Live updates: Super Rugby Pacific - Highlanders v Western Force at Perth's HBF Park


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80min - Force win the lineout, and are looking to use all the clock before kicking it out. They knock on as the hooter sounds but it won't matter, the Force have won!

78min - Highlanders do well to charge down the box-kick and win the ball back. Tucker gets stood up in the tackle, before losing it in contact and the Force clear.

76min - Highlanders front row comes down and are penalised, gifting the Force possession. Hegarty takes his time with the penalty kick, before knocking it over to extend the lead.

74min - Highlanders do well again to stop the Force maul, forcing the knock on just five metres out from their own tryline. Is there enough time?

72min - Force look to drive their maul but referee tells them to use it, as it comes to ground, before the Highlanders are penalised. Hegarty finds touch just five metres out.

70min - Force happy to keep it tight to maintain possession, with the ball not going any further than the forwards in midfield. Hegarty tries the chip kick but Highlanders get back to reclaim it.

68min - Ball finally becomes dead after both sides found success with it hand, as Burns this time finds touch on halfway to give the players a breather.

66min - Force now finding space, but Highlanders recover well to steal the ball back and Burns clears but can't find touch and the hosts are right on attack again.

64min - Force falling off tackles in midfield, allowing the Highlanders to make good metres. Force counter-ruck really well though and turn it over, before Mataele makes a break.

62min - Force decide against trying their luck at another lineout and give the ball to Hegarty to knock over and he makes no mistake to extend the lead back to 10.

60min - Force win their own lineout, but Highlanders do well to disrupt the ball and stunt the maul. Highlanders are pinged though, with Tucker guilty of being offside.

58min - Highlanders defence playing with real intensity now, but perhaps too much, as they are pinged for offside. Hegarty finds touch just five metres out.


Highlanders awarded another penalty and opt for touch. They win the lineout and make easy metres from the maul, before Makalio dives for the try! Comeback well and truly on.

54min -  Highlanders looking good to score again as Garden-Bachop goes close. They come to Mikaele-Tu'u who crashes over the tryline but he's held up! Mataele with another try-saver.

52min - Highlanders drive their maul and Frizell goes over but loses the ball over the tryline! Some reprieve though as Horton is shown a yellow card.

50min - Comedy of errors from both sides sets up a Force scrum on their own 22m, but they are penalised for their front row collapsing. Hunt finds touch just five metres out.

48min - Force make good metres up the middle, but a pass goes behind, which leads to a penalty for entering at the side of the rick. Hunt finds touch around the 22m.


Highlanders win the lineout, and shift wide quickly, as Lowe fires a cutout pass to Garden-Bachop and he pins the ears back to dive over in the corner for the try.

44min - Highlanders playing with another penalty advantage, so Hunt tries the cross-field kick for Garden-Bachop and he takes a good catch before being tackled a metre out into touch.

42min - Highlanders win the lineout from the penalty and look to attack the Force midfield. Force pinged again for offside, before another one goes the Highlanders way.


40+2min - Highlanders try to spread the ball quickly, but they knock on just a metre out from the tryline, as they looked to force the final pass.

40min - Gilbert makes a good break and the Highlanders are suddenly just a metre out. Stewart tries getting over the ball but is penalised and also shown a yellow card! That's four this half!


Force look to march their maul from the lineout, they're just a metre out and it collapses, forcing Berry to awarded the penalty try and show Mikaele-Tu'u the yellow card. Oh dear.

36min - Hegarty tries the kick over the top but we'll come back for an offside penalty. Force decide against the easy shot at the goal posts and opt for the lineout.

34min - Highlanders finally back to their full compliment of players but the Force get up to steal the lineout and quickly find success with ball in hand up the middle.


Force do well to come away with the ball after a determined Gilbert challenge in the air. Tiatia makes a break, finds Poolman, who gives it to Mataele and he strolls over for the try.

30min - Mataele splits the Highlanders defence, but the Force knock on in the midfield after a nice offload by Hegarty. Force struggling to find the finishing touch.

28min - Force making good metres up the middle, as Wells carries strong. But Frizell does well to attack the isolated skipper and win the penalty. Highlanders holding on - just.

26min - Force look to attack the space from the scrum but the Highlanders rush their defence to force the error. But they concede another penalty at the scrum.

24min - But this time the numerical disadvantage shows, as the Highlanders are helpess at the scrum and concede the penalty. Force opt for another scrum.

24min - Despite being two players down, both in the forwards, the Highlanders somehow come away with the ball from the Force maul. Harmon the hero.

22min - Force held up over the tryline and make that another yellow card! De Groot this time is shown his marching orders. Force opt for another close-range lineout.

22min - And make that another penalty against the Highlanders, which sees Parkinson shown a yellow card. He infringed at the Force maul.

20min - Force go short with the lineout, and the Highlanders are pinged for a high tackle. Force again opt for touch, but this time only five metres out from the tryline.

18min - Umaga-Jensen can't help but chuck the hand up and knocks the Force pass down and is penalised. Force find touch for the lineout.

16min - Highlanders waste little time trying to hit back and quickly march their way inside the Force 22m. And the referee awards them the penalty. Hunt knocks over the penalty goal.

14min - It's Pulu the player down and he's now being helped off the field. Hegarty extends the Force lead with a chip shot at the goal posts. Force lead 10-0 early on.

14min - Force really starting to open up the Highlanders defence, as Pulu again is involved. They make it to the 22m before being awarded the penalty. Another Force player is down.

12min - Mataele is freed up down the right wing with a beautiful offload out the back but the Highlanders defence do well to recover and tackle man and ball and win it back.

10min - This time the Force get the put-in to the scrum, and this time, it's the Highlanders that get the whistle, with the home team penalised. Hunt tries to find touch but kicks it dead.

8min - Harmon makes a strong carry in the midfield, before Mikaele-Tu'u is crunched! Highlanders still have possession, before Gilbert is drilled backwards in the tackle.


Former Chiefs winger Pulu shows silky feet to split the Highlanders defence, he finds Hegarty who leaves the last defender for dead to score the game's first try.

4min - A Force knock on sets up the first scrum of the fixture. Highlanders are pinged though and the Force get the free-kick and take the quick tap.

2min - Plenty of concern for Callan, and he will be stretchered off. Hopefully it's just precautionary, his neck seemed to have got in an awkward position in the tackle.

2min - Lowe gets back to defuse a potentially threatening Force attack, before the Highlanders clear. Callan is down with a head injury for the home side.

9:30pm - Thank you for joining us! Can the Highlanders make it two-from-two for Kiwi sides over Australian opposition tonight? We're about to find out!


Kia ora, good evening, and welcome to Newshub's live updates of the Super Rugby Pacific clash between the Highlanders and Western Force at Perth's HBF Park.

The Highlanders are coming off a much-needed bye week, following their defeat to the Hurricanes a fortnight ago.

They head into tonight's fixture having already beaten the Force earlier in the season, in what turned out to be a high-scoring thriller.

Another win would propel them to sixth on the Super Rugby table, with only the remaining Kiwi sides and Brumbies above them.

Their task will be made harder without the services of All Black halfbacks Aaron Smith and Folau Fakatava, gifting James Ascott a rare start in the No.9 jersey.

But they are boosted by the return of Connor Garden-Bachop, Will Tucker, and Mitch Hunt, who all return to the run-on side.

Join us at 9:30pm for kickoff.

Highlanders: 1-Ethan de Groot, 2-Andrew Makalio, 3-Jermaine Ainsley, 4-Pari Pari Parkinson, 5-Will Tucker, 6-Shannon Frizell, 7-Billy Harmon (c), 8-Marino Mikaele Tu'u, 9-James Arscott, 10-Mitch Hunt, 11-Jonah Lowe, 12-Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 13-Fetuli Paea, 14-Connor Garden-Bachop, 15-Sam Gilbert

Reserves: 16-Leni Apisai, 17-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18-Saula Ma'u, 19-Fabian Holland, 20-Sean Withy, 21-Nathan Hastie, 22-Freddie Burns, 23- Josh Timu

Force: 1-Tom Robertson, 2-Tom Horton, 3-Santiago Medrano, 4-Felix Kalapu Jr, 5-Jeremy Williams, 6-Tim Anstee, 7-Ollie Callan, 8-Michael Wells, 9-Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 10-Bryce Hegarty, 11-Manasa Mataele, 12-Hamish Stewart, 13-Sam Spink, 14-Toni Pulu, 15-Chase Tiatia

Reserves: 16-Feleti Kaitu'u, 17-Angus Wagner, 18-Siosifa Amone, 19-Ryan McCauley, 20-Rahboni Vosayaco, 21-Ian Prior, 22-Bayley Kuenzie, 23-George Poolman

TAB odds: Highlanders $1.35, Force $3.20, draw $21