Thomas Umaga-Jensen for the rest of the season with a broken arm, while halfback Folau Fakatava is doubtful, needing a scan on a knee complaint.