LIVE: Highlanders triumph 25-17 over Crusaders in thrilling southern derby

Welcome to 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of this evening's round 4 clash between the Highlanders and Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

Highlanders 25 - 17 Crusaders

80 mins: The Highlanders have prevailed. Finally getting one over their neighbours after three defeats last year. A highly entertaining game with the home side taking more of their chances than the Crusaders. 

75 mins: The Landers are elated after winning a penalty at scrum time. They elect to kick for goal. He hits the post! No change to the score.

72 mins: Dixon earns a big penalty for the Highlanders. 

70 mins: Sopoaga makes no mistake.

68 mins: The Landers earn a penalty with a period of sustained pressure on the Crusaders' line. Li has made some powerful charges in the second half. 

66 mins: The Crusaders end another sweeping Landers move with a turnover. 

64 mins: The Landers to take a gimme three points. Sopoaga makes no mistake. 

63 mins: The Crusaders win a turnover defending their own line. It's just got that feeling that it will go down to the wire.

55 mins: The Crusaders with a try that's good as you'll see! They strung together some offloads coming out of their own 22 before replacement winger Mataele pulled off an unbelievable chip and chase. The try is converted. 

52 mins: The Highlanders are back to their full compliment with Naholo back on the field. 

49 mins: Elliot Dixon has scored for the Highlanders! Despite being down to 14 men, they take advantage of some lucky breaks and the loose forward finishes it off. Conversion is missed.

41 mins: Naholo with a high tackle. The TMO looking at it now, probably just a matter of what colour the card is you'd think. It's a yellow. 

40 mins: Aaron Smith kicks it out. A very entertaining first half ends, it's certainly been thrilling but both teams probably guilty of not taking some chances.

38 mins: After all that, it's being ruled a knock-on from earlier in the play. Anticlimatic to say the least.

36 mins: Taufua scores! After the most ridiculous passage of play. The Landers were on attack before turning the ball over and Havili went on a long run. We're actually going upstairs. Looking at a knock-on.

31 mins: It's the Crusaders this time who win a peanlty with the Highlanders threatening deep inside their 22. 

28 mins: A long passage of play finally ends with a Crusaders knock on. Taylor made a couple of line breaks made they couldn't convert. The All Blacks hooker did show some ridiculous skill with a long pass. 

26 mins: The Crusaders make a line break but turn the ball over and Ben Smith clears. Crusaders have dominated this last period. 

24 mins: The Landers do brilliantly to turn the Crusaders' driving maul and earn themselves a scrum. 

23 mins: The Crusaders get another kickable penalty but they elect to kick for the corner this time. 

16 mins: Crusaders elect to take the penalty from in front. Fair to say it has been a brutal opening period. Hunt slots it.

14 mins: Sopoaga converts his own try. 

13 mins: Li with an outstanding run! A few phases later Sopoaga crossed though he may have lost it. We're checking upstairs. It's awarded.

9 mins: The Highlanders hit right back! Some ferocious stuff from the forwards and Coltman scores from short range. Converted as well to tie it up.

6 mins: Converted by Hunt. What a start.

5 mins: And don't they take advantage! Bridge with some amazing speed, goes around Naholo and dots down after charging on to a nice pass. 

4 mins: The Highlanders have had all the territory and much of the possession but the Crusaders get a penalty to get out of their own half. 

1 mins: We're underway, the Highlanders kick off and they get an early penalty. They turn down the shot and kick for the corner. Great to see.


The Highlanders are expecting the Crusaders to be at their best when the two sides meet in Dunedin tonight, as both sides prepare for a blockbuster southern derby.

Following the Crusaders' 29-19 loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington last week, Highlanders co-captain Ash Dixon expects the reigning champions to respond in style against his side.

"I'll say they'll be fairly fired up this week," Dixon said.

"They'll iron out those little creases that they had, and they'll come in pretty hot tomorrow.

"Looking forward to it, it's a big challenge for us, it's one you've got to get excited about."

The Crusaders have been forced to make some late adjustments to their team thanks to injuries to key players.

Both Sam Whitelock and Ryan Crotty have been ruled out of the fixture after displaying concussion symptoms during the week. 

The Highlanders have only opted for two changes from their last line-up, with Tevita Li replacing Tevita Nabura on the left wing, while prop Aki Seiuli replaces Daniel Leinert-Brown on the loose-head side of the scrum.


HIG: 15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Aki Seiuli

HIG Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon (cc), 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Kalolo Tulioma, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes

CRU: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Samuel Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett

CRU Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Chris King, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Billy Harmon, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mike Delany, 23 Manasa Mataele

Crusaders' Jordan Taufua touches down, but the try is overturned during the Highlanders v Crusaders, Super Rugby Round 5, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. 17 March 2018. Copyright Image: Derek Morrison /
Jordan Taufua crosses for a try that would later be overturned. Source: Photosport