Highlanders steal last second victory to keep Chiefs winless

Relive 1 NEWS' live coverage of this Super Rugby Aotearoa encounter between the Chiefs and the Highlanders from FMG Stadium, Hamilton.

Alex Nankivell clashes with Ash Dixon Source: Photosport

5:25pm: FULLTIME - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 33

TRY!!! Oh man. The Chiefs give away a truck and trailer penalty, so the Highlanders have the penalty, and a lineout, right in the corner!

The siren goes, can the Highlanders pinch it? Coltman throws, Frizell wins it and the Highlanders drive.

Coltman has the ball at the back, Aaron Smith waiting. He passes to Tomkinson and he scores!!! They'll have a kick to win it!!

Hunt to win the game... And he does!!!

5:22pm: 79 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 26

Adam Thomson gives away a penalty and the Highlanders will have a lineout in the corner. They look to run at the Chiefs, but Boshier's won another turnover!

That could be a match winner for the Chiefs. Trask kicks to touch for a Chiefs lineout.

5:19pm: 77 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 26

TRY!!! Another turnover for the Highlanders and they can attack from the 22. Aaron Smith and Mitch Hunt combine to put Nareki in down the left, but the Chiefs defend well.

The Highlanders try to go to the backs, but a loose pass is snapped up by Boshier! McKenzie clears the danger but it's not out and the Highlanders can go again.

They do as Nareki splits defence from nowhere! What a run, he's going to score, and he does! Game on!

Big kick for Hunt here, and he's landed it!

5:15pm: 73 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 19

Coltman throws, and this time he ends up with the ball in the drive. The Highlanders are so close now, but Lachlan Boshier wins a turnover right on the tryline!!

Huge moment for the Chiefs!

5:14pm: 71 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 19

The Highlanders throwing everything forward here. They've got advantage too after going 80m. We'll go back for the penalty, Hunt kicks to the corner for the lineout.

Coltman throws, the Highlanders win it and drive. They've got advantage too, hands in the ruck from the Chiefs, Hunt goes to the corner for another lineout...

5:07pm: 65 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 19

Chiefs on attack now as Sowakula and Lienert-Brown combine. McKenzie stutters, before slicing right through the Highlanders' line to score?! Unreal.

The TMO wants to check something though? We're going all the way back to the lineout, where Sam Cane's kneed the ball to Trask, who's accidentally offside.

No try the call.

5:03pm: 63 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 19

Chiefs penalty and they find the corner for an attacking lineout. Taukei'aho throws, Boshier wins it. 

The Chiefs look to the backs straight away. McKenzie nearly puts Lienert-Brown through as the Chiefs get to the line. 

Weber's attempted pass to Wainui is loose though and the Highlanders snap it up!

They've got advantage too, Hunt clears but we'll go back for the knock on. Highlanders' scrum.

4:59pm: 59 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 19

Gregory breaks now! The Highlanders have taken control of this second half! Gregory beats McKenzie for pace, but the Chiefs get out of danger as Lienert-Brown makes the tackle.

The Highlanders look to keep it alive, but Weber wins the turnover.

4:57pm: 57 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 19

TRY!!! The Highlanders are so close as Aaron Smith splits the defence after a pass from McKay! He's taken just short of the line as Collins has a go.

Collins is taken, before Smith picks and goes again and this time he's over!

Hunt to try and convert, and this one's on target! Can the Highlanders pull this off?

4:53pm: 54 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 12

Highlanders lineout on the Chiefs' 22. Gregory attacks the line but loses the ball. The Chiefs try to run the ball out of their own half, but lose it.

Collins kicks through to try and catch the Chiefs out, but the ball just dribbles into touch. Good kick in the end.

4:48pm: 49 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 12

TRY!!! The Highlanders strike back - and what an effort from Mitch Hunt! He's moved to fullback with Josh Ioane moving to 10.

The Highlanders have a lineout, before they go wide to Hunt, he beats his first man, before outpacing the rest to score after sprinting down the left wing.

He can't convert his own try though.

4:45pm: 47 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 7

Chiefs lineout, Slater throws, Cane wins. Wainui tries to have a go after an inside pass, before Weber kicks over the top.

Hunt returns fire straight to McKenzie. The Cheifs go to Trask, then to Wainui, then to Nankivell, before he gives away a penalty for not releasing.

4:43pm: 44 mins - Chiefs 31 Highlanders 7

Penalty for the Chiefs, and they want the lineout. They win the throw and go for another drive - where Slater pops up to score his second!

Great start to the second for the Chiefs!

McKenzie converts!

4:40pm: 41 mins - Chiefs 24 Highlanders 7

We're back after the break, can the Chiefs see this one home? Trask kicks us off in the second.

4:27pm: HALFTIME - Chiefs 24 Highlanders 7

The Chiefs look to go wide after Slater makes a burst, but they've lost it. The Highlanders now want to start something from inside their own half, before Smith clears into touch.


4:26pm: 40 mins - Chiefs 24 Highlanders 7

More scuffle! Obstruction in the lineout by the Highlanders, but the Chiefs don't take kindly to it! Everyone's in there before the referee separates the two sides.

Both captains warned as the Chiefs take the lineout in the corner. Sam Cane's back on the field as the siren goes for halftime, we'll have the lineout first though.

4:25pm: 39 mins - Chiefs 24 Highlanders 7

Chiefs scrum after a loose pass out to Gregory goes forward for the Highlanders.

Sowakula runs from the back of the scrum, but the Highlanders turn it over.

Weber's tackle manages to force the knock on and now the Chiefs have it! McKenzie counters, passes out to Trask on the wing, who kicks, but it's deflected into touch for a lineout.

4:20pm: 36 mins - Chiefs 24 Highlanders 7

Highlanders' lineout, Dixon throws and they win it before starting an attack.

Tomkinson carries well, but the Chiefs have won it! Dillon Hunt gives away a penalty for offside.

Trask finds touch for a Chiefs lineout.

4:14pm: 32 mins - Chiefs 24 Highlanders 7

TRY!!! Another Highlanders lineout. Dixon throws and this time Frizell runs at the line. Another penalty though, leaving feet the call. The referee warns Sam Cane that this is the Chiefs' last warning. It'll be another lineout.

Dixon throws, and again the Highlanders drive. They take it up to the posts, before they go right through McKay.

Mikaele-Tu'u picks and goes and dives over to score! Sam Cane is also called for not rolling away, so he's shown the yellow card!

Hunt converts, double blow for the Highlanders!

4:10pm: 28 mins - Chiefs 24 Highlanders 0

Highlanders penalty and they'll take the lineout in the corner. 

Dixon throws, Parkinson takes it. Advantage to the Highlanders as they look to drive. Aaron Smith goes for the line, but he's taken, we'll go back for the penalty.

But there's a scuffle between Smith at Weber?!  What's happened there? Doesn't look like there'll be any further action taken.

4:06pm: 25 mins - Chiefs 24 Highlanders 0

The Highlanders desperate to get something here as they get through 14 phases inside the Chiefs' half. 

Smith tries to put McKay through down the right wing, but he can't hang on! 

Chiefs' scrum on their tryline, but the Highlanders are now back to 15.

4:03pm: 22 mins - Chiefs 24 Highlanders 0

TRY!!! Chiefs' lineout, Slater throws, Brown takes. Advantage too as Trask kicks over the top for the chasing Nankivell and Lienert-Brown. 

The Highlanders get there first though, so we go back for the penalty. The Chiefs go for the lineout with their extra man advantage.

Trask finds the corner, so the Chiefs have another lineout, on the five-metre line. Slater throws and the Highlanders don't contest.

The Chiefs go for the lineout drive and it's a huge effort from the forwards! They get a shove on before Slater scores from the back of the maul!

McKenzie converts to put his side up by 24.

4:00pm: 19 mins - Chiefs 17 Highlanders 0

Chiefs knock on, Highlanders' scrum, they're down a man in their backline though. Reset though as the front rows go down. 

Smith feeds for the second time, and find Tomkinson off the back. The Highlanders go wide to the left where Mikaele-Tu'u waits, he's taken before they go back the other way.

Penalty against the Highlanders though, Tokolahi offside.

3:56pm: 16 mins - Chiefs 17 Highlanders 0

We'll now check the TMO for that tackle from Thompson. Doesn't appear to be anything malicious in it, just poor timing. 

Oh wow. Thompson's been given a yellow card?! That's very harsh against the Highlanders.

McKenzie will take a shot at goal, he's about 45 metres out. He's hit it beautifully through the uprights though!

Great kick, even if it wasn't deserved...

3:53pm: 14 mins - Chiefs 14 Highlanders 0

Chiefs lineout after a penalty against the Highlanders for a high tackle. Slater throws and the Chiefs win it.

Advantage Chiefs for offside, Vaa'i is smashed by Thompson so we'll go back for the penalty. Vaa'i stays down, so we'll have a stoppage to make sure he's alright.

3:51pm: 13 mins - Chiefs 14 Highlanders 0

TRY!!! Trask takes the Highlanders' line on, before Parkinson gives away a penalty. The Chiefs kick for the corner where they'll have a lineout.

Slater to throw, and the Chiefs go to the front and drive from their lineout. Weber finds Trask, who finds Lienert-Brown into contact.

Weber nearly slips through, the Chiefs just metres away now. McKenzie steps in at first receiver, before he hits Lienert-Brown with an inside pass and scores! Great start from the Chiefs.

McKenzie to take his second shot, and this one's good too!

3:48pm: 9 mins - Chiefs 7 Highlanders 0

The Highlanders look to hit back straight away though. The forwards doing a lot of grunt work up the guts, Mikaele-Tu'u and Frizell both make good ground. 

Cane gives away a penalty though, hands in the ruck. The Highlanders want the points.

Mitch Hunt will take the shot from relatively in front, but he pushes it to the left!

3:44pm: 6 mins - Chiefs 7 Highlanders 0

TRY!!! Smith feeds, Tomkinson takes the tackle as first receiver. The Highlanders go to the air, but McKenzie flies above to take the kick and restart the Chiefs' attack.

Sam Cane finds Boshier with a short pass, and he breaks through and scores under the posts! The Chiefs strike from nowhere!

The kick is good from McKenzie, first blood to the Chiefs.

3:42pm: 4 mins - Chiefs 0 Highlanders 0

Slight delay as Aidan Ross stays down injured. He's leaving the field and looks in a lot of discomfort. Reuben O'Neill replaces him. More issues with the ref's microphones. All good now though.

Chiefs' lineout, Slater throws, Boshier takes it. The Chiefs go to the right, then back left before Boshier has a bit of room on the flank.

Weber knocks on though. Highlanders' scrum.

3:39pm: 2 mins - Chiefs 0 Highlanders 0

And Hunt's kickoff goes out on the full. Chiefs' scrum. Weber feeds, McKenzie takes as first receiver and kicks through. Collins takes safely.

Aaron Smith clears into touch with a box kick.

3:37pm: KICKOFF - Chiefs 0 Highlanders 0

All good to go now - Mitch Hunt kicsk off to start the afternoon!


Slight delay with kickoff - the referee's microphone appears to be out of battery!


And now Ash Dixon leads the Highlanders out, can they spoil the party in Hamilton?


Perfect, dry conditions underfoot today, which would ultimately suit both teams wanting to run the ball.

Sam Cane leads the Chiefs out as the first team onto the field.


Good afternoon! It's a big one for Chiefs fans today - can they grab their first win of the new season?

Kick off around 15 minutes away.


After these two sides kicked off the new Super Rugby Aotearoa competition last month, the Chiefs have the chance to avenge their last-gasp loss, as well as notch their first win.

A drop goal from Bryn Gatland denied his father's Chiefs victory the last time these two sides met, the Highlanders taking a 28-27 win under the roof of Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

However, now it'll be the Chiefs with home advantage, as they bid to avoid equalling a club-record six consecutive defeats.


Chiefs: 15. Damian McKenzie, 14. Sean Wainui, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 12. Alex Nankivell, 11. Solomon Alaimalo, 10. Kaleb Trask, 9. Brad Weber, 8. Pita Gus Sowakula, 7. Sam Cane (c), 6. Lachlan Boshier, 5. Mitchell Brown, 4. Tupou Vaa'i, 3. Nepo Laulala, 2. Bradley Slater, 1. Aidan Ross.

Reserves: 16. Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17. Reuben O'Neill, 18. Ross Geldenhuys, 19. Adam Thompson, 20. Mitchell Karpik, 21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22. Aaron Cruden, 23. Quinn Tupaea.

Highlanders: 15. Michael Collins, 14. Josh McKay, 13. Rob Thompson, 12. Sio Tomkinson, 11. Scott Gregory, 10. Mitch Hunt, 9. Aaron Smith (cc), 8. Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 7. Dillon Hunt, 6. Shannon Frizell, 5. Jack Whetton, 4. Paripari Parkinson, 3. Soate Tokolahi, 2. Ash Dixon (cc), 1. Ayden Johnstone.

Reserves: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Ethan de Groot, 18. Jeff Thwaites, 19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20. Jesse Parete, 21. Folau Fakatava, 22. Josh Ioane, 23. Jona Nareki.