The only place to watch the race for the title live
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|Home team||Away Team|
|27 - 41||
80 Full-time at Forsyth Barr Stadium and the Chiefs win 41-27 in a captivating Super Rugby clash. A bonus-point win for the reigning champions with the Highlanders heading down the tunnel with nothing to their name. Stay with us for our live coverage of the Rebels v Brumbies from Melbourne. Cheers.
79 That should be that as after Smith gave everything for the cause in attack, a few offloads eventually saw possession fall back into the hands of the Chiefs in their own 22. Brad Thorn, Andrew Hore and Colin Slade look on from the sideline, with Joseph hopeful to have them back sooner rather than later.
77 You have to admire how the Chiefs have put this game to bed. 20 points in under 20 minutes from them as they clear their lines through fly-half Cruden. The Highlanders should have a couple more chances for a consolation score and possibly a shot at the losing bonus-point. It's a big ask though.
73 ANSCOMBE PENALTY! 27-41! You know the drill by now. Territory and possession continues to change hands quicker than tickets at a turnstile and eventually a tackle without the ball from Liam Coltman on Latimer sees Anscombe step up again. He makes no mistake and this game now looks beyond the hosts.
70 ANSCOMBE PENALTY! 27-38! The Chiefs aren't back the required ten metres so the advantage now grows to eleven points after a fantastic long-range shot from Anscombe. What a signing he looks to have been.
67 ANSCOMBE CONVERSION! 27-35! The lead is eight points ladies and gents.
66 NANAI-WILLIAMS TRY! 27-33! Call a doctor, this is too much. The Chiefs centre is now over as another one of those goose steps sees him get past Poki on halfway before pinning his ears back for the line.
64 End-to-end stuff as Ben Smith cuts loose from his own 22 before handing to Gear. They lose possession in though and now it's the Chiefs downfield before they lose it. You see where I'm going. It's keeps on happening.
61 ANSCOMBE CONVERSION! 27-28! The Chiefs are back in front.
60 TIKOIROTUMA TRY! 27-26! As we hit the hour mark it is the Chiefs now on the opposition 22 and looking dangerous once again. Change to mention as Augustine Pulu is on for Kerr-Barlow. And he feeds it out to Tikoirotuma who is over! Too easy there for me. There were no Highlanders guards at that ruck.
57 SOPOAGA PENALTY! 27-21! In from the side from the Chiefs bang in front of their own posts so it's a gimme for the hosts here. You have to say they deserved something for their efforts in what is arguably their longest spell in possession of the game.
55 This spell of ball will be pleasing for coach Jamie Joseph...well, until the ball is turned over. However, the pass from Fritz Lee is forward so we are back to square one. Great platform for the Highlanders, 20 out.
52 Possession is with the Highlanders here just outside the visitors 22 and they are being patient with it. How will the Chiefs respond to this? The way this game is going, there's little doubt they won't hit back.
50 SOPOAGA CONVERSION! 24-21! No mistake, the lead is three.
48 POKI TRY! 22-21! Oh my word. The Highlanders are back alright. What a fend from Poki on Nanai-Williams which leads to the wing backing his pace from 25 metres out. What a game this is.
46 Anscombe has missed the conversion from wide out.
45 OSBORNE TRY! 17-21! The Chiefs hit back through right wing Osborne. Signs of why they won this coveted title last year then...
44 Manu has not returned for the second-half due to an injury so Elliot Dixon is on in his place. Back come the champions here with Messam busting through before Ben Afeaki picks up a nice ball off his bootlaces.
43 SOPOAGA PENALTY! 17-16! Great start from the Highlanders which ultimately results in a penalty going their way. This kick will put them in front...and there is no mistake from the young playmaker.
Second half Welcome back to Dunedin. The Highlanders are looking to start with a bang and quickly set up camp on the Chiefs 22. It comes wide to Phil Burleigh in a spell that sees them go from flank to flank.
40 SOPOAGA CONVERSION! 14-16! The kick is good and the half-time whistle soon sounds at Forsyth Barr Stadium. What a half that was...open, good skills and three cracking tries. Stay with us for the conclusion of this one!
39 GEAR TRY! 12-16! And how! The Highlanders are over via their captain. After going right they came left where wing Gear was able to step off his wing before fending en route to the line. Great team try.
38 One final chance for the Highlanders then here following a poor clearance from the Chiefs. Hardie takes it up close to the visiting 22 before they head towards the right touchline. Something could be on here.
36 Frustration for the Highlanders as a promising spell that saw Poki involved eventually comes to zero after Woodcock coughs one up in midfield. It's been a half of frustration for the home side.
34 A blow here for the Chiefs as Cane leaves the field after falling awkwardly on his shoulder. Tanerau Latimer is the man coming on so not a bad replacement to have sitting on your bench.
33 Just wide from the fly-half.
32 Referee Walsh evens things up though soon after with Pauliasi Manu penalised at scrum-time, which allows Sopoaga to reduce the lead to six points from halfway. It's a tough kick but with no weather concerns in this stadium, he should be OK for distance.
30 Nothing comes of that foray though and in fact the Chiefs have themselves a relieving penalty after the Highlanders are pinged for allegedly pushing the line-out jumper. There didn't seem to be too much in that one let me tell you.
28 Asaeli Tikoirotuma has just lost possession in contact on his own ten-metre so herewith a chance for this Highlanders backline to launch something. One feels they need a score here as Nonu crabs sideways.
25 ANSCOMBE PENALTY! 7-16! The lead grows to nine points.
23 The Chiefs are looking to move further ahead here and have numbers on the left side, with Cane the man in possession close to the whitewash. The openside is hauled down just before the line though but his side ultimately are awarded a penalty. Up steps Anscombe...
21 ANSCOMBE PENALTY! 7-13! These points come following Nonu catching All Blacks team-mate Cruden with a high shot about 35 metres from the Highlanders line. Anscombe subsequently did the business off the tee as the Chiefs extend their advantage.
19 We need to draw breath here in Dunedin and the Highlanders can do just that after Chiefs scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow is caught offside from a scrum. Sopoaga duly pushes his side up to halfway.
17 ANSCOMBE CONVERSION! 7-10! A great kick from the former Blues man.
16 NANAI-WILLIAMS TRY! 7-8! Oh how they have responded! It is a moment of magic from the centre as he ghosts around Nonu on halfway before a goose step and turn of pace sees him scorch around full-back Smith. That just looked too easy!
14 Boy did the locals liked that try. The Chiefs now need to regroup which means work for co-captains Craig Clarke and Liam Messam. They have a scrum on their own ten-metre with a penalty advantage being played for offside.
13 SOPOAGA CONVERSION! 7-3! Simple enough off the tee.
12 B SMITH TRY! 5-3! Scratch that, it's end-to-end stuff here! The Highlanders are on the march with a sustained period of pressure on the Chiefs line seeing Ben Smith pick up brilliantly before grounding. Fantastic finish from the All Black.
10 It's all been a touch fractured from the Highlanders in the early stages (early-season rust maybe) but they have some territory here following a scrum penalty. Pressure on young Mitchell with the throw... and it's stolen by the Chiefs who set off over halfway.
8 The Highlanders continue to bang on the door though and are up to the 22 now. However, more good work at the breakdown from the Chiefs forces the relieving penalty that moves the visitors up to halfway.
7 Now, how will the Highlanders respond here? Gear again joins the line from the blindside wing, adding his power in midfield. Unfortunately for the captain though, he finds no joy against this black and gold wall.
5 ANSCOMBE PENALTY! 0-3! The kick is solid so the champions move ahead.
3 Chance for the Chiefs to open the scoring here after Sam Cane pounces on Sopoaga on the ground after making the tackle. That leads to Anscombe calling for the tee...stay tuned.
1 Great start for the Chiefs as new hooker Marshall slips a lovely ball to Fritz Lee, who runs at pace over halfway. The number eight almost got up to the 22 before Nonu brought him to ground and the ball was eventually lost forward. Highlanders scrum.
Kick off The Otago students are packed into this special stadium which of course has its roof above us to add to the atmosphere. Here we go then with Steve Walsh the man in the middle for this one. Gareth Anscombe kicks us off. Here we go!
Late change Rhys Marshall comes in for Hika Elliot as Chiefs hooker.
Team news The Highlanders have their first-choice back-three in place as Ben Smith, Kade Poki and Hosea Gear are named. Elsewhere and there is a start at fly-half for Lima Sopoaga alongside Aaron Smith while John Hardie is back from a long-standing injury to wear the seven jersey. Brayden Mitchell gets the nod at hooker in place of the suspended Andrew Hore. For the Chiefs, Gareth Anscombe and Aaron Cruden both start (at 15 and 10 respectively) while Tim Nanai-Williams and Bundee Aki form a new midfield combo.
Welcome Hello and welcome from Forsyth Barr Stadium as we eagerly await the kick-off of New Zealand's Super Rugby conference. Action in Australia got underway last week but this fixture is an all-kiwi clash between the Highlanders and Chiefs. The champions have lost centre Sonny Bill Williams, prop Sona Taumalolo and number eight Kane Thompson during the close-season and it remains to be seen how much that will impact them as they look to defend the title. In contrast, the Highlanders are looking much stronger than last year with the arrivals of prop Tony Woodcock, lock Brad Thorn and centre Ma'a Nonu cushioning flanker Adam Thomson's departure. Now, stay right there as we have team news coming up!
Updates to appear here at 19:20 local (06:20 GMT)
|Friday 18th April|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Leicester|
|Saturday 19th April|
|15:00||Bath vs Worcester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Sale|
|15:15||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 20th April|
|14:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Saracens|
|Saturday 3rd May|
|15:00||Bath vs Northampton|
|15:00||Saracens vs Worcester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Sale vs Leicester|
|15:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|Saturday 10th May|
|15:15||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|15:15||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Northampton vs Wasps|
|15:15||Worcester vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Bath|
|15:15||London Irish vs Sale|
|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|
|Sunday 2nd March|
|Newcastle 18 - 41 Leicester|
|Saturday 1st March|
|Northampton 39 - 13 Gloucester|
|Exeter 18 - 0 London Irish|
|Harlequins 21 - 20 Worcester|
|Wasps 17 - 21 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 28th February|
|Bath 10 - 23 Saracens|
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Stuart Barnes with skysports.com