||Join us again shortly for our next game when the Rebels take on the Lions in Melbourne|
||The Highlanders go for one last attack and they are in for the match winning try. But to their dismay play is brought back for a forward pass. From a scrum near halfway Barrett gets the ball and boots it out for FULL-TIME: Hurricanes 20 - 13 Highlanders|
||Sopoaga adds the CONVERSION and it is now 20-13 to the Hurricanes|
||The Highlanders take it quickly and Sopoaga dives over for the TRY!|
||From the scrum Osborne is nearly over before Reddesh is held-up over the tryline and the Highlanders will get another chance with a scrum five metres from the Hurricanes tryline. From the scrum the home team goes to Osborne again before Ben Smith is nearly through. They get a penalty and Juilan Savea is YELLOW CARDED!|
||The Highlanders now have the ball in the Hurricanes half before Ben Smith goes through a gap and Naholo is nearly through before a grubber kick is taken over the tryline by Barrett and the Highlanders have an attacking scrum five metres out|
||Barrett adds the CONVERSION and the Hurricanes lead 20-6|
||The Highlanders now from a line-out on the Hurricanes ten metre line go wide but are met with some good defense. Fekiota0 is tackled hard by Nonu and the Hurricanes get the ball back and find themselves in the Highlanders 22 and Perenara gets the TRY!|
||The home team goes wide and Sopoaga is tackled just shorts and the Highlanders have the penalty five metres out. They opt for the five metre line-out and form a driving maul before they lose it forward a Barrett relieves the pressure with a kick.|
||From the scrum Marshall clears for the Hurricanes and the Highlanders have an attacking line-out just outside the Hurricanes 22. The away team turns it over before Barrett kicks down field. The Highlanders run it back with Fekitoa is in acres of space in the 22. The Highlanders are now just five metres short|
||The Highlanders win the line-out after a over throw and they are now deep in the Hurricanes half. Naholo breaks a tackle before Franklin. Manu makes more ground and they win a penalty. Ben Smith takes it quickly and is brought down five metres short before they lose the ball forward and the Highlanders will have a defensive scrum|
||The Hurricanes now have the ball on halfway before they lose the ball forward and Ben Smith makes some hard metres as the Highlanders make their way towards the Hurricanes 10 metre line. but the away team gets the penalty and Barrett finds touch near the Highlanders 22|
||From a scrum just outside the Hurricanes 22, the ball goes to Fekitoa wo makes metres inside the Hurricanes 22, The Highlanders the go with some one off runners before play is brought back for a penalty. Sopoaga converts the PENALTY and the score is now 13-6|
||From the attacking scrum, the Hurricanes make their way into the 22 with a sniping break from Perenara before Aaron Smith intercepts and Sopoaga clears. The Hurricanes run it back and will get a penalty 10 metres from the Highlanders 22 after the tackler did not release Barrett gets the PENALTY over and the Hurricanes lead 13-3|
||Barrett takes it up over halfway from the restart as the Hurricanes look to keep ball in hand now. The ball goes wide to Jane who beats a tackle. Osborne nearly intercepts but he loses it forward and the Hurricanes will have an attacking line-out just outside the Highlanders 22|
||From the line-out the Hurricanes goes to Julian Savea who bashes up the midfield. They are now deep in the Highlanders 22 but play is brought back fore a penalty just outside the 22 after Aaron Smith was offside at the line-out. Barrett kicks the penalty wide and the score remains 10-3|
||The Highlanders now go on the attack towards the short side but Sopaoga's kick goes over the Hurricanes tryline. The away team wins the restart before Julian Savea finds space on the flanks before Perenara kicks but play is brought back for a penalty and Barrett gives his team a line-out 10 out from the Highlanders 22|
||Barrett gets the CONVERSION over and the Hurricanes lead 10-3|
||The Hurricanes go wide to Conrad Smith before Thompson drives over into the 22. Franks and Julian Savea make more ground as the away team are just three metres out. Perenara is nearly in before Goodes is in for the TRY!|
||From the line-out the Highlanders clears and the Hurricanes gets a line-out on halfway. They go wide and Milner-Skudder is hit hard behind the gain line and they get a penalty for a late it on Conrad Smith by Manu and Barrett gives his team a line-out 15 out from the Highlanders 22|
||The Highlanders run it back from halfway with Naholo finding space but he goes out into touch and the Hurricanes have a line-out. Nonu kicks and finds touch deep in the 22 of the Highlanders.|
||The Hurricane take the ball up from the restart with one-off runners, but they are met with some good defence and Ben Smith steals the pass for Julian Savea and he kicks down field and wins the penalty for his team after he was obstructed and Sopoaga will go for polls. Sopoaga misses and it stays 3-3|
||SECOND HALF: Highlanders' flyhalf Lima Sopoaga gets the second half under way!|
||The Hurricanes loses it forward from the restart and the Highlanders have an attacking scrum on the Hurricanes 10 metre line. From the scrum they win a penalty with Ben Franks collapsing it and Sopoaga will go for the three points. Lima Sopoaga kicks it wide and the score remains 3-3. Manu runs it back from the restart before the Canes get the ball back and Perenara boots it out for HALF-TIME!|
||From a line-out near the Highlanders 22, the Hurricanes win a penalty after a player was played in the air and Barrett sets up the kick to try and level the scores. He kicks it well and the PENALTY is over with the score now 3-3|
||The Highlanders go wide from the line-out before Nonu loses it forward and the home team will get a scrum on the Hurricanes 10 metre line. But they give away a penalty and the Hurricanes will have an attacking line-out five out from the Highlanders 22|
||From a line-out on their own 22 Perenara clears with Osborne taking it untidy. Aaron Smith kicks down field before Barrett kicks and Sopoaga gives the Hurricanes a line-out. The away team is deep in the Highlanders half before they give away a penalty. Sopoaga gives his team a line-out near the Hurricanes ten metre line|
||The Highlanders up the midfield with Manu before Pryor takes his team in the 22 before passing to Naholo. Fekitoa loses it forward but the Highlanders start again with Osborne finding a gap before Ben Smith is nearly through and is brought down five meters before the tryline. Fekitoa goes around for the try. But it is a penalty for the Hurricanes after a player is played without the ball|
||The Hurricanes go for a five metre line-out but they over throw it and the Highlanders clear. The Hurricanes start again with Conrad Smith taking it over halfway and the Highlanders get a penalty with Franks coming in from the side and Sopoaga finds touch near the Hurricanes 10 metre line|
||From the scrum, the Highlanders win a free-kick with an early shove from the Hurricanes and Sopoaga gives his team a line-out ten metres from their 22. The Hurricanes get the ball back and are back in the Highlanders 22 with Milner-Skudder nearly through and they get the penalty with the Highlanders not releasing|
||The Hurricanes, from the five metre scrum, go to the short side with Perenara who is tackled by Osborne before Savea loses it forward and the Highlanders will have a defensive scrum five metres from their own tryline.|
||The Hurricanes opt for a driving maul from the line-out in the Highlanders 22 and they make good ground as they are stopped 5 metres from the tryline. They decide to go with a pick and go before Pryor is offside and the Hurricanes opt for another line-out. The go for the drive and they over the line but it is brought back for a five metre scrum|
||From the restart Vito takes it up over halfway before Edmonds gives away a penalty on halfway for slapping the ball and Barret gives his team an attacking line-out in the Highlanders' 22|
||The Highlanders, from a line-out just outside of their 22, lose possession with Hurricanes turning it over. The away team goes wide but play is brought back for a penalty with the Highlanders not releasing. Barrett sets up the kick for polls and he gets the penalty wide and the score remains 3-0|
||Ardie Savea breaks out of the 22 before he passes to his brother Julian as they Hurricanes make their way to halfway. But they lose the ball and the Highlanders clear. The Hurricanes start again from a line-out on halfway and they are now in the Highlanders 22 after a break from Milner-Skudder, but he holds on a the Highlanders have the penalty.|
||From a line-out on the Hurricanes 10 metre line, they go to the midfield with Naholo being met by two defenders. They go wide again with Ben Smith in a half gap before Naholo cannot hang on to a pass and the Hurricanes will have a line-out in their 22|
||From the scrum on the Highlanders' 22, it gets intercepted from Nonu's pass with Sopoaga going over halfway before Ben Smith makes more ground and the Highlanders will have a penalty 10 metres from the Hurricanes 22. Lima Sopoaga lines up the kick and gets the PENALTY over to give the home team a 3-0 lead.|
||Milner-Skudder runs it back from a clearance kick from Ben Smith before Thompson finds space down the middle, but a pass goes into touch for a highlanders line-out just outside of their 22. The Hurricanes win the line-out and they will have a scrum on the Highlanders 22 after a knock on.|
||From the scrum in their own 22 Aaron Smith clears but finds a poor touch finder just outside of the 22. The Highlanders win the line-out but Aaron Smith kicks it out on the full again. From the line-out Shields loses it forward after a good tackle and the Highlanders get the scrum|
||Highlanders kicks out on the full from the restart and the Hurricanes have an attacking line-out just outside the Highlanders 22. The away team takes it through the phases before Barrett loses it forward in the Highlanders 22|
||KICK-OFF: Hurricanes' flyhalf Beauden Barrett gets the game under way!|
||The match will be played under a closed roof at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.|
||The Hurricanes have won their opening four games for the first time in Super Rugby; the Wellington-based team is aiming to win five in a row for the first time since 2003 when they won seven on the bounce.|
||The last five Highlanders games have been settled by seven points or fewer, with the Dunedin side winning the last three. Before this run of five games, the Highlanders had suffered consecutive defeats by over 25 points.|
||Welcome to live coverage of Round Six of Super Rugby with the Highlanders taking on the Hurricanes at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.|
The Hurricanes head south, across the Cook Strait, determined to maintain their unbeaten start - as Super Rugby heads into Week Six.
The Hurricanes head south, across the Cook Strait, determined to maintain their unbeaten start - as the Super Rugby season heads into Week Six.
Awaiting for the tournament's only remaining unbeaten side is a Highlanders team that has lost just once and is in fifth place on the standings - just four points behind the second-placed Hurricanes.
The other Friday match is a stark contrast - both the Rebels and Lions sitting outside the top 10 on the standings, after underwhelming starts to the season.
An intriguing statistic is that neither side has won at home this season - the Rebels beating the Crusaders (in Week One) and Western Force (last week) in away games, while the Lions' solitary victory came against the Blues in Albany in Week Four.
We look at Friday's matches!
Friday, March 20
Highlanders v Hurricanes
(Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - Kick-off: 19.35; 08.35 GMT)
The Hurricanes will face a Highlanders team that hit its straps against the defending champion Waratahs last Saturday, but has been riddled with injuries.
Not that the Hurricanes have escaped the injury bogey - having lost All Black hooker Dane Coles due to a hyperextension-injury of the elbow, which has not recovered in time.
The Highlanders paid a dear price for their heroics against the defending champion Waratahs last week.
Not only are they without their three most highly-rated props - Ma'afu Fia (out for the season with ruptured knee ligaments), Kane Hames (on a five-week suspension) and Ross Geldenhuys (fractured thumb) - but Shane Christie remains sidelined after re-injuring his hamstring and John Hardie is sidelined with a dislocated ankle.
Despite the enormous injury count, Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph remained upbeat.
"The energy is very high, and I'd measure that by the willingness the players have to learn, do their homework, give feedback and help each other," Joseph told The Southland Times.
"It's not about how much physicality they show at training, but how much due diligence on the game, and reinforcing what we need to do.
"Those are good signs and I guess the key now is that we execute in the match."
Both the Hurricanes and Highlanders have been exciting and showed the ability to capitalise on turnovers and the pressure created closer to the ruck.
Hurricanes left wing Julian Savea crossed for his third and fourth tries of the year against the Blues last week, while the Highlanders' back three Patrick Osborne, Waisake Naholo and Ben Smith all scored tries against the Waratahs.
History suggests the Hurricanes and Highlanders rivalry is one of the closest derbies in Super Rugby.
Joseph said the Hurricanes represented the Highlanders' biggest challenge so far.
"They're unbeaten, almost injury-free and at full-strength,"the Highlanders coach told The Otago Daily Times.
"They're now a very structured and organised team and Ma'a [Nonu] is playing his best Super rugby for some seasons. There are a lot of in-form All Blacks and they are a much-improved team."
2014: Highlanders won 18-16, Wellington
2014: Highlanders won 35-31, Dunedin
2013: Highlanders won 49-44, Wellington
2013: Hurricanes won 23-19, Dunedin
2012: Hurricanes won 26-20, Dunedin
2012: Highlanders won 19-17, Wellington
Prediction: The last five Highlanders games have been settled by seven points or fewer, with the Dunedin side winning the last three. Before this run of five games, the Highlanders had suffered consecutive defeats by over 25 points. The Hurricanes have won their opening four games for the first time in Super Rugby; the Wellington-based team is aiming to win five in a row for the first time since 2003 when they won seven on the bounce. The Highlanders have the best line-out success rate this season (91 percent), however they have thrown fewer line-outs than any other team so far this season (34). The Dunedin-based side has spent less time in possession than any other team this season, averaging just 12 minutes and 54 seconds on the ball per game. The 'Canes have the best tackling success rate this season (90 percent) and have completed more tackles on average than any other team so far in Super Rugby. The Wellington side also boasts the joint-best scrum success rate this season, winning 94 percent on their own put-in so far. All those injuries may prevent the Highlanders from ending the Hurricanes' victory run. We think the Hurricanes should take a thriller by less than 10 points.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Leniert-Brown, 18 Pingi Tala'apitaga, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery.
Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Blade Thomson, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Ben May, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Rey Lee-Lo, 23 James Marshall.
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
Rebels v Lions
(AAMI Park, Melbourne - Kick-off: 19.40; 10.40 SA time; 08.40 GMT)
The Lions will make their first-ever Super Rugby appearance in Melbourne, with the only two previous clashes between these sides occurring at the famed Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
On both of those occasions it was the Lions who were victorious - recording a 37-32 victory in 2012, before triumphing 34-17 in July last year.
The Rebels have showed the more impressive form this season - with two wins in four starts, including beating the Crusaders in Week One and the Western Force last week.
Ironically both those were away wins, with both the Rebels' defeats having been at home.
The men from Johannesburg came up against a rampant Crusaders outfit last week, going down 6-34 - that after recording only their second victory on New Zealand soil the week before, when they edged the Blues.
That was also their only win of the season.
The Lions team shows 12 changes from last week, but most importantly features three flyhalves.
Jaco van der Walt will start at fullback, with Springbok Elton Jantjies, who played at No.10 the last two weeks, starting at inside centre and fellow Bok Marnitz Boshoff at flyhalf.
Lions coach Johan Ackermann said the Rebels are a vastly different side this year from the one his team beat last year.
"The major difference from Rebels teams in the past is that they always had a number of imports from abroad," the Lions mentor said, adding: "Now they are an Australian side that plays more for each other and there's more unity.
"They have already beaten the Crusaders and Western Force.
"In our analysis we realised they are playing outstanding rugby and were in the contest in all their matches and they never give up - they push you for 80 minutes.
"We will have to be on top of our game to get a result [win]."
Ackermann said they have identified one or two things in the Rebels' defence that hopefully the Lions can exploit, but it comes down to the fact that they must be more direct.
2014: Lions won 34-17, Johannesburg
2012: Lions won 37-32, Johannesburg
Prediction: The Rebels have lost their last six at home in Super Rugby, with their last three wins all coming away from home (they last won in Melbourne in Round 10 last year). The Lions, however, have lost eight of their last nine trips to Australia, with those eight defeats coming at an average margin of 24 points. The Rebels have never lost seven in a row at home. The Melbourne-based side has the worst line-out success rate this season (78 percent). However, they have won the most scrums on average this season (8.8) and only two teams have a better scrum success rate than them (92 percent). The Lions have missed fewer tackles on average this season than any team in Super Rugby (12.8) and only the Hurricanes (90 percent) can boast a better tackle success rate in 2015 than them (89 percent). Lions back row forward Warren Whiteley has made the most tackles in the competition this season (68 from 69 attempts). The Johannesburg-based outfit has averaged less than a try per game this season (0.6); the worst record of any team so far in 2015. This is a tough one to call, as it mostly depends on the mindset of the two teams - both have been blowing hot and cold. In instances like this it is not a bad bet to go with the home team - the Rebels by less than 10 points.
Rebels: 15 Jonah Placid, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Steve Cummins, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Sefanaia Naivalu.
Lions: 15 Jaco van der Walt, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Elton Jantjies, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Robert Kruger, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Harold Vorster, 23 Andries Coetzee.
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann, Will Houston.
TMO: James Leckie
Compiled by Jan de Koning
Statistical information provided by Opta Sports