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Highlanders v Bulls - Live!
Full time HIGHLANDERS 16-11 BULLS
80 The Bulls will have one final chance as play restarts with a scrum on the 10m line. Vermaak breaks the first tackle, but Fuglistaller turns it over in the tackle and that is that as the siren goes. Cowen kicks it out and the Highlanders can celebrate.
80 The Bulls set up the maul before they look to pick and go, but Spies is isolated and holds on. Penalty to the Highlanders. Is that the ball game? The Highlanders set up play outside the 10m line. Can they secure their line-out? Yes they can. They decide to maul it up. It goes down and the ball doesn't come out so it's turn-over.
78 The Bulls take it through the phases and they have a penalty advantage after the Highlanders slow the ball down. Fresh advantage for not rolling away. They set up play within 15m of the Highlanders' line. Can the hosts hold on.
76 After a deep kick-off, the Bulls look to clear from their own 22, but the Highlanders are off-side at the ruck. Penalty to the Bulls and they put it out on the 10m line.
74 TRY, BULLS. Pick and go, pick and go from the Bulls and they finally get their try as replacement Wepenaar goes over. They are back in this game. 16-11. Steyn misses the conversion so they need a try to win this one.
73 The Bulls are forced to keep possession now and they take it through a couple of phases. Into the 22 they go and the Highlanders are off-side in midfield. Spies picks up and he drives forward. They are just a metre out. Greyling picks up and has a go. He is over the line and rolls, but is ripped out of his hand as he looks to place the ball. The Bulls get a scrum.
70 PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS. 16-6. It's a 10-point gap as Delany just gets it over the crossbar.
70 Kirchner gets hammered in the tackle by Gear and the Highlanders rip the ball away. The Bulls look to hit back immediately but Stander gives away a penalty.
69 Aaron Smith kicks deep, but Kirchner covers and that gives Steyn an opportunity to return with a kick of his own. No surprises that Delany decides to carry the ball after that. Aaron has had enough though and he goes for another high kick which Kirchner again gathers. After a couple of phases, the Bulls get the scrum.
66 CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS. Delany adds the extras and the Highlanders leads 13-6.
66 TRY, HIGHLANDERS. From the scrum Hoeata and Manu both carry it up strongly. Hoeata picks up and go again and this time there is no stopping him as he crashes over to the right of the poles. 11-6.
65 The Highlanders attack to the right from the scrum. Ellison and Gear both get them over the advantage line. Hoeata picks up a metre away from the line and has a go. He is just short, but he places the ball. The Highlanders think he touched the whitewash, but they send it upstairs. The TMO can't see if it was placed and it's a five-metre scrum.
63 The Highlanders finally break a couple of tackles following the line-out with Hoeata and Delany both doing some good work. Thomson also carries it forward before they come left. The Highlanders have an overlap, but Ndungane sticks out a hand and knocks it on. Scrum about 10m out. Penalty Highlanders at the scurm, but they take it quickly again. They take it through several phases before the ball is held up. Another scrum to the Highlanders.
60 Ben Smith attacks from deep after the line-out and he takes them over the Bulls' 22, but he loses it in contact and the men from Pretoria get the scrum. Steyn clears from the scrum.
57 It's the same story yet again. The Bulls kick off deep and the Highlanders decide to attack. Gear nearly breaks a tackle, but the Bulls hit back. I'm sure I've typed this before, right? Oooh! There's a change. The Bulls give away the penalty and Greyling is yellow carded for not rolling away.
55 The Highlanders get an opportunity to put the ball in the Bulls' half following a high tackle from Wynand Olivier. Smith, though, decides to take a quick tap and they are up and running again. Gear breaks a tackle and that gives them good ball. The Bulls give away another penalty for slowing the ball down. Delany goes for poles, but it's to the left.
55 Plenty of mistakes are creeping into the game. Lot's of set play at the moment. The Highlanders are desperate to have a run, but they just cannot get a clean break through the Bulls' defence.
53 After the Highlanders reply deep following the kick-off, the Bulls attack from the half-way line, but a forward pass hands possession to the hosts. Delany kicks it down field, but Ndungane gathers and hands it over to Kirchner, who is taken down. That ball is not coming out so the Bulls get a scrum.
49 PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS. We are level again as Delany eases the ball through the posts.
49 The Highlanders go deep with the line-out and that gives them an opportunity to attack from deep.The move the ball to the left before coming back right. Thomson straightens up and then Delany spots a half-gap, but the Bulls comes back to bring him down. Gear is the man to give them proper momentum as his dummy allows him to break a few tackles. He loses it forward, but the Bulls don't make much of it. They hold on and it's a penalty to the Highlanders.
46 Thomson gathers the line-out and Ellis breaks a couple of tackles before they go left then right. A kick through Delany, but Hougaard covers and is driven over the touchline.
43 The first scrum goes up, but the Highlanders get the benefit of the doubt as the second one collapses. Penalty and they can set up play close to the Bulls' 10m line.
Second half We are back underway in Dunedin. Bad news for the Bulls and Highlanders: the half-time show included a couple of dogs weeing on the field. Imagine sliding on the ground now. Yes, I'd rather not. Steyn starts deep and the Highlanders goes for an up and under in their own 22. Basson takes the ball in the air, but Burleigh steals it the hosts can once again attack from their own 22. This time they make hards before they knock it on.
Half-time Highlanders 3-6 Bulls
40 Steyn has a go from just inside the Highlanders' half, but it's well wide and short. Gear decides to run, but Smith has had enough and puts it out.
40 The Bulls are clearly playing for the half-time whistle as Hougaard takes forever to clear the ball from the ruck. His plan works like a charm as the Highlanders give away a penalty. The Bulls secure the line-out and they can spread it wide. The Highlanders give away another penalty, this time for taking out the jumper in the air.
38 PENALTY, BULLS. The Bulls are back in the lead as we approach half-time as Steyn slots over the three pointer.
36 The Bulls take it up a few times before Steyn kicks away possession, but Smith can't hold on the visitors are back in possession. Ndungane get's smashed by Hoeata and Crosswell. Steyn goes for a drop, but it's wide. Penalty anyway for an infringement at the ruck.
30 Oh dear, Jason Rutledge has missed his man with his throw-in at the line-out. Stander takes at the back and charges forward. Scores still level in what has been a disappointing half thus far. Zzzzzzzz....
27 Gear now with ball in hand, but drops the pigskin to his boot and gives chase. Olivier is once again relied upon to save the day, and dives on the ball, sliding into touch.
25 PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS. The Highlanders get inside the Bulls 22, Spies is pinged for hands in the ruck and this time Mike Delany is instructed to go for posts. It's good! Scores level. 3-3
22 Now the Highlanders launch an attack in midfield as Tamati Ellison tries to get over the advantage line, but rains straight into a pink wall. The ball gets ripped off him by CJ Stander though, and the hosts are forced to defend a Bulls counter-attack which ends in a knock-on by Kirchner.
20 Mackintosh is really made to pay for his decision to go for the line-out after the ball is pinched by Juandré Kruger. The Bulls forwards maul it up, before Francois Hougaard sends the ball into touch.
18 Now the Bulls stroll offsides, a chance for the hosts to put some points on the board. But captain Jamie Mackintosh opts for touch instead - strange decision that, if points are on offer so early in the match... take them!
15 The Highlanders enjoying the majority of possession and territory, however still remain scoreless as we approach the end of the first quarter of this match.
13 PENALTY, BULLS. Now the Bulls get another penalty - this time Steyn makes no mistake. First blood to the Bulls! 0-3
10 Olivier finds himself in the clear out wide - he throws a basket-type pass on his inside to the supporting Akona Ndungane, but it was forward.
8 The Highlanders living dangerously as Phil Burleigh attempts to run it back from behind their goal line. Common sense prevails and he is forced to kick for the safety of touch... but it's not out... Bjorn Basson knocks on, no... the ref says it went backwards and the Bulls will counter-attack through Zane Kirchner from inside their 22.
6 The home crowd trying to distract the Bok pivot, and it's appeared to have worked as the ball drifts wide - miss!
5 Big Pierre Spies breaks off the back of the scrum. He slams his way past two defenders before eventually he's hauled down. Jamie Mackintosh is pinged for trying to steal the ball off his feet, which allows Steyn his first shot at goal...
3 Now the Highlanders with possession, and they spread it wide where number eight Nasi Manu is waiting on the wings. He slips off a tackle, and then another before offloading to Hosea Gear on his inside and the wing is away! Wynand Olivier managed to dislodge the ball from Hosea's grasp though and the discarded All Blacks speedster knocks on. Scrum!
1 And we're under way! Highlanders pivot Mike Delany kicks off to the men in pink. Flip van der Merwe takes, charges up, hit the deck and his forwards clean the ball out for centurion Morne Steyn to clear.
Team news The Bulls, who have won eight of their 10 matches, have made three changes - with Wynand Olivier. Dewald Potgieter and Dean Greyling called into the starting XV. Francois Venter, Deon Stegmann and Dawie Steyn all make way.
The match will see Morne Steyn make his 100th Super Rugby appearance for the Bulls - with the Springbok fly-half having passed the magical 1,000-point barrier this season.
Team news Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has made four changes for the clash - with Jamie Mackintosh,Jason Rutledge and Tim Boys replacing the rested Chris King, Andrew Horeand Josh Bekhuis. In the backs, Mike Delany returns at fly-half in place of Chris Noakes.
Welcome! Hello and welcome to Dunedin where the Highlanders will look to climb back into the top-six places when they tackle the table-topping Bulls in this Round 13 Super Rugby clash!
Updates to appear here from 17.30 local time ( 06.30 BST / 05.30 GMT)
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