Live updates: Super Rugby Aotearoa - Hurricanes v Highlanders from Wellington's Sky Stadium

Live coverage has finished.

Hurricanes 41 Highlanders 22

Hurricanes (Flanders Coles, Laumape, Kirifi, Iose, Rayasi tries; Barrett 4 conversions, penalty goal)

Highlanders (Dickson, Nareki, Dixon tries; Hunt penalty goal, conversion Gilbert conversion)

Click here for a full match wrap and highlights.

Full time

80 mins - Try Hurricanes to Salesi Rayasi

What a try to the Hurricanes through big winger Rayasi. Quick hands from Iose and Proctor find Rayasi in space. He uses his footwork to beat Milner-Skudder and sprint clear to score the home sides sixth try. 

Barrett converts the try as the siren goes. (HUR 41-22)

75 mins  

The Highlanders are back onto the attack with five minutes remaining. After six-phases, Amoua wins a breakdown turnover and dishes it off to Roigard sprints clear downfield before he's brought down 35 metres out. It gets messy before Nareki is thrown into touch. 

71 mins - Try Hurricanes to Brayden Iose

From a scrum inside their own half, replacement Hurricanes halfback, Roigard makes a break off the back. He offloads to Laumape who storms off downfield before drawing in the fullback and dishing it off to Iose to score his first Super Rugby try. 

Barrett can't convert the try. (HUR 34-22)

67 mins 

The Highlanders are throwing everything at the Hurricanes but the home side is hanging on. Kirifi wins a crucial breakdown turnover inside his own 22 and the 'Canes go straight onto the counter-attack

Rayasi makes a break down to the Highlanders 10-metre before putting a grubber in behind but it beats everyone into touch 10-metres out.  

64 mins 

The Hurricanes have brought on big hooker Aumua who makes a barnstorming run down to the 22. He offloads to Barrett who is brought down 10-metres out near the touchline and he flicks it infield to keep it alive.

The visitors win a breakdown penalty at the next tackle to ease the pressure. 

63 mins 

The Highlanders look to attack again through Nareki who puts a grubber in behind. Barrett is back to clean up and he offloads to Savea. The big wing is brought down just inside his 22 but Frizell catches him high to give the Hurricanes a penalty. 

59 mins - Try Highlanders to Ash Dixon

The Highlanders pull out their trademark lineout drive that sees hooker Ash Dixon crash over to reduce the deficit. 

Hunt can't convert the try to keep the gap at seven points. (HUR 29-22)

57 mins 

The Highlanders are throwing everything at the Hurricanes with Nehe Milner-Skudder pulling out his trademark sidestep. After 13-phases Rayasi is called for offside and the Highlanders will go for a lineout five metres out. 

55 mins 

The highlanders are straight back onto the attack with Nareki breaking down the left-wing. He is brought down on halfway and Love gives away a breakdown penalty. The Highlanders will have a lineout on the home sides 22. 

53 mins - Try Hurricanes to Du'Plessis Kirifi

What a try from the Hurricanes. From the lineout, Love gets the ball straight away and accelerates through the defensive line. He's grabbed by Renton but he offloads to Kirifi who scores under the posts. 

Barrett converts the try to open up a 12-point lead. (HUR 29-17) 

51 mins 

The Highlanders are back onto the attack deep inside the Hurricanes half. After 13-phases of attack, the home side wins a breakdown penalty through Kirifi. The Hurricanes will have a lineout on halfway. 

48 mins 

After a long period of Hurricanes attack just inside the Highlanders half, Rayasi throws a poor pass behind Kirifi and it goes into touch on the 10-metre line. 

44 mins - No try Highlanders to Sam Gilbert

The Highlanders go straight back down the other end onto the attack. 

After 13-phases of helter-skelter attack, Smith fires a perfect cut out pass to Gilbert who scores in the corner. 

But hang on Dane Coles is using his captains challenge and the replay shows there is a slight knock-on in the lead up to the try. What a moment in the contest. 

41 mins - Try Hurricanes to Ngani Laumape

What a start to the second half to the Hurricanes who score inside 60 seconds. After the visitors spilled the kickoff, the home side went straight onto the attack. Rayasi offloads to Barrett who puts a grubber in behind.

Laumape has too much speed and determination and wins the race to the ball to score the first try of the second half. 

Barrett converts the try. (HUR 22-17)

Kickoff - The Hurricanes get the second half underway through Barrett.

40 mins - Penalty goal Hurricane to Jordie Barrett

The Hurricanes attack straight from the lineout but it comes to nothing but referee Ben O'Keeffe was playing advantage and Barrett will have a shot at goal from right in front. 

He nails it to give the Highlanders a two-point lead at halftime. (HIG 17-15)

39 mins 

The Hurricanes make a meal of the kickoff to give the Highlanders one last chance. After three phases the home side wins a penalty to ease the pressure. Barrett goes for touch quickly and finds touch five metres out. 

38 mins - TRY Hurricane to Dane Coles

From the lineout, the Hurricanes set a lineout maul but the Highlanders defend it well before Coles bursts off the back to crash over.

Barrett can't convert the try and the deficit is just five points. (HIG 17-12)

37 mins 

The captain's challenge has backfired on the Highlanders. Replays show there is no foul play but Billy Harmon is holding Coles down off the ball so the Hurricanes will have penalty. They choose to take a lineout, which is five metres out. 

36 mins 

From the scrum, Laumape and Scrafton go inches short. The home side gets fast ball and find Love out wide and as he goes to pass the ball hits his leg and he spills the ball and goes into touch to ease the pressure.

The Highlanders are using their captains challenege for foul play at a rack. 

34 mins 

The Hurricanes are throwing the kitchen sink at the Highlanders with their attack but the visitors are just hanging on. Scrafton makes a strong run before offloading to Numia who in turn dishes it off to Barrett who is brought down 10 metres out.

After 10-phases the Hurricanes win a penalty and choose to take a scrum five metres out, centre field.

31 mins 

The Hurricanes are straight back onto the attack with Rayasi breaking down the left-wing. He puts a grubber down in behind that finds Barrett who kicks it on but Nareki cleans it up in his ingoal area and it a goal-line dropout. 

29 mins - TRY Highlanders to Jona Nareki

The Highlanders pounce on all their pressure to grab their second try. The maul goes inches short of the line before going wide. They find Gregory who gets it in space and who throws a cut out pass to Nareki to score his fifth try of the season.

Hunt resumes the goalkicking duties and he guides it over. (HIG 17-7)

27 mins 

The Highlanders are building their attack but after six phases it comes to nothing but the referee was playing advantage and the visitors will go for another lineout, this time five metres out. 

The Hurricanes are conceding a lot of penalties with the count 6-2.

26 mins 

It's all Highlanders at scrum time with the visitors winning another penalty. They choose to go for a lineout, which is only eight meters out. 

Hunt and Coles are back from the sin bin. 

23 mins 

Wing Jona Nareki makes a terrific charge to get down inside the home sides 22, but on the next phase the Highlanders knock the ball on to hand possession back. They clear their lines down to Gilbert who puts in a pin-point kick and the home side have a defence lineout 15 metres out. 

21 mins 

The Highlanders continue to dominate at scrum time and win their second penalty of the night at the set piece. The visitors will have a lineout 25 metres out from the Hurricanes line. 

18 mins - Try Highlanders to Josh Dickson

The Highlander get their first opportunity to attack. Kazuki Himeno makes two strong charges to get his side down to the 22. After the brilliant attacking play, Josh Dickson bulldozes his way over. 

Sam Gilbert converts the try to put his side back in front. (HIG 10-7)

15 mins - Yellow card Hurricanes and Highlanders to Dane Coles and Mitch Hunt.

The Hurricanes won a penalty for a high tackle from Mitch Hunt on the 22 but the referee has gone upstairs for foul play. 

Replays show that after the high tackle that was on Coles, both react and start pushing and shoving. The Hurricanes hooker elbows Hunt and Ben O'Keeffe has sent them both to the bin for 10 minutes. 

The home side had the penalty but the referee has reversed it for Coles reacting.

14 mins 

From the scrum, Love goes for a grubber but goes straight to Hunt to ease the pressure. The Highlanders win a penalty 22 metres out from their own line and Smith takes it quickly before kicking downfield.

Barrett delivers a beautiful behind the back flick pass to put Flanders in space before he offloads to Laumape. He draws in the final defender to offload to Campbell but he doesn't have enough pace to score and the Hurricanes continue their attack. 

12 mins 

The Hurricanes are on fire as they go straight back onto the attack. Laumape burst downfield with a strong run before getting dragged down on the 22.

The home side gets fastball and Rayasi goes inches short. After 10 phases the attack comes to nothing but Ben O'Keeffe was playing advantage and the Hurricanes will have a lineout five minutes out. 

9 mins - TRY Hurricanes to Devon Flanders

The Highlanders look to attack straight from the kick-off with Gregory getting down to just short of the 10-metre line before Hunt clears his lines. The sides trade kicks as they look to win the territory battle. 

After a long period of play, Kirifi breaks downfield before offloading to Coles. He dishes it over the top of the Highlanders defence to Rayasi who gives it off to Flanders to score the games first try. 

Barrett converts the try to give the Hurricanes the lead. (HUR 7-3)

4 mins - Penalty goal Highlanders to Mitch Hunt

Playing under advantage from a strong scrum, Gregory burst onto a short ball from Smith but Campbell does well to hang on. Two phases later the attack comes to nothing and Mitch Hunt will have a shot at goal. 

He nails it to put the Highlanders in front. (HIG 3-0)

2 mins

The Hurricanes make a messy start with prop Tyrell Lomax knocking the ball on just outside his 22.

Kickoff - Mitch Hunt gets us underway.

7:04pm - Both sides are out on the park and ready for their final match of Super Rugby Aotearoa. The referee is Ben O'Keeffe and we are ready to go.

7:01pm - A beautiful day in Wellington with a good crowd on show in the capital as we are just five minutes from kickoff. 


Kia ora, welcome to Newshub's live updates of Super Rugby Aotearoa final round clash between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders, from Wellington's Sky Stadium.

The home side's sole victory of 2021 came in the reverse fixture, as Jordie Barrett scored all his sides points in a 30-19 victory in Dunedin. 

The Hurricanes are desperate for a win, and have been agonisingly close over their past two matches - on the end of a golden-point defeat to the Crusaders and a Damian McKenzie penalty goal after the siren against the Chiefs. 

The Hurricanes are playing for pride and looking for confidence as they head into the Super Rugby trans-Tasman competition in two weeks. 

The Highlanders are also playing for pride with a grand final spot out of their reach.

They come into this encounter in fine form after winning two of their past three games and will be looking to finish the season on a high, as they look for revenge against the Hurricanes. 

TAB odds:

Hurricanes $1.63 Highlanders $2.17

Pre-match banter

NZRPA 'holding us to ransom' - South Canterbury boss

Provincial Unions have slammed the professional rugby players for stalling the $387 million private equity deal with US tech firm Silver Lake 

Silver Lake's investment was approved at board and provincial level at the New Zealand Rugby AGM today, but the ongoing hesitation from the Players Association has left those at the grassroots fuming.

The 26 Provincial Unions were unanimous in their approval of Silver Lake's multi-million dollar buy into New Zealand Rugby, but it was a case of who wasn't at New Zealand Rugby HQ in Wellington. 

But the Players Association still aren't sold, meaning those who would benefit remain in the dark. 

"We've got different priorities," NZR chairman Brent Impey says.

"Our priority is the legacy fund, and putting that money into investment."

It's at the elite level where the roadblock lies. 

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles has been part of negotiations, and is urging patience. 

"This is a very big decision," he says.

"It's something we could look back [on] in 100 years and say, 'Why did we make that decision?' or we could look back in 100 years and say, 'We're glad we made that decision.'"

The NZ Rugby Players Union are against the proposed Silver Lake deal.
The NZ Rugby Players Union are against the proposed Silver Lake deal. Photo credit: Photosport

Coles stands by the delay and says it's crucial players have all the information they need. 

"It's not about the money," he adds.

"It's about leaving the game in the best hands, and having the future as bright as we can, and looking after everyone." 

But the grassroots game doesn't feel so looked after.

South Canterbury Rugby chief executive Craig Calder thinks the players are being greedy, and didn't hold back in his criticism of the delay.

"Two hundred and seventy players are holding us to ransom a bit," Calder says.

"It's incredibly frustrating, I think it's a money grab from them."

Players Association boss Rob Nichol wouldn't front for an interview today telling Newshub they need to resolve what the Collective will look like beyond this year in order for the players to respond to NZR's request for approval of the proposed Silver Lake transaction.

And while talks have stalled, some players can see New Zealand Rugby's side. 

"We probably need the help and the funding, and the money to really keep our game strong here in New Zealand," Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu says.

An outcome on this much-maligned private equity deal seems some way off.