Live updates: Super Rugby Trans-Tasman - ACT Brumbies v Highlanders at Canberra

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Highlanders 33 Brumbies 12

Highlanders - Dixon, Harmon, Tomkinson & Smith 2 tries; Hunt 4 conversions

Brumbies - Ikitau & Lonergan tries; Kuenzle conversion

Second half

40th minute - Hammington runs on with 40 seconds left, as Valetini charges off a lineout.

Pasitoa kicks to the corner, Highlanders throw long to the lineout and Hunt kicks it dead after the siren to secure the much-needed bonus-point victory. They can do nothing more to make the final and must now await other results this weekend.

39th minute - Smith puts up a high kick, but it goes nowhere and the Brumbies win a clearing penalty.

38th minute - Smith is still on the field, Hammington won't get any gametime tonight.

37th minute - Pollard throws to a Brumbies lineout just metres out from the line, but Highlanders steal and clear deep into Brumbies half.

36th minute - Brumbies playing under advantage and threatening to steal the bonus point away. Fraser calls them back for Hohneck knocking the ball down.

35th minute - Brumbies win a penalty and kick into Highlanders half, but the southerners win the throw and clear.

34th minute - Highlanders win a lineout in their own half and Smith puts up a high kick. Brumbies claim the catch and try to build from their 22.

33rd minute - Dickson wins a defensive lineout, Hunt clears, but Highlanders have a penalty for offside.

32nd minute - Brumbies trying to build an attack and Ikitau kicks towards the corner for a lineout.

31st minute - Brumbies win a scrum penalty and clear deep into Highlanders territory.

29th minute - Highlanders steal a lineout and clear their half, but Banks' long return kick is out on the full.

28th minute - Eventually, the Brumbies frustrate the Highlanders forwards and win a breakdown penalty to clear.

27th minute - Brumbies are penalised for not releasing in a tackle and Highlanders have another attacking lineout. They swarm into the Brumbies 22.

25th minute - This game is now beyond the Brumbies and they clear their bench.

23rd minute - Try to Tomkinson

As the ball is cleared from the breakdown, Gregory charges forward and Tomkinson runs an angle to score the bonus-point try. Hunt slots the conversion, HIG 33-12

22nd minute - Dickson wins the lineout and Coltman charges around the tail.

21st minute - Eventually, Pasitoa kicks and Fraser ajudges the Brumbies offside in midfield on halfway. Hunt kicks to the corner.

20th minute - Brumbies monster the Highlanders at a scrum, but Smith clears. Brumbies are pinned in their own half.

19th minute - Frost loses the kickoff forward and when Nareki's clearing kick is charged down, referee Mike Fraser brings them back for a scrum.

17th minute - Try to Harmon

At the lineout, Dixon throws long to Evans, who catches and throws to Josh Dickson, who has just replaced Parkinson. The Brumbies are wrongfooted and Harmon crosses near the front of the lineout.

Hunt leaves his conversion attempt right, HIG 26-12

16th minute - Hunt kicks to the corner.

15th minute - Highlanders spread the ball right and Tomkinson is hard to put down. They're playing under advantage and win the penalty for offside.

14th minute - Highlanders are starting to dominate the scrums and this one is messy, so we'll reset.

13th minute - Wright makes a run up the right, but his pass is behind Valetini and knocked on. Highlanders scrum.

12th minute - White feeds another scrum in midfield, but Highlanders win a free kick. Hunt puts up a high kick...

10th minute - Big scrum from Highlanders overpowers the Brumbies forwards, Smith takes a quick tap and kicks to touch.

Ninth minute - Eventually, White's long pass to Banks goes to ground and Highlanders have a scrum.

Eighth minute - From the kickoff, Hunt clears to halfway and Brumbies build an attack.

Sixth minute - Try to Smith

From the solid Highlanders scrum, Smith darts towards the posts, dummies and rolls over in a tackle. Hunt converts, HIG 21-12

Fifth minute - Highlanders win a scrum penalty, Hunt goes close under advantage and eventually the penalty is enforced. Highlanders call for the scrum.

Fourth minute - Dixon throws to a lineout, Evans wins and Hunt grubbers to the line again. Hansen can't gather cleanly, but the ball beats Ioane dead - Highlanders five-metre scrum.

Third minute - Hunt grubbers to the line, but Banks gathers and the Brumbies clear.

Second minute - Dixon throws long to a lineout and Parkison catches again. Highlanders forwards swarm on attack.

First minute - Hunt kicks off for the second half and when the Brumbies clear, Highlanders mount an attack.

First half

40th minute - Dixon throws to a lineout inside the 22 and Evans wins the ball, but the pass is loose and the Brumbies hoof downfield.

Nareki finds touch as the halftime siren sounds.

39th minute - Himeno picks up at the back of a scrum, but Brumbies are penalised. Highlanders kick to the corner.

37th minute - Highlanders build some phases, but lose the ball. Wright is sprinting downfield, but is called back for Brumbies knock-on.

36th minute - Dixon throws into a lineout near the Brumbies 22 and Parkinson wins the ball.

35th minute - Highlanders kick off and Kuenzle clears. Highlanders win a lineout, but Gregory is cut in half by Valetini in midifield. 

Highlanders win a penalty.

32nd minute - Try to Lonergan

Another Brumbies lineout and they maul towards the line. Lonergan is at the back, when his forwards drive over.

Kuenzle slots the conversion, HIG 14-12

31st minute - Brumbies win another lineout on the opposite side of the field and Dixon appears to steal the ball, but De Groot is penalised at the breakdown.

30th minute - Brumbies win the attacking lineout, but can't budge the Highlanders forwards. Eventually, they clear the ball and win a penalty at the breakdown.

29th minute - From the kickoff, the Brumbies are threatening and Renton is deemed offside in front of the posts. Banks kicks to the corner.

26th minute - Try to Smith

Himeno fields the kickoff and Hunt finds Nareki scorching up the sideline. When he's halted, Smith is running a great support line to score.

Hunt converts, HIG 14-5

25th minute - Himeno charges off the back of the scrum, but Parkinson is held up over the line. Good defence from the Brumbies, who can now clear with a goal-line dropout.

24th minute - Dixon's long throw is collected by Tomkinson and the Highlanders find touch just metres out from the line. Parkinson spoils the Brumbies throw and earns a five-metre attacking scrum.

23rd minute - Ioane controls an awkardly bouncing kick and kicks long himself, making good metres into the Brumbies half.

22nd minute - Brumbies kick off and Hunt clears to midway 22 and 10.

20th minute - Try to Dixon

Highlanders win the long lineout throw and maul towards the posts. Dixon is at the back, when his forwards drive over the line for another simple try.

Hunt converts, HIG 7-5

19th minute - Alaalatoa is offside at the breakdown and Highlanders kick to the corner again, putting faith in their lineout, which hasn't proved founded so far tonight.

18th minute - Parkinson wins the lineout and Highlanders maul towards the line. Smith fumbles the ball, when it emerges, but recovers and they play under advantage.

17th minute - Brumbies field the kickoff and put together a couple of phases, before White kicks high. Brumbies are pinged for offside outside their own 22 and the Highlanders kick to the corner.

15th minute - Try to Ikitau

Brumbies win a lineout and Valetini smashes up centrefield. He's there to take a return pass later in the same movement, as the Brumbies pour onto attack.

Eventually the ball moves to the centre, who dives over in the left corner. Kuenzle sprays his sideline conversion infield, BRU 5-0

13th minute - Highlanders win a lineout on halfway and Hunt kicks ahead, but the Brumbies cover it and return with interest.

12th minute - Smith runs from a midfield scrum and Nareki chases a grubber kick downfield. Brumbies are scrambling to clear, but White eventually obliges.

10th minute - Brumbies win a lineout on halfway, but spill the ball in midfield.

Ninth minute - These scrums are taking an eternity to set, but finally Smith gets the ball in and Tompkinson attacks through midfield. Stowers dominates the breakdown and wins a clearing penalty for the Brumbies.

Seventh minute - Brumbies win the lineout, but Highlanders defend the maul well and win a scrum feed.

Sixth minute - Simone makes a half break from the scrum, but Valetini knocks on and Collins kicks to touch on the Brumbies 22.

Fourth minute - Dixon throws to a lineout in Brumbies territory and Parkinson wins the ball, but there's a knock-on and Brumbies will have a scrum.

Third minute - Highlanders win the close-range lineout, but get driven over the sideline.

Brumbies win their defensive lineout and clear.

Second minute - Renton is over a breakdown in Brumbies territory and wins a turnover penalty.

Hunt kicks for the corner and barely finds the line.

First minute - Nic White kicks off for the Brumbies and Hunt returns with interest. Whites kicks back and finds touch inside the Highlanders 22.


Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash between the Highlanders and ACT Brumbies at Canberra's GIO Stadium.

After their 59-23 bonus-point win over NSW Waratahs last week, the southerners find themselves in a three-way scramble with the Blues and Crusaders for a place in next week's final.

If all three win this weekend, bonus points and points differential could decide who progress to the season climax.

Of the three, the Highlanders face by far the toughest challenge, facing the best Australian team - fresh off victory over the Hurricanes - in an uncomfortable road trip to the Aussie capital.

They will have All Blacks maestro Aaron Smith back at halfback, after he served a mandated rest week against the Waratahs.

TAB odds: Highlanders $1.34, Brumbies $3.05

Highlanders: 1-Ethan De Groot, 2-Ash Dixon, 3-Siate Tokolahi, 4-Bryn Evans, 5-Pari Pari Parkinson, 6-Hugh Renton, 7-Billy Harmon, 8-Kazuki Himeno, 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Mitch Hunt, 11 -Jona Nareki, 12-Scott Gregory, 13-Michael Collins, 14-Patelesio Tomkinson, 15-Josh Ioane

Reserves: 16-Liam Coltman, 17-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Josh Hohneck, 19-Josh Dickson, 20-James Lentjes, 21-Kayne Hammington, 22-Sam Gilbert, 23-Teariki Ben-Nicholas

Brumbies: 1-Scott Sio, 2-Lachlan Lonergan, 3-Allan Alaalatoa, 4-Darcy Swain, 5-Nick Frost, 6-Rob Valetini, 7-Rory Scott, 8-Henry Stowers, 9-Nic White, 10-Bayley Kuenzle, 11-Mack Hansen, 12-Irae Simone, 13-Len Ikitau, 14-Tom Wright, 15-Tom Banks

Reserves: 16-Billy Pollard, 17-Harry Lloyd, 18-Tom Ross, 19-Tom Hooper, 20-Luke Reimer, 21-Ryan Lonergan, 22-Reesjan Pasitoa, 23-Solomone Kata

Beauden Barrett not in consideration for Blues return

Don't expect to see All Blacks star Beauden Barrett in a Blues jersey towards the end of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

With one round left in the competition, assistant coach Tom Coventry insists they'll keep the faith with the team that's gotten them to their current position of strength atop the table.

With four wins and four bonus points from four matches, the Blues are odds-on for a home final against either the Highlanders or Crusaders.

A win with a bonus point over the Force on Saturday would seal their first home final since 2003 - the last time the Auckland side lifted a Super Rugby trophy.

But the Blues selection picture won't be muddled by the return of Barrett, who's finished his stint in managed isolation, after finishing runner-up in the Japanese Top League with Suntory Sun Goliath.

Beauden Barrett in action for the Blues
Beauden Barrett in action for the Blues. Photo credit: Photosport

Barrett would need an injury within the Blues ranks to join the side, with Coventry saying that he hasn't been in touch with the All Blacks star.

"I think he's been in touch with Leon [MacDonald]," Coventry says. "I haven't had much to do with Beauden, but he's back and I'm sure he'll be supporting from the sidelines.

"He hasn't been down [to] training yet, so I think he's just enjoying his time at home with the bub."

Slotting Barrett into a winning Blues side could prove the biggest problem coaches would have.

Otere Black has shone at first-five, while youngster Zarn Sullivan has grabbed his chance in the fullback jersey, meaning Barrett would have to replace an in-form player to fit into the team.

Coventry concedes that even a player of Barrett's ability would be up against it trying to force his way into the Blues right now.

"To be honest with you, it hasn't been a consideration.

"We've got faith in the boys that are here. They've been doing a marvelous job and I don't think Beauden coming in at the 11th hour is probably what we're after at this stage.

"We just have to take faith in the guys who've taken us through the season.

"I'm sure Beaudy will be a good supporter from the sidelines for us."