Highlanders wrap up final game of Super Rugby Aotearoa with big win over Hurricanes

The Highlanders have celebrated Aaron Smith's 150th game in style after running away with the final match of Super Rugby Aotearoa, comfortably beating the Hurricanes this afternoon in an empty Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

After a tight first half left the two sides tied at 14-14 heading to the break, the Highlanders came out firing to score a penalty and a Michael Collins try within five minutes of the second half starting.

And then they simply kept on rolling.

The Highlanders went on to score 24 unanswered points before they took a 38-21 comfortable win.

For the Hurricanes though, it was a frustrating afternoon against both a high-flying home side and the whistle.

The visitors had two tries disallowed in the first half and made matters worse midway through the second half when Ardie Savea was yellow carded for being offside at a maul near his tryline.

To make matters worse, his actions were also deemed worthy of a penalty try.

While down to 14 men, the Highlanders managed to pick up a further two tries.

The Hurricanes showed some life late though, with young midfielder Peter Umaga-Jensen scoring a consolation try late in the match.

The game became the final match of this year's competition after the Blues-Crusaders game at Eden Park, which was originally scheduled for tomorrow, was cancelled due to Auckland's Level 3 lockdown Covid-19 restrictions.

With the rest of the country at Alert Level 2, this afternoon's game was played out without fans as well.

The result meant little to the overall competition with the Crusaders already crowned champions last week, but the loss means the Hurricanes finish third one point behind the Blues.

The Highlanders placed fourth while the Chiefs took the wooden spoon after going winless in the domestic competition.