Match recap: Hurricanes v Highlanders
The Highlanders have secured their first away win of the season in a thrilling match against the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium tonight.
Despite two stirring comebacks from the Hurricanes in the second half, the Highlanders held on to win 49-44.
For a blow-by-blow recap of the match, see below.
Thank's for joining me tonight! Next week the Hurricanes take on the Crusaders in Christchurch, while the Highlanders take on the Rebels in Australia. See ya next week!
We've seen 93 points scored in 80 minutes of rugby. Wish we'd seen these teams playing like this all season!
What. A. Game! That's the game of the season! Both teams put on a great attacking display, but the Highlanders held off the late surge by the Hurricanes to win.
80 mins: Scrum takes a couple of attempts to get down. Time is up as it's fed. Marshall goes close, but the Highlanders have won a penalty! The Highlanders forward piled into the ruck, and forced a Hurricanes player to hold on too long. That's the game!
79 mins: Turnover! Canes have won the ball with just over a minute left to play. They have a scrum, and will look to use this set play well. Big moment this!
79 mins: Highlanders still have it, but not going anywhere. Keeping the ball well though. Canes need to try and force a turnover, but it's proving very difficult.
78 mins: Highlanders straight into a maul following the lineout. They'll try and wind the clock down. Keeping it in the forwards inside their own 22m.
77 mins: Barrett kicks deep after the restart, and finds touch just outside the Highlanders 22m. Good field position for the Canes, if they can get the ball back.
76 mins: Yellow card! Murray sent off. Penalty right in front about 10m out, and Barrett will kick the goal. It's 49-44 now! Canes have just under 5 minutes to get a try and the win, against 14 men!
75 mins: Andrew Hore penalised in the riuck, and then Smylie makes the break following the quick tap. Savea makes another break, and hands it to Lee-Lo. That duo are unstoppable on the left wing.
74 mins: Barrett adds the conversion, and it's 49-41 now. Hard to believe that the Canes are still in this! This is the game of the year!
73 mins: TRY! Broadhurst is over. Lee-Lo made a break, then threw a basketball pass to Savea. The ball is then spread wide and Broadhurst just got across the line.
72 mins: Lee-Lo with a big break after a stunning Shields offload. The Canes have it on halfway, and Lee-Lo is off again!
71 mins: 49-34 now to the Highlanders. Thrush is off now and Reddish is on. Highlanders restart, and Broadhurst claims it. Lee-Lo is away!
70 mins: TRY! Smylie! Hore won the ball in the ruck illegally, threw a pass up, but Smylie caught on first, intercepted and dived across the line.
69 mins: Smylie is on for Perenara now. Vito wins the ball from the restart, and the Canes back on attack. Smylie with a poor pass, but there is a penalty against the Highlanders. Barrett kicks for touch.
68 mins: TRY! Elliot Dixon! TJ Ioane breaks the tackle, then throws a good pass to Dixon who runs 20m to get across the line. What a game of rugby! Parker kicks the conversion, and it's 49-27 to the Highlanders now.
67 mins: Parker lines up the conversion from wide on the left, and slots it. Highlanders up 42-27 now. Canes need three tries to come back in the final 13 minutes.
66 mins: TRY! Hosea Gear! The ball is moved wide by the Highlanders, then Barrett can't make a one-on-one tackle on the 22m, and Gear got across the line.
65 mins: Conrad Smith runs it into the Highlanders 22m. Then Vito makes a break, throws an offload, but the Highlanders get it back. Smith due back on the field now for them.
64 mins: Solid scrum, but then Savea with a poor chip which goes into touch on the full. Highlanders with a 22m dropout. Smith back in one minute. Parker kicks it deep, and Marshall brings it back.
63 mins: Canes win the scrum, then Conrad puts in a lovely grubber. The big bus Savea then drags Poki inside the try line, and the Canes have a scrum on the 5m line. What a comeback from the Canes!
62 mins: Parker on for Slade for the Highlanders. Slade has had a great game for the southern men. Highlanders have won the ball back and have a scrum, Parker to play halfback.
61 mins: We have a good game of rugby here! Aaron Smith looking sheepish on the sideline, still off for another few minutes. Canes up over halfway again following the kickoff.
60 mins: TRY! Savea! Shields with a great pass to Savea after Dixon made the break. Barrett slots the conversion. 37-27 now.
59 mins: Canes keeping the ball after the kickoff and spreading it side to side. Dixon with a big run, throws in a goose-step and all. The Canes are up into the Highlanders half now.
58 mins: Barrett slots the extras. 37-20 to the Highlanders. Replay shows Franks nearly dropped that. Shields on for Levave. Can he make an impact?
57 mins: TRY! Ben Franks! For some reason Ben Franks was loitering on the wing, and Barrett found him with a lovely cut-out pass. He jumps across the line.
56 mins: Tuiali'i is off, Paringatai is on. Canes just win the scrum. Not looked solid there all day. The forward move the ball up towards the try line. Strong defence though from the Highlanders.
55 mins: Yellow card for Aaron Smith. Professional foul in the ruck. He's off, and the Canes then take a tap. They have a scrum after the Highlanders intercept, but knock-on. The Hurricanes need to take advantage of the extra man for the next 10 mins.
54 mins: The Canes maul fails, so they spread it wide and nearly score. Marshall can't quite get across the line.
53 mins: Andrew Hore on for Coltman, and Fia is off for Murray. Highlanders making changes. Thrush pulls in the lineout, and the Canes maul is driven backwards.
52 mins: Ben May with a quick tap after a penalty. The Canes are 5m from the try line. Levave goes close to the line, but it's then knocked on. There was a penalty awarded against the Highlanders, and Barrett kicks to touch. Lineout on the 5m line.
51 mins: Aaron Smith intercepts a pass thrown by Levave. Threw it to the wrong Smith. Now Conrad does have the ball, and runs about 50m up field. Savea now runs it inside the Highlanders 22m. They've gone 80m in a matter of seconds.
50 mins: This time Smith can feed the scrum, and then the Highlanders clear. Marshall claims a mark, then thumps the ball down field. Slade puts up the bomb, and Savea brings it down.
49 mins: Both of these teams are playing for pride now, with no chance of making the finals. You'd want to see more from the Hurricanes. Highlanders doing their fans proud. Having our third scrum on halfway. It's taking a while.
47 mins: Still only missed one. He slots that. 35-13 to the Highlanders. Barrett hits the restart out on the full, very unlike him. Hurricanes are very disappointing tonight.
46 mins: Highlanders win a penalty after the lineout, hands in the ruck. Slade teeing up another kick at goal from wide on the right. Only missed one so far tonight.
45 mins: Oh wow! Colin Slade is slayed as he and Proctor collide going for a high ball. Takes a knee to the face, but he's up and okay. Highlanders have a lineout on the Canes 22m.
43 mins: It's a bit sloppy, but the Canes still have it. They move inside the Highlanders 22m. It's a struggle trying to get anywhere against this defence. The Canes give away a penalty for not releasing.
41 mins: We're back underway. Canes on attack early inside the Highlanders half.
Well, where has this Highlanders team been all year. They're running all over the Hurricanes in Wellington tonight. Hammett needs to fire a rocket up the Canes to get them back in this one. See you in 10!
40 mins: TRY! Poki is in. Following the scrum the Highlanders spread it wide to the right. Ellison threw a lovely cut-out pass for Poki, who fended off one defender and then ran over the line. What a finish from the Highlanders, and they have a bonus point already! Slade misses the kick. 32-13 to the Highlanders at halftime!
40 mins: Vito claims it, and is taken out in the air, winning a penalty. Barrett finds touch on the 10m line. Dixon to throw, but it was short, and the Highlanders have a scrum just inside the Canes half. TRY!
39 mins: Canes needed that try. They've been outplayed so far tonight. The Canes have a lineout inside their own 22m with a minute left in the first half.
38 mins: TRY! Dixon! The third string hooker gets across the line! That's his first try in Super Rugby. Barrett adds the extras, and it's 27-13 to the Highlanders. Dixon has been great in place of Coles and Matu'u.
37 mins: Scrum failed, but the Canes have the ball. Now the forwards are trying to roll it over the line. Another penalty for offside against the Highlanders. They take a quick tap, then Lee-Lo goes close.
36 mins: Good decision by the Westpac Stadium DJ, playing Get Lucky by Daft Punk as the players take a breather. They have rhythm, but the Canes don't tonight. Perenara to feed the scrum, but they have to try again.
35 mins: The Canes go close to scoring a try, but are then awarded a penalty for offside. Conrad elects for a scrum. They need to score a try to get back into this game.
34 mins: Thrush steals it in the lineout, and the Canes spread it wide. The bus Savea rolls up field, and moves the Canes into the Highlanders half. Vito then rolls it up, close to the line.
33 mins: Conrad Smith has made a couple of good runs so far. Dixon runs it up, then holds onto it in the ruck. Highlanders have the penalty, the Slade finds touch well inside the Canes half.
32 mins: May tried to hold the ball in one hand like Sonny Bill Williams, but failed. Hammett and co not looking overly happy in their coaches box. Highlanders just win the scrum, then clear. Huge box kick by Smith! Conrad brings it back for the Canes.
31 mins: Canes have dropped it, then the Highlanders clear. Savea brings the ball back almost to the Highlanders 22m. Ben May then knocks it on, and the Highlanders have a scrum on their own 22m.
29 mins: Slade kicks into touch on the full, meaning the ball is brought back to where he kicked from. The Canes on attack up inside the Highlanders 22m now. Big defence so far. Canes can't find a way through.
28 mins: Slade adds the extras. 27-6 to the Highlanders. What a good start for the southern men!
27 mins: TRY! Aaron Smith! Following the maul Dixon peels off the back and passes to Smith. He dives over the line without being touched. Highlanders are playing great rugby so far.
26 mins: Slade kicks for touch again following the penalty. Highlanders now on attack just outside the Canes 22m. They're mauling it up the middle, Slade even in the maul.
25 mins: The Highlanders just manage to keep the ball following the restart. Both teams doing a bit of kicking, before Ben Smith finds touch just inside his own half. Canes have a lineout, but then knock-on, and Broadhurst is caught offside.
23 mins: Canes are penalised at the scrum, not pushing straight. Slade will line up the three points from out on the right. He's been perfect tonight, and keeps that going. 4-4 tonight for Slade. 20-6 to the Highlanders now.
22 mins: Highlanders have a scrum just inside the Canes 22m after a penalty. Big chance for the Highlanders to get a third try from this set piece.
21 mins: Vito wins the ball from the restart, but they then lose the ball. Ellison kicks it deep, and then Marshall kicks, almost out on the full. Highlanders are on attack up inside the Canes half.
20 mins: Slade slots another conversion. What a good couple of minutes for the Highlanders. 17-6 now to them.
19 mins: TRY! Ellison! After the lineout the Highlanders spread it wide, Slade made another break and put in a chip. Perenara slipped trying to pick it up, the ball took a bad bounce for him, and Ellison pounced.
18 mins: Ben May gives away another penalty after the restart. Slade kicks for touch. May must be the most penalised player in Super Rugby.
17 mins: Slade adds the conversion. Highlanders now lead 10-6. That try came out of nowhere.
16 mins: TRY! Tuiali'i gets over for the Highlanders. Stunning counter-attack from them. Slade made a break, then handed it to Hosea Gear who ran a good 60m. When he was finally brought down he offloaded to Woodcock, who passed it on to Tuiali'i. Great try!
15 mins: Canes lineout is good, and Barrett puts up the kick. It wasn't too flash, only going about 20m, but he then collects his own kick and clears.
14 mins: Barrett slots the penalty. 6-3 to the Canes now. Slade restarts with a stunning kick, finding touch inside the 5m line.
13 mins: Savea with another quick throw after the Highlanders booted it into touch. Canes moving up field slowly, Lee-Lo with another big run. Canes have a penalty, Treeby picked up for a high tackle for the second time tonight.
12 mins: Ben May gives away a penalty in the scrum, so Slade is able to kick for touch. Can only get it to the 22m line though. Coltman finds his target, but Canes showing some big defence.
11 mins: Highlanders won the ball back, then Slade tried to clear. Marshall charged it down, then kicked the loose ball forward and dived on it. Doesn't look like he grounded it though. It was knocked on, so the Highlanders have a scrum on the 5m line.
10 mins: Marshall makes a good run after the Canes turned the ball over. Could be a TRY!
8 mins: Leiua with a good run following the kick-off. He gets the offload, and Broadhurst tries to do the same, unsuccessfully. Highlanders now attacking just inside the Canes half.
7 mins: Barrett lining up the penalty from wide on the left, about a 40m kick. Barrett slots it straight down the middle. It's 3-3.
6 mins: Slade clears after a blatant knock-on by the Highlanders was missed by the ref. Savea and then Lee-Lo make big runs. Lee-Lo lost a shoe on that run, but won a penalty. He was tackled high.
5 mins: Savea with a good run, moves the Canes up to halfway. Conrad Smith with a nice grubber and then puts a big hit on Poki who spills it. They then throw the ball into touch. Highlanders have a lineout.
3 mins: Canes have the ball following the restart. Barrett puts in a grubber, then Slade finds touch. The Canes go with a quick throw and are back on attack.
2 mins: Slade slots it. Highlanders lead 3-0 early on.
1 mins: Penalty given away early by the Hurricanes. Almost the whole team was offside after the kick. Slade lines it up from right in front, about 35m out.
0 mins: We're off. Slade gets things underway. Broadhurst takes it and the Canes hoof it back to Slade.
We're about to get underway. Remember to refresh the page to get the latest!
The players are heading out onto the field now. Big Brad Thorn leading the Highlanders out to a chorus of boos. Captain fantastic Conrad Smith brings the Canes onto the field.
Good evening everyone! We're five minutes from kickoff! It's stopped raining in Wellington, for now, so let's hope we get a good game of rugby!
Join us at 7.30pm for live coverage of the Hurricanes v Highlanders at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
I'm Ben Strang, and I'll be taking you through the action!
Please remember to refresh regularly for the latest play.
Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Reynold Lee-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Ben Franks. Reserves: 16 Reggie Goodes, 17 John Schwalger, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Jack Lam, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Matt Proctor.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Shaun Treeby, 12 Tamati Ellison, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Mose Tuiali'i , 7 Elliot Dixon, 6 TJ Ioane, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Tony Woodcock. Reserves: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Jake Paringatai, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Fumiaki Tanaka, 21 Hayden Parker, 22 Buxton Popoalii.
- The Dominion Post
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