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Full time HIGHLANDERS 12-40 CRUSADERS
80 TRY, CRUSADERS, VEAINU! 12-40: How about that for a finish?! Quick lineout, Carter works some magic to find Veainu in space and the big man canters away, leaving Gear for dead to score under the posts and clinch that bonus point! Remarkable finish to a great game, the Crusaders march on as the Highlanders stay rooted to the bottom of the table.
79 Deep kick by Sopoaga into the corner. Wide pass left to Gear who skips a tackle but B.Smith is forced into touch.
78 Good pressure in defence by the Highlanders, wrapping up Crotty in midfield. Flynn with a good run, Whitelock behind the line as the Saders reach the 22. Tuiali'i with a big hit coming out of the line and the Highlanders turn the ball over. Side to side, Poki breaking the tackle. Penalty to the hosts.
76 Poor interchange as Sopoaga dives on it. Thorn needing two tacklers as the visitors get the scrum right on the halfway line.
73 Crusaders scrum on the far side and they win the penalty. Kick to touch goes too long and Gear touches down for a 22. Worked short and concludes with a penalty, A.Smith kicking to touch on halfway.
71 Read on for Todd as Flynn returns, putting the Crusaders back to 15 men. Free kick to the Saders who are now looking for that bonus point try. Turned over by the Highlanders as A.Smith secures the ball. Ioane through a gap, powerful runner, Sopoaga stepping. Dixon intercepts Carter from a turnover before A.Smith's kick goes nowhere.
69 This goose is cooked as Sopoaga tries to make it happen. Crusaders hack on the loose ball and force the Highlanders right back to their own five-metre line. Clearance from A.Smith, Crusaders lineout.
67 TRY, CRUSADERS, CARTER! 12-33: Ioane on for the Highlanders and carries over halfway. Coltman also on for the hosts and drives low. Turned over and Heinz clears, wide pass to Crotty who slips one. Marshall gets around Bekhuis, Guilford inside ball to Heinz as the Saders hit the 22. Carter through a gap, try! Superb from the world's best fly-half, putting on a clinic.
65 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, CARTER! 12-26: Carter 6/6 on the night as he adds another three points from just inside the Highlanders 22 on the right.
63 Highlanders free kick from the scrum. Bekhuis driven forward by Fia, six metres out now for the hosts. Half-gap for Hoeata, falls short and the Crusaders have the ball and are breaking out! Long kick from Marshall and they get numbers to the breakdown after B.Smith is wrapped up. Advantage coming and there's the penalty - from 22 to 22.
62 Highlanders initially lose the lineout before regathering possession. Ball is lost forward, scrum to the Crusaders.
61 YELLOW CARD, CRUSADERS, FLYNN! Highlanders attempting to bounce back. Nasty tackle by Flynn on A.Smith... and we're going to the TMO. Catches him high and that's a trip to the sin-bin for the man that just came on.
59 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, CARTER! 12-23: Carter's radar still working as he adds another three points. Flynn on for Funnell.
58 RED CARD, HIGHLANDERS, NONU! What is it about Ma'a Nonu this season? Tip tackle, straight red card, no option for Steve Walsh.
56 TRY, HIGHLANDERS, GEAR! 12-20: Tempo slowed down by the Highlanders before they fire it wide to the left, Slade finding the century man Gear! Is he in for the try in the left corner? Upstairs to the TMO. Confirmed! Outstanding flip finish from Gear in the corner. Slade fails to convert.
54 Huge overthrow from Hore and the Crusaders attack through Todd. Marshall can't get the pass away, loose ball retained by the Crusaders. Carter looks for space and kicks, sits up for B.Smith. Wide from Nonu to Slade and to Dixon, Gear in space and bumps off the tackler! Thrilling stuff from the Highlanders but that pass is slapped down surely? Play on, B.Smith and Poki on the right side in the 22.
53 Crusaders scrum but the penalty goes the way of the Highlanders, Woodcock and Fia getting on top there. Slade into touch, 40 metres out. Romano on for Donnelly for the Crusaders.
50 Penalty to the Highlanders at the scrum so Smith taps and goes. His kick through however comes to nothing and the Crusaders can clear their lines. Attacking through Moody who loses the ball forward in contact, Highlanders scrum on their own 10 metre line.
48 Scrappy at the base, Todd coming back deflects A.Smith's pass and the Crusaders clear momentarily. Slade tackled and held up so the Crusaders win the scrum as well - all the key collisions going the hosts' way so far.
45 Lineout taken by Bekhuis as Dixon crashes forward. Highlanders in the 22, Ellison dancing on the switch. Hosts need a score as Thorn barges on, A.Smith looking for something and gets stopped a metre out. Ball not coming back, scrum to the Highlanders.
43 TRY, CRUSADERS, ELLIS! 7-20: Crusaders attacking on the 22 line, Carter inside ball to Dagg. Marshall skips a tackler and that's the try! One-on-one with B.Smith and the pass goes to Ellis who dives over. Two more tries needed for the bonus point. Carter converts.
42 A.Smith also on for the Highlanders in place of Tanaka. Marshall breaking into the 22 for the Crusaders but the ball is lost and A.Smith clears.
41 Nearly a horror start for Nonu off the bench as his kick is charged down. Race for the ball between Slade and Guildford and the Highlander just abouts get there in time to prevent the try. Dropout to the Highlanders.
41 Carter kicks off to begin the second half - the seven-time champions looking for maximum points to secure their spot in the wildcard places. Kieran Read on for the Crusaders, Nonu on for the Highlanders.
HIGHLANDERS 7-13 CRUSADERS
40 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, CARTER! 7-13: Six-point gap for the Crusaders as Carter slots the penalty - good contest but the Crusaders more accurate in the first half. That's the interval in Dunedin.
40 Hooter sounds as the Crusaders attack from the scrum. Penalty advantage, Highlanders slowing it down so Carter will go for goal before the break.
37 Chip through from Ellis is well-read by Poki who clear. Crusaders lineout 35 metres out as Crotty barges forward. Inside ball to Guildford who look dangerous, loose ball at the breakdown is picked up Poki, Thorn offloading to Slade... so close! Nothing but open field in front of Slade there and he might have been in but he can't gather the pass.
35 The visitors clear but Gear runs it back, the Highlanders just not finding the gaps at the moment but showing promise. Crusaders scrum for a knock-on, kicked long by Carter and Poki goes back. Tries to play it rather than clear and Smith knocks on, good kick chase forcing the error. Promising scrum for the Crusaders.
33 Tuiali'i running the ball back from deep, Smith working well at first receiver. Hosts racking up the phases outside the 22 and then into it. Poki beats one down the right, ten metres out now. Ball lost forward by Hore though and the Crusaders have the scrum.
30 TRY, CRUSADERS, G.WHITELOCK! 7-10: Carter fends off Tanaka and goes through the gap, skins Smith and Slade brings him down but Whitelock is there on his shoulder for the offload and the try! One end to the other as the visitors take the lead.
28 Slade's penalty comes back off the post, his second miss of the night. Chaos for the Crusaders and the kick from Ellis is then charged down. Should have been a five-metre scrum but the Crusaders drop out, bizarre. Crusaders pressing forward as Hoeata's sin-bin finishes up.
26 Carter to Crotty in midfield, but then the Crusaders are pinged for crossing in midfield and the Highlanders can finally relieve some pressure. Tanaka's box kick is fumbled but gathered by Hore, Highlanders on the attack now. Advantage for slowing it down and it's a penalty to the hosts outside the 22. Huge phase of resilience and now they get the reward.
24 Lineout not straight this time from Funnell so the Highlanders have a pressure scrum five metres out. Reset as the Crusaders win the hit, second scrum shoots up and the Crusaders have the penalty. Scrum the call.
22 Thundering Crusaders' maul goes down four metres out. Short side being worked as Whitelock dives for the corner, but the big lock is in touch. Or is he? TMO being called for. Clearly in touch, back for a Crusaders penalty. Lineout again the option.
20 Driving maul from the Crusaders just five metres out. Tuiali'i in at the side so there's an advantage as Carter loses the ball going forward. Man advantage so the Crusaders kick again to the corner.
19 YELLOW CARD, HIGHLANDERS, HOEATA! TMO being reviewed for foul play by Hoeata. Sam Whitelock being booed by the crowd for a stray boot but the focus is on Hoeata for making contact with the face of Ellis. Off he goes for ten minutes in the bin.
18 Scrum goes down after Hore receives some treatment. Tuiali'i under pressure at the base, Crusaders win the scrum five metres out.
16 Smith clears long for the Highlanders but the pass came back into the 22 - lineout to the Crusaders in a promising position. Clean ball off the top, Ellis loops and Guildford has some room. Hore all over the ball at the breakdown though and the Highlanders get that scrum on their own line.
13 Highlanders on the charge, Tanaka combining with Slade. Ellison wrapped up by two tacklers. Tanaka dictating play. Tuiali'i picks up but there's an obstruction so the Crusaders have the penalty and can clear.
11 Penalty attempt from Slade falls wide. Smith attacks from full back and offloads but the ball is lost forward, Crusaders in possession in their own half. Chip from Dagg for Guildford is gathered by Ellison who skips a tackle. Poki literally rolls into the 22.
9 Tanaka forces the knock-on and the Highlanders have a scrum in midfield. Blindside break from Tanaka who is cut down by Todd, ball stolen but a penalty to the hosts.
6 TRY, HIGHLANDERS, SMITH! 7-3: Lineout overthrown by Hore and Hoeata takes a tumble, down receiving treatment. Looks like contact was made by Todd so the Highlanders have another lineout in that right corner. Setting up the driving maul, five metres out now. Short-side to Poki who is stopped two metres out. Miraculous offload from Ellison and Smith is in! Try to the hosts!
4 Highlander attacking but Tanaka is bundled into touch. Gear charges over Carter but nothing coming, Crusaders lineout. Wrap around in midfield and the Highlanders win the penalty at the breakdown.
2 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, CARTER! 0-3: The All Black slots it from about 45 metres out - excellent strike.
1 Bomb from Slade taken by Dagg and the Crusaders survive under pressure at the breakdown, now attacking near halfway. Penalty to the visitors, Carter going for goal.
Weather No danger of this one being affected by the elements with the roof over the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Kickoff coming up.
Team news Kieran Read, The All Blacks captain has been named amongst the replacements for the Crusaders alongside fellow internationals Wyatt Crockett, Luke Romano and Corey Flynn while there's no place in the matchday squad for All Blacks tighthead prop Owen Franks. If Flynn makes it onto the field he will surpass Reuben Thorne as the most capped Crusader with 130 caps. Locks Tom Donnelly and Sam Whitelock make up the second row while the backs have a more familiar look with Tom Taylor moving to inside centre and Ryan Crotty wearing the number 13 jersey while Robbie Fruean is also included on the bench.
Team news The Highlanders have made three changes to the starting XV that dispatched the Blues on June 1. Tony Woodcock starts at loosehead prop, Elliot Dixon replaces the injured John Hardie at openside flank and Kade Poki comes back into the run-on XV after a long absence with a rib injury. On the bench, Lima Sopoaga makes his return from an ankle injury and Jake Paringatai wears the No.18 jersey.
Welcome Hello and welcome to the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin for today's first Super Rugby clash between the Highlanders and the Crusaders.
|Friday 20th December|
|20:00||Sale Sharks vs London Irish|
|Saturday 21st December|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th December|
|TBC||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th December|
|15:00||Northampton vs Bath|
|15:00||Worcester vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Leicester vs Sale Sharks|
|Friday 3rd January|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 4th January|
|15:00||London Irish vs Worcester|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs Bath|
|Sunday 5th January|
|15:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Friday 7th February|
|19:45||Worcester vs Leicester|
|20:00||Sale Sharks vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 8th February|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|Sunday 9th February|
|15:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|Friday 14th February|
|20:00||Sale Sharks vs Saracens|
|Saturday 15th February|
|15:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Worcester|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 1st December|
|Newcastle 9 - 35 Harlequins|
|Saturday 30th November|
|Bath 21 - 16 Exeter|
|Worcester 10 - 33 Northampton|
|London Irish 12 - 19 Wasps|
|Saracens 24 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 29th November|
|Gloucester 17 - 22 Leicester|
|Sunday 24th November|
|Wasps 5 - 28 Bath|
|Saturday 23rd November|
|Northampton 18 - 0 Newcastle|
|Harlequins 27 - 19 Gloucester|
|Exeter 9 - 16 Saracens|
|Leicester 20 - 11 London Irish|
|Friday 22nd November|
|Sale Sharks 26 - 10 Worcester|
|Sunday 3rd November|
|Saracens 40 - 3 Newcastle|
|London Irish 14 - 19 Northampton|
|Saturday 2nd November|
|Leicester 16 - 23 Harlequins|
|Gloucester 30 - 32 Wasps|
|Friday 1st November|
|Sale Sharks 16 - 18 Exeter|
|Worcester 6 - 21 Bath|
|Sunday 27th October|
|Newcastle 13 - 11 London Irish|
|Wasps 22 - 12 Leicester|
|Saturday 26th October|
|Northampton 41 - 20 Saracens|
|Exeter 40 - 6 Worcester|
|Harlequins 24 - 3 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 25th October|
|Bath 15 - 13 Gloucester|
We spoke to England captain Chris Robshaw as he reflected on the autumn internationals, looked ahead to next year's tour of New Zealand and also the long-term build-up to the 2015 World Cup.
The Heineken Cup returns in December with another jam-packed weekend of mouth-watering action - and if it is anything like round two, Sky Sports viewers will be in for a treat.
After Dubai I was left to feel frustrated and positive in equal measure. We certainly felt there were a couple of games there that were there for the taking that we should have closed out but we'll learn from those games and take it on to Port Elizabeth.
Read the thoughts and opinions of Stuart Barnes with skysports.com