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80 That is that. 43-12 to the Highlanders. Thanks for following!
79 Nothing doing for the Rebels though as the Highlanders' intensity at the breakdown forces a turnover and with it Cowan clears. What a performances this has been from the New Zealanders since the turnaround. Superb effort that takes them top of the table.
77 TIETJENS YELLOW! The Australians will look to change that statistic with Huxley pushing the Rebels into the home 22. Oh dear, a second offence is not too far in coming too as replacement flanker Tietjens leaves the field for lying all over the tackler.
75 It is relentless. The Highlanders kick to the corner now on the left side of the field from where they are attacking as fly-half O'Connor is pulled from the action. Remember the Rebels have not troubled the scorers in this second 40 minutes here at Rugby Park.
72 THOMSON TRY! 43-12! There it is! Replacement scrum-half Jimmy Cowan made the initial bust and from there the recycled ball came back to where Thomson almost score a minute ago. This time he powers over, with Phil Burleigh's conversion well wide.
69 More pressure being applied on the Melbourne Rebels' line. It's with that man Thomson again, looking for a try on the right touchline this time! It goes upstairs to the TMO ... foot in touch. Almost the hat-trick for the man sure to take over from Jerome Kaino for NZ.
66 NOAKES CONVERSION! 38-12! It's his last act.
65 B SMITH TRY! 36-12! A brace for Smith. Quick ball off the top of a line-out and it comes wide to the full-back, who cuts a nice line to go in untouched.
64 Here come the Highlanders again with Manu hitting the line well on halfway. It's Thomson involved on the left but then Aaron Smith is caught accidentally in front of Bekhuis so Jonker blows for a Rebels scrum. Chamberlain is leaving the action for Al Campbell.
61 Plenty of changes to report as Mackintosh, Haskell, Beale and Delve have all been replaced for the find 20 minutes of what has been a fine game so far in Invercargill.
60 NOAKES CONVERSION! 31-12! Nice strike.
59 MACKINTOSH TRY! 29-12! A fifth score for the Highlanders a few pick and goes leads to the captain going over close to the right touchline. Conversion coming.
57 Amazing. Vuna has just clearly tip-tackled Poki and yet does not receive a yellow or white card. Something to discuss in the pub later as the penalty goes to the hosts.
54 Superb from Aaron Smith as he again looks for space in behind the Rebels. That causes all kinds of bother and leads to a penalty being blown by Jonker. Line-out time.
53 The Rebels are penalised at scrum-time after going down so up steps Smith from distance...this one is ugly and drops short to make him 0 from 2 here tonight.
50 Beale finds territory after another good spell from the Highlanders with ball in hand. The hosts aren't hanging around though and sense their rivals are there for the kill.
48 Three tries in six minutes then from the Highlanders when you think about it as the Rebels throw in on the home 22. Suddenly they have it all to do do the Australians.
46 NOAKES CONVERSION! 24-12! This time he gets it.
45 POKI TRY! 22-12! The conversion from Thomson's try was missed by Noakes but the Highlanders have decided to go for another five soon after instead. Aaron Smith with the box over the top into space and Poki chased hard for the glory! Ten-point lead.
43 THOMSON TRY! 17-12! Outstanding from the Highlanders. Boy have they come out firing as Poki, Treeby and Noakes were involved there. The ball then came to the left to openside Thomson, who hit the line well before diving over close to the left touchline.
Second-half Welcome back and it will be Beale to kick off. The Wallaby is in the action again soon after with a punt downfield that leads to Poki having a run over halfway.
40 THOMSON TRY! 12-12! The first 40 minutes at Rugby Park ends with the Highlanders going over on the right wing through their flanker. It had been coming in Invercargill before Noakes struck the upright with his conversion attempt. We have a tied ball game!
39 O'CONNOR PENALTY! 7-12! There is one. On-target again.
36 7-9 makes for better viewing for the Highlanders now as the Rebels take contact through Delve on halfway. A score for either side before the break would be huge.
33 NOAKES CONVERSION! 7-9! Two-point ball game.
32 B SMITH TRY! 5-9! Reward for the Highlanders. From halfway they shipped the ball from Poki to Ellison and then Smith broke the line before staying strong on his feet to cross. They did that with Johansson back on the field too! Conversion is coming up.
31 That was a big chance for the Highlanders there as they stole a line-out five metres from the Rebels line but then proceeded to throw two wild passes down the line. From there, they were never going to cross as the play ended with Gear juggling the ball into touch.
29 O'CONNOR PENALTY! 0-9! It becomes a nine-point lead as the Rebels get some reward for their spirited efforts via the boot of O'Connor. Highlanders head coach Jamie Joseph has a lot of work to do in twelve minutes time to lift his team's confidence.
26 It's all Rebels here as they set up camp in the home 22. Beale is looking threatening with ball in hand as they go through the phases. One feels this is a big moment.
24 Rebels replacement: Ged Robinson is on for Freier.
23 More frustration for the Highlanders as Nasi Manu coughs up a ball that was relatively simple to take outside his own 22. But more of a worry for the hosts is that Haskell is down with a knee injury. He is going to try and stay on here is the England international.
21 JOHANSSON YELLOW! He has been sent to the bin for a tip-tackle on Haskell. Up steps full-back Ben Smith from the Rebels' ten-metre as he has the greater distance with his kicks..not the direction though as this one flies just wide of the uprights.
20 A penalty for the Highlanders as Vuna is caught offside on the chase. So up steps Noakes from wide out as he looks to add to a 7 from 7 record so far in 2012...short.
19 Play is just outside the Rebels 22 with the Australians in possession from the line-out. This 0-6 scoreline will be tough pill to swallow for the Highlanders as they will feel they are worth a lead. The Rebels meanwhile will be happy with how they've taken their chances.
15 O'CONNOR PENALTY! 0-6! He does just that with a fine kick.
14 Bekhuis is caught offside now but it is outside of O'Connor's range so the Rebels go to touch and find themselves 22 metres out. In it comes Freier...and now they will have a kickable shot as Haskell fails to roll away at the breakdown. This should double the lead.
12 The Highlanders look to strike back immediately with B Smith, Thomson and Treeby involved. This leads to a penalty advantage being played but the hosts don't make the most of it as Saffy claims a turnover. No prizes for guessing what the Rebels are going to do here.
9 O'CONNOR PENALTY! 0-3! The Rebels are the first to strike as prop Chris King is penalised for slipping his bind at scrum-time. Up steps fly-half O'Connor - who is in for Cipriani this week - for the three from ten metres in from the right touchline...no mistake.
6 Good stuff from Beale on two occasions as first he offloads well on halfway and then pops up on the 22 before handing on to Huge Pyle. But the lock has fumbled that one with the try-line five metres away. Highlanders defensive scrum - they will look to get out of here.
4 Rebels line-out just inside Highlanders territory after what's been a frenetic start in Invercargill. Great start to the action here with the Rebels set for their first touch..
Kick-off Here we go. Ben Smith kicks us off with Marius Jonker in the middle. Highlanders retain possession and it's open from them as they look to test out the Rebels.
Team news Adam Thomson, Jason Rutledge, Jarrad Hoeata and Chris Noakes all come into the Highlanders XV at the expense of Doug Tietjens, Andrew Hore, Culum Retallick and Colin Slade. The Rebels meanwhile are boosted by the return of James O'Connor and Kurtley Beale while Lachlan Mitchell and Lloyd Johansson continue in midfield. Danny Cipriani is ruled out with an injury.
Welcome It's the sixth week of Super Rugby 2012 and we kick-off in Invercargill for what should be an open spectacle between two teams who like to play rugby. The Highlanders will be eager to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to the Brumbies while the Melbourne Rebels enter the fixture fresh from edging the Western Force 30-29 at AAMI Stadium. Team news to follow soon.
|Friday 2nd May|
|19:45||Bath vs Northampton|
|Saturday 3rd May|
|15:00||Saracens vs Worcester|
|15:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Irish|
|15:15||Sale vs Leicester|
|Sunday 4th May|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 10th May|
|15:15||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|15:15||Northampton vs Wasps|
|15:15||Worcester vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Bath|
|15:15||London Irish vs Sale|
|Sunday 20th April|
|Newcastle 18 - 23 Saracens|
|Northampton 36 - 21 London Irish|
|Saturday 19th April|
|Wasps 38 - 30 Gloucester|
|Bath 32 - 20 Worcester|
|Exeter 12 - 55 Sale|
|Friday 18th April|
|Harlequins 24 - 20 Leicester|
|Sunday 13th April|
|London Irish 40 - 12 Newcastle|
|Saracens 28 - 24 Northampton|
|Saturday 12th April|
|Gloucester 17 - 18 Bath|
|Worcester 33 - 38 Exeter|
|Leicester 27 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 11th April|
|Sale Sharks 12 - 27 Harlequins|
|Sunday 30th March|
|Newcastle 12 - 17 Worcester|
|Saturday 29th March|
|Northampton 16 - 22 Leicester|
|Wasps 20 - 32 Saracens|
|Exeter 13 - 14 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 23 - 9 London Irish|
|Friday 28th March|
|Bath 11 - 12 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 23rd March|
|Leicester 45 - 15 Exeter|
|Saturday 22nd March|
|London Irish 23 - 44 Bath|
|Saracens 39 - 17 Harlequins|
|Gloucester 40 - 33 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 19 - 6 Northampton|
|Friday 21st March|
|Worcester 11 - 13 Wasps|
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Stuart Barnes with skysports.com