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The last match of Super Rugby Aotearoa is upon us as the Highlanders battle the Hurricanes at an empty Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Join The Roar for live scores from 1:05pm (AEST).
This final-round clash is a duel that will have no effect on the title, with both teams playing for pride.
The Highlanders are coming off a loss to Super Rugby Aotearoa champions the Crusaders, in the game that clinched the title for the men from Christchurch, but today’s hosts won’t feel ashamed by that performance. They led until George Bridge’s 65th-minute try, but just couldn’t overcome the late deficit, a yellow card not helping matters for them.
Aaron Mauger’s side will finish the season in fourth place, but today provides an opportunity to clinch one final upset and finish the season the same way they started it: with a win at home.
The Hurricanes have been in substantially better form than their opponents, winning five straight games and sitting in third place. Their last game was an entertaining duel against the Chiefs, while they also won against the Highlanders in a low-scoring scrap in Round 5. John Plumtree’s side are firm favourites to win this one.
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 1:05pm (AEST)
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Odds: Highlanders $2.25, Hurricanes $1.68
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant: Mike Fraser, James Doleman
TMO: Chris Hart
Ayden Johnstone, Ash Dixon (c), Siate Tokolahi, Pari Pari Parkinson, Jack Whetton, Shannon Frizell, Dillon Hunt, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Aaron Smith (c), Josh Ioane, Jona Nareki, Patelesio Tomkinson, Michael Collins, Josh McKay, Mitch Hunt
Reserves: Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Jeff Thwaites, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Folau Fakatava, Ngatungane Punivai, Tom Florence
Ben May, Dane Coles [c], Tyrel Lomax, James Blackwell, Scott Scrafton, Reed Prinsep, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Ardie Savea, Jamie Booth, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Wes Goosen, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Billy Proctor, Vince Aso, Jordie Barrett
Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli, Tevita Mafileo, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Liam Mitchell, Devan Flanders, Jonathan Taumateine, Salesi Rayasi, Chase Tiatia