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Highlanders vs Lions
Super Rugby, 12 May, 2018
|Forsyth Barr Stadium|
|Fulltime - Highlanders 39, Lions 27|
|Referee: Angus Gardner|
|Touch judges: Brendon Pickerill & James Doleman|
|TMO: Glenn Newman|
South African conference leaders the Lions have suffered a rare streak of three Super Rugby losses after they went down to the Highlanders 39-27 in Dunedin on Saturday night.
The Highlanders will look to get back to winning ways against the Lions, who are out to claim their second win on tour. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 5:35pm (AEST).
While the Johannesburg-based side currently top the South African conference, their last two weeks were forgettable, losing to the Reds and Hurricanes.
This leaves them seven points ahead of their nearest conference competitor, the Jaguares, as their pool looks much closer than in previous years.
The southern men find themselves in fifth place, eight points behind the Hurricanes, and just one point above the Chiefs, meaning that tonight is a must-win game, as they could drop three places with a loss.
Alternatively, if the Landers win, it will largely bridge the gap between them and the Canes – if the Hurricanes lose as well – but if the Otago team lose and Wellington win, the gap will extend out to 13 points.
In team news, Aaron Mauger hasn’t done his team’s chances of winning any favours, as Aaron Smith gets rested, due to the requirement to give All Blacks two weeks off throughout the season, while Kayne Hammington comes in as his replacement.
James Lentjes comes in as flanker for Dillon Hunt, and Tevita Nabura replaces Sio Tomkinson at winger.
For the Lions, Robbie Coetzee comes in at hooker, replacing Malcolm Marx, and Johannes Jonker is in for Jacobie Adriaanse. The second row also sees replacements, as Andries Ferreira and Marvin Orie pack down.
Captain Franco Mostert and Cyle Brink switch sides in the backrow, but Kwagga Smith retains his place at eight.
2016 was the last time these sides met, the Highlanders running out winners 34-16, while in 2015 the Lions got up 28-23.
After the Highlanders’ poor showing against the Sharks, the Lions should be too strong.
Lions by 8.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 5:35pm (AEST).