Live updates: Super Rugby Trans-Tasman - Highlanders v Melbourne Rebels at Sydney's Leichhardt Oval

Live coverage has concluded. Click here for a full match wrap and highlights. 

Highlanders 42 Rebels 27

Highlanders - Collins, Tomkinson, Penalty Try, Dickson, Nareki, Harmon tries; Hunt 5 conversions

Rebels - 2 Koroibete, Eloff, Gibbon tries; To'omua 2 conversions, Worth penalty goal

Full time

80+2 mins 

The Highlanders think they have the crucial bonus-point try. After the home side goes close twice, Smith dummies and tries to reach out but the referee thinks he has knocked the ball on.

Paul Williams has gone upstairs and it's confirmed it was a knock on and that is full time. 

80+1 mins 

The Highlanders are hunting for that bonus point try. After four phases the attack comes to nothing but the referee awards a breakdown penalty. The home side will have a lineout five metres out.

80 mins 

From the kickoff, the Highlanders win a breakdown penalty and Hunt will give them a lineout on the 22. 

79 mins - Try Highlanders to Billy Harmon

The Highlanders have hit back straight away. They are throwing the ball around and after eight phases, Harmon runs onto a short ball to muscle his way over. 

Hunt converts the try quickly and the Highlanders will have one minute to get the bonus point try. (HIG 42-27)

78 mins - Try Rebels to Marika Koroibete 

What a try from the Rebels who work the double wrap-around play, which sees Marika Koroibete go over in the corner to set up the grandstand finish. 

Matt To'omua can't convert the try and that is a crucial miss to keep it a two-score game. (HIG 35-27)

75 mins 

The Highlanders win a penalty from the scrum and they will have a lineout on the 10-metre line. They sit a rolling maul but Paul Williams has penalised them for obstruction. The Rebels will have a lineout 10-metres out.

73 mins 

The Highlanders are building their attack but a poor pass goes to the ground. Rob Leota is the first to react and kicks ahead. He shows great soccer skills and pace but as he looks to gather and score Nareki makes a crucial tackle to stop a certain try. 

72 mins 

The Highlanders come down the short side where Collins makes a mini-break down to the 10-metre line where he looks to offload but Worth gets a hand on it and it bounces into touch. 

70 mins 

The Highlanders attack from the scrum but Manaaki Selby-Rickit has knocked the ball on and the Rebels look to counter-attack. Marika Koroibete smashes a kick downfield. There is a foot race which Nareki just wins.

At the breakdown, Punivai has knocked the ball on and the visitors will have a scrum on the 10-metre line. 

67 mins 

The Highlanders come wide on their attack from the lineout and Nareki makes a strong but he puts a foot in touch as he steps back inside. From the lineout, the Rebels look to attack from their own goal line.

They come wide to Koroibete but he runs onto a forward pass. The Highlanders will have a scrum 10 metres out. 

65 mins 

The Rebels look to attack straight from the kickoff but a poor pass goes to ground. The Highlander look to build their attack but after five phases, Matt To'omua gives away a penalty.

The home side will have a lineout 10 metres out. 

63 mins - Try Rebels to Matt Gibbon

All the pressure pays off when Matt Gibbon runs onto a Powell short ball and he smashes his way over.

Matt To'omua converts the try. (HIG 35-22)

61 mins 

It looks like Carter Gordon is going to go over in the corner but he slips and is forced into touch. The referee was playing advantage and goes back for the penalty. 

60 mins - Yellow Card Highlanders to Billy Harmon

The Rebels set the lineout maul and Billy Harmon collapses it and Paul Williams sends him to the sin bin.

The Rebels go for another lineout, five metres out. 

59 mins

The Highlanders discipline is starting to cost them with Paul Williams putting them under a team warning after their third straight penalty. 

The Rebels will have a lineout eight metres out. 

57 mins - Try Highlanders to Jona Nareki,

The Highlanders are over again and it's a piece of individual brilliance. With nothing on after a bad pass that forces Nareki to go back and gather, he attacks the line and chips over the top. The Highlanders wing gets a friendly bounce to gather and score. 

Hunt converts the try. (HIG 35-15) 

The Rebels get Uelese back froim the sin bin. What a costly period for the Rebels with the Highlanders running in three tires. 

55 mins 

The Highlanders look to counter-attack from a Koroibete and get down to halfway. Hunt puts in a poor kick and Worth responds in kind with a strong kick down to the home side's 10-metre line. 

53 mins - Try Highlanders to Josh Dickson

The Rebels win their lineout and as they are sweating up to clear the ball comes out Josh Dickson has picked up the loose ball and has muscled his way over to score.  

Hunt converts the try (HIG 28-15)

51 mins

The Highlanders work a scintillating play off the back of the lineout maul. They come to the openside before Hunt comes back to the short side and offloads to Nareki who gets down to the 22.
He offloads to Smith but he is smashed into touch just five metres out. 

49 mins - Penalty try to Highlanders

The affect yellow card is shown straight away. The Rebels only have seven in the scrum and the Highlanders almost drive over but the visitors collapse the scrum at the last moment and Paul Willaims awards a penalty try. (HIG 21-15)

47 mins - Yellow Card Rebels to Jordan Uelese

The Highlanders are hot on the attack and go close through Gregory. The referee is playing advantage and just as he's about to award a penalty Jordan Uelese kicks the ball out of the ruck  deliberately and Paul Williams sends him to the bin. 

45 mins

The Rebels clear from the kickoff but their winger is in front of the kicker and the Highlanders get a penalty. They will have a lineout 15-metres out.

44 mins - Penalty goal Rebels to George Worth

The Rebels produce a huge scrum to win a penalty and George Worth points to the sticks from 48 metres out. 

Worth has got it and the Rebels hit the front. (REB 15-14)

42 mins 

The Highlanders get first use of the ball and they build their attack on halfway but after a big tackle by Cameron Orr there is a knock on both ways. The Rebels will have a scrum on halfway. 

Kickoff - The Highlanders get the second half underway. 

40 mins

There is enough time for a restart but Rebels are happy to go to the sheds as halfback Powell kicks it into touch and that is halftime. 

39 mins - Try Rebels to Cabous Eloff

The Rebels think they're over but after eight phases, Cabous Eloff knocks the ball over the line but the referee has come back for a penalty. The Rebels tap and go and catch the Highlanders naping and Eloff muscles his way over. 

To'omua converts the try and it's two point ball game. (HIG 14-12)

37 mins 

Playing advantage, Koroibete makes a barnstorming run up to the 22 before Gordon goes for the crossfield kick but Anderson can't handle it and the referee comes back for a penalty. 

The Rebels will have a lineout five metres out. 

34 mins 

The Rebels are building their attack put a high kick up. In the contest the Rebels knock the ball on and the Highlanders will have a scrum.

The visitors muscle up and win a penalty at the scrum. They will have a lineout on the 10-metre line. 

32 mins 

The Rebels are building their attack just on halfway but Collins wins a breakdown penalty and the Highlanders have a lineout on the 22. 

30 mins

The Highlanders are looking to build their attack just inside the Rebels half but Hunt gets a poor pass and he can't handle it and knocks the ball on. 

The Rebels will have a scrum on halfway.  

27 mins - Try Rebels to Marika Koroibete

The Rebels are attacking from the lineout and come wide to Gordon who makes a mini-break before offloading to Worth who draws and passes to Marika Koroibete who beats two defenders and crashes over in the corner to get the Rebels back in it. 

Matt To'omua can't convert the try. (HIG 14-5)

23 mins 

The Rebels clear down the Highlanders 22 and Ioane gets a bad bounce and sees him under a lot of pressure from Koroibete.

The Highlanders No.10 does well to offload to Nareki and at the breakdown, the visitors give away a penalty to let the Highlander clear for touch.  

22 mins 

After six-phases of Highlanders attack, the Rebels win a breakdown penalty to ease the pressure. 

20 mins 

The Rebels clear with a high kick but Hunt is taken in the air and the Highlanders will have a lineout on the 10-metre line.

19 mins 

The Highlanders produce a huge scrum when the pressure is on to win a penalty. The home side haven't found touch from the penalty and the Rebels will start their attack just short of halfway,.

17 mins

The Highlanders make a meal or the restart as they knock the ball on to give the Rebels a scrum on the 22. 

15 mins - Try Highlanders to Patelesio Tomkinson

Jona Nareki makes a strong run downfield before offloading to Ethan De Groot who is brought down on the 22. The Highlanders get fastball and come wide to Patelesio Tomkinson who steps inside one to score in the corner. 

Hunt converts the try. (HIG 14-0)

12 mins 

The Highlanders are building their attack just short of the 22 with Michael Collins making a strong run. As he cuts inside he is caught high and the home side will have a penalty. 

They go for touch and will have a lineout 10-metres out. 

9 mins 

Koroibete is looking dangerous with the ball in hand as he makes a strong run. The next phase sees the Highlanders muscle up in defence and forces Wells into touch. 

From the lineout, Hunt puts a nice kick in behind and it finds touch just 10-metres out. 

7 mins 

The Highlanders are solid in defence with Pari Pari Parkinson stealing off a hard running Rebels player and he kicks clear to the 10-metre line. 

5 mins 

The Rebels are looking to play at a high tempo. After winning a breakdown penalty, Powell takes a quick tap and gets down to the 22.

The visitors come wide to Koribete but he was forced into touch. The referee was playing advantage and the Rebels will have a lineout 10-metres out.

3 mins - Try Highlanders to Michael Collins 

What a start from the Highlanders. From the lineout, Aaron Smith chips over the top of the Rebels defence with Collins running onto it. After a juggle, he claims it to crash over. 

Hunt converts the try. (HIG 7-0)

1 min 

As the Highlanders look to clear, the Rebels give away an early penalty for offside. 

Kickoff - The Rebels get us underway. Paul Williams is the man in the middle for this contest. 

4:59pm - Late team news for the Rebels with Stacey Ili coming in for the injured Campbell Magnay at centre. 

Aaron Smith has lead his side for a home game away from  home in Sydney. 

4:42pm - We are 18-minutes away from kickoff and it's a gloomy day in west Sydney with rain just starting to fall at Leichhardt Oval. 


Kia ora and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash between the Highlanders and the Melbourne Rebels at Sydney's Leichhardt Oval.

This contest was originally scheduled to be played in Queenstown, but with the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, the game was moved to Leichhardt Oval, a neutral venue.

The Highlanders have made a solid start to their campaign with a bonus-point victory over the Reds in Dunedin, before scraping past the Western Force in Perth.

With the Blues and Hurricanes sitting on a perfect 15 points from their opening three matches, the Highlanders need a bonus-point victory against the Rebels to stay in touch.

Melbourne have struggled early in the trans-Tasman competition, with the Blues putting 50 on them in the opening round before being comfortably beaten by the Hurricanes.

After the Reds ended the New Zealand sides' dominance on Saturday evening, the Rebels will be looking to make it two in a row for the Australian teams.

But it won't be easy with the Highlanders holding the wood over the Rebels winning six out of the nine matches in their history, but the Melbourne side has won the last two meetings.

TAB odds:

Highlanders $1.11 Rebels $5.85

Highlanders: 1-Ethan De Groot, 2-Liam Coltman, 3-Siate Tokolahi, 4-Pari Pari Parkinson, 5-Josh Dickson, 6-Shannon Frizell, 7-JJames Lentjes, 8-Hugh Renton, 9-Aaron Smith (cc), 10-Mitch Hunt, 11-Jona Nareki, 12-Scott Gregory, 13-Michael Collins, 14-Patelesio Tomkinson, 15-Josh Ioane

Reserves: 16-Ash Dixon (cc), 17-Ayden Johnstone, 18-Jeff Thwaites, 19-Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20-Kazuki Himeno, 21-Kayne Hammington, 22-Ngatungane Punivai, 23-Billy Harmon

Rebels: 1-Cameron Orr, 2-Jordan Uelese, 3-Cabous Eloff, 4-Ross Haylett-Petty, 5-Trevor Hosea, 6-Rob Leota, 7-Michael Wells, 8-Isi Naisarani, 9-Joe Powell, 10-Carter Gordon, 11-Marika Koroibete, 12-Matt To'omua (c), 13-Campbell Magnay, 14-Lachie Anderson, 15-George Worth

Reserves: 16-James Hanson, 17-Matt Gibbon, 18-Lucio Sordoni, 19-Steve Cummins, 20-Richard Hardwick, 21-Frank Lomani, 22-Stacey Ili, 23-Andrew Kellaway

Red carded McKenzie could miss All Blacks test opener

Damian McKenzie's red-card tackle against the Queensland Reds leaves the talented playmaker in danger of missing the opening test of the 2021 All Blacks season.

The Chiefs No.10 was marched on Saturday night for a dangerous tackle on Reds halfback Tate McDermott in the 22nd minute of their 40-34 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman loss in Townsville.

McKenzie's shoulder made direct contact with the chin of McDermott, leaving referee Nick Berry no choice but to march the 26-year-old.

Damian McKenzie
Damian McKenzie Photo credit: Getty

A maximum six-week suspension could be issued, although McKenzie's clean record should see that reduced to three.

That will scratch him from the final two Chiefs fixtures of Super Rugby against the Melbourne Rebels and Waratahs.

With a spot in the final almost out of reach, McKenzie could miss the opening test of the year against Tonga on July 3 at Mt Smart Stadium.

But McKenzie's University club side are scheduled to play the same weekend as the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final, so the All Blacks and McKenzie could find a loophole that will allow him to be selected for the historic Tongan clash.