FULL TIME: The Highlanders come away with a well deserved victory. At some stage in the second half it looked as if the Highlanders were going to reach a 50+ score, but the Sunwolves showed some spirit and did very well, to keep the difference to 25 points.
HIGHLANDERS 40-15 SUNWOLVES.
The Sunwolves manage an intercept in their half, after another Highlanders attack. After 11 phases the ball is slapped away by a Highlander. That may have been their last chance.
The Sunwolves have managed to keep the scoreboard at bay over the last ten minutes. The Highlanders win a scrum penalty.
The ball goes into touch and the Highlanders launch a counter attack after a quick throw in. Believe it or not, the Sunwolves turn it over.
The Sunwolves win a turnover inside their half and launch an attack.
They win the scrum and Cripps finds a gap. They continue with good handling and progress into the Highlanders half, only to give away a penalty, as Cripps goes offside.
We have a few scrum resets.
Some scrappy play, as both teams knock it on. The Sunwolves feed a scrum inside their half.
Cripps offloads to Warren-Vosayaco, who finds a gap, but it is turned over.
The conversion is missed.
TRY, SUNWOLVES, WARREN-VOSAYACO! 40-15: After the lineout they maul forward. Britz is stopped in his tracks. They manage 11 phases and then Warren-Vosayaco, goes over in the corner.
They win the lineout and power forward. They win yet another penalty for offside. This time the lineout takes place five metres from the line.
The Sunwolves win a penalty inside their half for some much needed relief. They opt for a lineout on the Highlanders 10 metre line.
CONVERSION, SUNWOLVES, TAMURA! 40-10: Tamura adds the extra two.
TRY, SUNWOLVES, BRITZ! 40-8: They win another penalty inside the 22 and string together some good passes. Britz powers his way through Wheeler to score.
The Sunwolves win a penalty on the Highlanders ten metre line.
Banks misses the conversion.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, BEN SMITH! 40-3: Li finds a gap and is ankle tapped, but he gets it away. They had the numbers and were just too good. Ben Smith goes over in the end.
CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS, BANKS! 35-3: Banks converts another.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, FADDES! 33-3: They win the lineout and maul forward. After eight phases, Faddes intercepts and runs all the way, for his second try. That was well timed.
The Sunwolves win an offside penalty and they will feed a lineout on the Highlanders 22.
NO TRY! The Sunwolves progress deeper inside the Highlanders half. They string together nine phases and then they knock it on, as they go over to score. What a mess.
Faddes sprints down the touchline after the restart and the Sunwolves are lucky to win an offside penalty. They will feed a lineout inside the Highlanders half.
CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS, BANKS! 28-3: Banks extends the lead.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, FADDES! 26-3: Squire sees a gap and make good ground. Faddes comes in on an angle and goes all the way.
We are off for the second half.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, AARON SMITH! 19-3: They win the scrum and Ben Smith runs at an angle into a gap. He offloads and then some good handling finds Aaron Smith, who goes over to score.
CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS, BANKS! 21-3: Banks seals another one, this time from the corner.
HALF TIME: The Highlanders go into the break with a handy lead. It has been a scrappy half at times, with a lot of unforced errors committed by both teams.
HIGHLANDERS 21-3 SUNWOLVES.
The Sunwolves win a scrum, but again it is knocked on. The Highlanders have a scrum throw inside the Sunwolves half.
Faddes finds a gap and almost gets through. Aaron Smith sends a pass forward.
CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS, BANKS! 14-3: Banks maintains his perfect record.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, SQUIRE! 12-3: Banks kicks high and the Highlanders secure the ball. Ben Smith then finds a gap and offloads to Squire, who goes over to score. The TMO confirmed all in order.
Taulagi is penalised for going off his feet in the ruck, and the Highlanders take it quickly. Unfortunately Aaron Smith knocks it on.
The Highlanders then win a penalty, as Quirk is penalised, for interference with Aaron Smith. They opt for a lineout, but lose the ball. Sloppy.
The Sunwwolves win a penalty, as Tokolahi is penalised. They lose posession and the Highlanders launch another attack.
Despite the perfect conditions, both teams are making a lot of mistakes.
Banks breaks after the lineout and sends it to Ben Smith, who tries a loft pass, but he cannot find Li. That had a try written all over it.
Li runs out of space after another Highlanders attack, but they have the throw in the lineout.
Aaron Smith feeds a scrum near the halfway line and Banks takes it into the Sunwolves half. They secure another scrum after a knock on.
Faddes attempts an intercept, but he knocks it on. If he got hold of that, he would have been away.
Banks finds touch for a Sunwolves lineout, near his own 22.
They win their lineout and maul forward. After seven phases they kick it through and straight to a Highlander player. What a waste.
The Sunwolves win a penalty on the halfway line. Aaron Smith is guilty of not releasing the ball carrier. The Sunwolves finds touch near the corner flag.
The Sunwolves attack, but then kick it away and Li finds touch on the halfway line.
The Highlanders attack again and Banks kicks deep. The bounce favours the Sunwolves and Naholo, just cannot get to it.
PENALTY, SUNWOLVES, TAMURA! 7-3: Tamura opens his account with a good kick.
The Sunwolves win a penalty, as Squire is guilty of having his hands in the ruck. They go for the points.
Cripps is on, as a Sunwolves player is off for a blood bin check.
NO TRY! The Sunwolves launch an attack after the restart. They string together five phases and then Tupou sees a gap and goes over and scores. However the TMO rules that we had accidental offside and the try decision is reversed. The Highlanders have a five metre scrum.
CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS, BANKS! 7-0: Banks adds the extras.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, FEKITOA! 5-0: The ball is turned over by the Highlanders after the lineout. Marty Banks did well and good handling means that Fekitoa, goes over in the corner and scores! Too many mistakes from the Sunwolves.
The Sunwolves receives a penalty and Li is guilty of a challenge in the air. Relief for the Sunwolves. The Sunwolves opt for touch and we have a lineout inside the Highlanders half.
The Sunwolves win a penalty, as Faddes fails to release the ball. They cannot find touch and Faddes then breaks and the Sunwolves are under pressure in their own half.
Our referee today is Jamie Nutbrown, from New Zealand. Yu Tamura starts proceedings here in Invercargill.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Sunwolves, from Rugby Park Stadium, in Invercargill.
The Highlanders should make it four wins in a row when they host the Sunwolves, in the first ever fixture between these sides.
The Sunwolves have conceded 133 points in their two previous fixtures against New Zealand opposition.
Joe Wheeler and Liam Squire get starts for the Highlanders while Elliot Dixon moves to openside to give the loose trio a very strong look. In the backs Malakai Fekitoa moves in to 12 to make room for Matt Faddes at 13 and Tevita Li comes in on the wing. Waisake Naholo returns to the XV after being out due to injury. Josh Renton, Teihorangi Walden and Sio Tomkinson will be on the bench.
For the Sunwolves, Willie Britz returns after missing last weeks defeat against the Crusaders. He starts in place of Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, who drops to the bench. Fumiaki Tanaka returns to play against his old team. William Tupou starts at outside centre, with Timothy Lafaele moving in to number 12 in place of Derek Carpenter.
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