Live updates: Super Rugby Pacific - Highlanders v Moana Pasifika from Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium

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Highlanders 45         Moana Pasifika 17 


Highlanders lineout. Makalio throws, Mikaele-Tu'u wins it. 

The Highlanders look to use it just inside the Moana half. Withy breaks, and he finds Umaga-Jensen - and they can't tackle him.

He beats one, beats two, beats three, and scores! 

Gilbert to convert as the siren goes, wide on the left. He misses to the left, but it won't matter.

Comfortable win for the Highlanders!

HIG 45 MOA 17

78 mins

Another lineout, this time on the left. Tolai throws, and they drive again. 

Tolai has it at the back and runs, but he's tackled and somehow the Highlanders turn it over.

They look to break and go to Gilbert on the left wing, as he carries downfield. 

Have Moana Pasifika stolen it though? Yes. Fomai has a go inside the Highlanders' half, but the Highlanders have snatched it now.

Fakatava kicks downfield, where Havili gets it inside the 22. Paea tries to run from the back of the ruck, but he's tackled immediately.

Leuila eventually clears downfield.

76 mins

Moana Pasifika lineout on the 5m line. Tolai throws, Slade wins it and they drive.

The Highlanders defend well though, and Moana Pasifika are forced to use it.

They've got advantage, and go all the way to the left wing, but Inisi is tackled into touch so we go back for the penalty. 

75 mins

Moana Pasifika scrum. Paea feeds, as Leuila kicks over the top for Mau'u. But the Highlanders get back in defence, as Mikaele-Tu'u steals it.

The Highlanders kick it back, but Dawai gives away a penalty. 

Havili finds touch for a lineout.

73 mins

Hunt comes off after that, potentially for an HIA. Millar replaces him.

Makalio throws, and Hicks wins it inside Moana Pasifika's half. 

Ball goes to ground as Faiilagi nearly intercepts, but the Highlanders keep possession on halfway.

Fakatava clears with a box kick, and Dawai wins it, hang on though, he wasn't behind the kicker.

71 mins

Another kick-off, and Hunt kicks it straight back to Moana Pasifika.

This time they run it. They look to go wide, but Havili knocks on. 

Hang on, we're checking upstairs with the TMO for something. Ah yep, Tavatavanawai has hit Hunt in the head in the tackle.

He's shown a yellow card, and is sent to the bin. Moana Pasifika will finish with 14. 


Makalio throws, they win it and go to Fakatava as first receiver.

Fakatava goes quickly to Umaga-Jensen, and then goes again to Mikaele-Tu'u - and he sprints away to score!

That should be it for the game, the Highlanders have dominated this second half.

Gilbert converts.

HIG 40 MOA 17

68 mins

McClutchie kicks off, but Moana Pasifika give away another penalty.

Hunt clears again.


Fakatava replaces Smith. 

Makalio throws, and the Highlanders look for the drive. Fakatava has it at the back and runs. He throws a dummy before finding Hunt, but can't get the timing right.

Lienert-Brown runs, but is driven backwards in defence. 

Fakatava runs, and throws an inside pass to Dawai - and he slips right through to score!

He's only been on for a few minutes, but Fakatava has been electric already. 

Gilbert to convert, right in front. He belts it through the posts.

HIG 33 MOA 17

64 mins

Highlanders scrum. Smith feeds, and goes to Paea off the back.

He finds Dawai, but he's tackled by Toala. Frizell has a run inside Moana's half, as the Highlanders look to run.

Mikaele-Tu'u runs, and wins a penalty for his trouble. Moana Pasifika's discipline has really hurt them after halftime.

Hunt finds touch for a lineout.

62 mins

And just like that, Lienert-Brown replaces de Groot. Highlanders lineout, Makalio throws and they win it.

The Highlanders go wide, but Moana Pasifika give away another penalty.

Mikaele-Tu'u comes on in the No.23 jersey.

61 mins

Tolai throws, but it's too long and Moana Pasifika lose it forward. Highlanders scrum.

Smith looks to feed, but the front row goes down and the Highlanders have a penalty. Antother win for de Groot.

Hunt finds touch for a lineout.

60 mins

Moana Pasifika lineout on the 5m line. Tolai throws, but Hicks steals it! 

Smith clears into touch with a box kick.

59 mins

Moana Pasifika lineout. Tolai throws and they win it. 

They've got advantage as the ball goes into the 22, Paea offside.

Play is stopped, so we go back to the penalty. Havili finds touch for a lineout.

57 mins

Parkinson comes off, so Shannon Frizell replaces him. Makalio throws, and the Highlanders win it and drive.

Smith runs off the back, and looks for Dawai, but he's tackled into touch on the blind side.

57 mins

Highlanders scrum. Smith feeds, and they win advantage, and then a penalty.

Hunt clears and the Highlanders will have a lineout.

56 mins

Smith looks to clear with a box kick, but finds touch. Hang on, the call is Moana Pasifika touched the kick, so Highlanders lineout.

Makalio - just on as a sub - throws, and Parkinson wins it just shy of halfway. 

Smith clears again, and touched again as Enari wins it. 

Moana Paisfika use it, and Havili kicks over the top for Tavatavanawai. Moana can counter!

Aumua breaks into the 22 and finds Motuga, before Enari goes past the 5! Advantage Highlanders too.

Play is stopped, will this be a yellow? It is, Lowe is sent to the bin for the last penalty.

Hang on, Harmon has a word to the referee, and now we'll have a look upstairs.

Wait a sec - Motuga knocked on in the lead up! Lowe's yellow card is rescinded and the Highlanders have a scrum instead.


Highlanders lineout inside the 22. Apisai throws, and Parkinson wins it. 

Smith runs as first receiver, as the Highlanders move to the left. Hicks has a go, before Paea does the same. 

Smith goes back to the right, before Renton slips through! He's tackled on the 5m line, and the Highlanders have advantage.

Ainsley goes, as does Renton again. De Groot goes, and wins another advantage.

Smith hits Paea with a short ball - and he goes over for another try!

Gilbert converts.

HIG 26 MOA 17

50 mins

Moana Pasifika scrum.  The front rows go down, and there's a bit of push and shove. 

Referee Ben O'Keeffe steps in to calm things down, before we reset for another scrum. 

Enari feeds, but the Highlanders front row wins another penalty - Ainsley this time the hero.

48 mins

Apisai throws, and the Highlanders drive inside the Moana Pasifika half. Smith kicks over the top, but Withy ends up in possession after an offside from the challenge.

47 mins

Moana Pasifika scrum, dead centre of the field. Enari feeds and they go right, but can't hold the ball in the tackle. 

Hunt kicks downfield, McClutchie kicks it back. Gilbert kicks it to Havili, and he kicks into touch.

Highlanders lineout.

46 mins

McClutchie kicks, but it's not out. Hunt kicks back for a lineout on the 10m line.  Moli is leaving the field for an HIA, Tolai replaces him at hooker. 

Tolai throws, Curry wins it. Aumua runs as first receiver, before Slade has a go inside the Highlanders' half.

They try to switch the play, but Enari's pass goes to ground. Moana Pasifika get it under control before winning advantage, and then a penalty. 

44 mins

Hunt clears, and the Highlanders have a lineout inside the 22.

News coming in that Tucker has failed his HIA. Apisai throws, but the Highlanders can't win it as Moana Pasifika gain possession.

They have advantage, as Aumua kicks downfield, but we go back for the penalty.

42 mins

McClutchie and Hunt trade kicks, before Aumua ends up with it as Moana Pasifika look to use it.

McClutchie kicks downfield again, this time to Lowe. This time the Highlanders want to run, and have advantage.

Play stops, so we have the penalty. Funaki the culprit.

41 mins

We're all ready to start the second half. Hunt kicks off to get us going in the second 40.


One last lineout as the siren goes. Moli throws, but it's not straight.

That'll be the half, then.

40 mins

Moli throws, Funaki win it and Moana Pasifika run. They have advantage too.

Aumua breaks down the right, and finds Fomai unmarked! He breaks into the 22 and gets past the 5m line before he's tackled!

Moana Pasifika are so close, but Paea turns it over! The Highlanders clear through Hunt, but Moana Pasifika have a lineout.

39 mins

A few minutes left to play in the first half. Hunt kicks off, straight to Tavatavanawai, and Moana Pasifika win advantage.

They can't go forward, so we go back for the penalty. 

McClutchie finds touch for a lineout.


Moana Pasifika call for the shot at goal. 

He lines it up, and nails it.

HIG 14 MOA 17

37 mins

Tavatavanawai is down hurt. We'll continue though. Moli throws, and they win it again.

This time Moana Pasifika build inside the 22, and go right. 

Lindenmuth carries to the 5m line, but they're scramblind in attack. McClutchie goes at the line, but he's tackled. Curry does the same.

Advantage for Moana Pasifika. Tavatavanawai smashes Umaga-Jensen.

McClutchie has a drop goal attempt, but misses, so we go back for the penalty.

35 mins

Moli throws, and Moana Pasifika wins it before Motuga throws a huge dummy before running blind.

They get to the 5m line, but the Highlanders look to have turned it over. They have.

Smith clears into touch with a box kick.

34 mins

Havili finds touch and Moana Pasifika will have a lineout on the 10m line. Moli throws, and Curry wins it.

They go left, but Apisai gives away a penalty for offside.

Moana Pasifika will have a lineout inside the 22.

32 mins

Apisai throws, and Hicks wins it before going to Smith. Harmon hits the line hard and carries closer to halfway. 

Smith goes left, as Paea goes to the air for Havili to claim. Withy turns it over though, but Moana Pasifika are awarded a penalty as Withy doesn't release.

31 mins

Highlanders scrum inside the 22. Smith feeds, and de Groot wins a penalty!

Hunt finds the corner, and the Highlanders have a lineout just inside their half. 

30 mins

Change for the Highlanders, Tucker leaves for a concussion test, Hicks replaces him.

Havili kicks off, and the Highlanders win it. Smith goes to the air, straight to McClutchie.

He kicks across to Aumua, who finds Tavatavanawai, who to the 22.

Enari is tackled, so Aumua plays halfback before Toala gets back to the 22.

They go to the right, before McClutchie kicks over the top. The bounce isn't kind though, and Faiilagi spills it.

Highlanders scrum.


Apisai throws, and Parkinson wins it for Harmon inside the 22.

De Groot carries to the 5m line, as the Highlanders go to the right. Gilbert takes the line on, but is driven backwards by Curry. 

Parkinson goes close, and offloads to Renton who dives over to score another!

Gilbert converts. 

HIG 19 MOA 14

25 mins

Hunt kicks off, but Curry knocks-on trying to claim it, before Moana Pasifika are called for knock-on.

Hunt finds touch for a lineout.


Five-metre scrum to Moana Pasifika. Two scrum resets as the front rows go at each other.

Third time lucky. Enari feeds, and goes to McClutchie off the back. 

He finds Aumua, who goes right through the Highlanders' line, and scores the second!

McClutchie to convert, and does. Moana Pasifika retake the lead.

HIG 12 MOA 14

21 mins

Funaki is back on his feet. Havili kicks off again. They bring it under control before Hunt clears straight to Havili. 

Havili offloads to Tavatavanawai, and he carries into the Highlanders' half. 

They go to the right flank through Aumua, and then back infield, and then all the way to the left to Motuga.

Toala carries back infield, but Withy has turned it over in the tackle. The Highlanders look to run as Hunt puts Paea into a gap.

The Highlanders keep it alive, but Toala intercepts! He kicks over the top, and it's a foot race to the tryline! Paea gets there first, but Toala is there to tackle in-goal!


Apisai throws, Renton takes it, but the referee blows for not straight. Moana Pasifika opt for the lineout. 

Moli throws, and it ends up on Moana's side, but it's not clean. Tavatavanawai is driven backwards, before McClutchie clears straight to Gilbert.

The Highlanders attack through Hunt, and then de Groot. 

Tucker and Harmon combine on the left, as the Highlanders creep towards the 22. Lowe and Umaga-Jensen both carry, and now get inside the 22. 

Lowe throws a huge pass out to Withy on the left wing, where he makes metres before the tackle.

Harmon carries back infield and closer to the 5m line, before Hunt puts Gilbert into a gap - and he scores!

Funaki has stayed down in backplay to make things worse for Moana. 

Gilbert looks to convert his own try, and this time he makes no mistake to give his side the lead.

HIG 12 MOA 7

14 mins

Highlanders scrum, just inside Moana's half. Smith feeds, and there's a big shove as the Highlanders win advantage, and then the penalty.

Hunt finds the sideline for a corner.

13 mins

Havili kicks off, and Hunt kicks it back as McClutchie keeps it in and finds Havili.

They kick it back and now the Highlanders run. Umaga-Jensen and Paea carry towards halfway, as does Ainsley.

Smith takes his time to get things under control, and then goes to the air. Fomai wins it, and Moana can attack.

McClutchie goes to the air, where Tavatavanawai loses the ball to Gilbert in the air, and knock-on is called.

Highlanders scrum.


A bit of indecision from the Highlanders, before Hunt finds the corner for a lineout inside the 22.

Apisai throws and Withy claims it. Renton runs to the 5m line, as the Highlanders go to the right.

Parkinson takes the line on, and reaches out to score! 

Gilbert will look to convert, similar position to McClutchie's opening kick. He hits the posts though, so Moana Pasifika keep their lead.


9 mins

Highlanders' first lineout. Apisai throws, and Parkinson wins it to allow them to run. 

They go wide to Lowe, who finds Hunt back inside him on the right.

Penalty though, not rolling away the call against Moana Pasifika.

8 mins

Hunt kicks off again, and Moana Pasifika look to use it. 

Enari goes back to Havili, and he clears into touch. 


This time they want the lineout in the Highlanders' half. Moli throws, and Slade wins it. 

Motuga picks and goes to get to the 22, as Moana Pasifika go wide to the left.

Faiilagi breaks the line, before they go to the right! Fomai carries to the 5m line, and Lindenmuth goes even closer.

Funaki picks and goes for the line - and he's over! The captain gets Moana Pasifika on the board first!

McClutchie looks to convert from the right-hand side, and nails it.


4 mins

Hunt kicks off again, straight to Havili, who kicks it back. 

Gilbert goes up, but spills the catch for Moana Pasifika advantage. Aumua has a strong run towards the halfway as Moana Pasifika go wide.

Parkinson is called for offside, so we go back for the penalty.

3 mins

Moana Pasifika want the points, as Funaki points at the posts.

McClutchie lines it up, wide from the left, but pushes it to the right.

Still scoreless.

2 mins

Enari feeds, and goes to Tavatavanawai off the back as Moana Pasifika win advantage.

Play is stopped, and we go back for the penalty, a high tackle against Hunt.

1 min

Parkinson drops the kick-off, and Moana Pasifika have the first scrum of the night.


And we're underway at Mt Smart as Havili kicks off!


Big cheers for the home side as they run out onto the field. There's a small crowd in tonight, but a lot of empty seats.

Kick-off coming up!


A late change for the Highlanders, Mosese Dawai has replaced Connor Garden-Bachop on the right wing. 


Both sides are back in the sheds for their final preparations. 


It's worth noting that tonight is Aaron Smith's 350 professional match, across tests, Super Rugby and NPC appearances.

Unreal achievement from the Highlanders' halfback. 


Good evening! We're about 25 minutes away from kick-off at Mt Smart, so stay tuned until then!


Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of this Super Rugby Pacific round six clash between the Highlanders and Moana Pasifika at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium.

After three straight losses and sitting last on the competition ladder, the Highlanders have won their last two and are now eighth, eyeing finals contention this early in the season.

A win tonight would be three in a row and move them up to sixth, before the Crusaders face the Reds later tonight.

Those results have come amid a spate of injuries that leave the Highlanders forced to improvise in their team sheet for tonight.

With 11 players sidelined, the Highlanders have been boosted by All Blacks loose forward Shannon Frizell, who returns after almost a month out. 

The side's injury woes are so bad, loose forward Marino Mikaele-Tu'u has been named in the No.23 jersey - normally reserved for an outside back.

Meanwhile, their opponents will be smarting from their effort last week, when they went down 59-0 to a rotated Hurricanes side.

Aaron Mauger's men are the only side in the competition this year without a win so far and with a trip to Christchurch looming next week, the next couple of rounds could be a tough ask for the Super Rugby newcomers.

Join us at 7pm for kickoff.

TAB odds: Highlanders $1.20, Moana Pasifika $4.40, draw $26

Highlanders: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Leni Apisai, 3-Jermaine Ainsley, 4-Pari Pari Parkinson, 5-Josh Dickson, 6-Sean Withy, 7-Billy Harmon (c), 8-Hugh Renton, 9-Aaron Smith, 10-Mitch Hunt, 11-Jonah Lowe, 12-Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 13-Fetuli Paea, 14-Mosese Dawai, 15-Sam Gilbert

Reserves: 16-Andrew Makalio, 17-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Saula Ma'u, 19-Max Hicks, 20-Shannon Frizell, 21-Folau Fakatava, 22-Cameron Millar, 23-Marino Mikaele-Tu'u

Moana Pasifika: 1-Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 2-Samiuela Moli, 3-Suetena Asomua, 4-Michael Curry, 5-Samuel Slade, 6-Miracle Faiilagi, 7-Alamanda Motuga, 8-Solomone Funaki (c), 9-Ereatara Enari, 10-Lincoln McClutchie, 11-Neria Fomai, 12-Danny Toala, 13-Levi Aumua, 14-Timoci Tavatvanawai, 15-William Havili

Reserves: 16-Luteru Tolai, 17-Abraham Pole, 18-Joe 'Apikotoa, 19-Mike McKee, 20-Jonah Mau'u, 21-Manu Paea, 22-D'Angelo Leuila, 23-Fine Inisi