Gareth Evans (39), Richard Buckman (36,2)
Hayden Parker (22)
Hayden Parker (25)
Hayden Parker (2)


Courtnall Skosan (78), Armand van der Merwe (70), Lionel Mapoe (66), Francois de Klerk (42)
Marnitz Boshoff (43)

Full Time
Highlanders 23 Lions 22

Elton Jantjies steps up for the conversion under great pressure from close to the touchline. His effort is on target but falls just short! The Highlanders have won! It was nail-biting stuff towards the end but in the end the hosts have clung on! The Lions are desperately unlucky as they were on top for the entire second half. That's unfortunately how the cookie crumbles and what a game it's been.

TRY, LIONS, SKOSAN! 23-22. From the scrum, the Lions set up a couple of phases before taking it wide to their backs where Skosan dives in at the left-hand corner!

The Lions are camped close to the Highlanders' try-line but the hosts are defending like Trojans! Several forwards make a dash for the line and eventually Rudi Mathee places the ball at the base of the post and after checking with his TMO referee Gardner awards a scrum to the visitors as it was inconclusive whether a try was scored.

The Lions are on the attack inside the Highlanders' 22 and put pressure on the hosts at a scrum. The Highlanders do well to get the ball out to Ben Smith who puts the ball into touch on his 22-metre line.

TRY, LIONS, A VAN DER MERWE! 23-17. The Lions go on the attack, from a line-out close to the Highlanders' line and Whiteley finds himself in space before passing to Armand van der Merwe who dots down in the right-hand corner!

The Lions are right back in this game and doing most of the attacking at the moment! They are soon close to the hosts' 22 and Jonker stabs a grubber kick through which rolls into touch 10 metres from the Highlanders' try-line.

TRY, LIONS, MAPOE! 23-12. Boshoff makes a break and offloads to Whiteley who gets the ball out to JW Jonker inside the Highlanders' 22. He draws in the final defender before offloading to Mapoe, who gets in for the visitors' second try.

Parker launches a cross-field kick for Emery to chase but Skosan does brilliantly by gathering, close to his try-line. He sets off on a run and eventually offloads to Watermeyer on the edge of his 22.

Courtnall Skosan is pinged for holding onto the ball on the ground. Parker puts the ball into touch on the visitors' 22-metre line.

The Lions win a turnover at a ruck and attack with their backs! They are soon inside the Highlanders' 22 but Volmink knocks on a pass from De Klerk.

Schal van der Merwe is penalised for not pushing straight in a scrum. Parker puts the resulting penalty out on the Lions' 22-metre line.

Thr Lions pick-up-and-go with their forwards but Robbie Coetzee loses the ball in contact after a big hit from Dixon.

Yellow Card
YELLOW CARD, HIGHLANDERS, KING! Chris King will spend the next 10 minutes in the sin bin after he plays Warren Whiteley off the ball with an stiff arm to the Lions skipper's head.

Emery attacks inside the Lions' 22 but can't get past Lionel Mapoe, who also holds him up in the tackle. The end result is possession to the Lions again when the maul becomes static.

Nasi Manu takes the ball into contact after the Highlanders win a line-out on the Lions' 22. He gains some ground but is held up in the tackle by Jaco Kriel and Martin Muller. When the maul becomes statric, it's the Lions who have the put-in to the scrum.

The Lions take the ball through several of phases with their forwards before Boshoff launches an up-and-under. Buckman gathers under great pressure, inside his 22, and calls a mark.

Chris King is penalised for illegal scrummaging. Boshoff kicks for touch and puts the ball out on the Highlanders' 10-metre line.

CONVERSION, LIONS, BOSHOFF. 23-7. Boshoff adds the two-pointer to narrow the gap to 16 points.

TRY, LIONS, DE KLERK! 23-5. The Lions take a tap penalty, close to the Highlanders' try-line and Stefan Waternmeyer is stopped just short of the line. Faf de Klerk spots a gap, at the ensuing ruck and dives over next to the goal-posts!

Boshoff gets the second half started with a deep kick which Emery gathers. He beats a couple of defenders before going to ground just outside his 22.

Half Time
Highlanders 23 Lions 0

TRY, HIGHLANDERS, EVANS! 23-0. The home side launch an attack from inside their half and are soon camped inside the visitors' 22. The ball comes out to Emery, who throws a pass to Gavin Evans, who scores in the left-hand corner! Parker misses with the conversion from the touchline which is the final act of the half. It's been one-way traffic for the hosts and the Lions will have to show considerable improvement, after the break, if they want to be victorious.

TRY, HIGHLANDERS, BUCKMAN! 18-0. Phil Burleigh gathers a pass, from Aaron Smith, inside his half and kicks ahead. The Lions think they have it under control but Richard Buckman races past two defendrs before diving onto the ball behind the visitors' try-line!

The Lions attack just outside the Highlanders' 22 but lose possession on the ground. Parker clears his line with a kick upfield.

The Highlanders attack with their backs and Fekitoa puts Buckman in the clear, down the touchline! He kicks ahead but Watermeyer is there to dot down behind his try-line.

Stefan Watermeyer takes on the Highlanders' backs but makes little headway. He throws a wild pass but gains a reprieve when Ged Robinson knocks on.

Chrysander catches a clearance kick from Ben Smith in touch an plays quickly. He passes to Boshoff, who takes on the hosts' defence before throwing a pass which Phil Burleigh tries to intercept. Unfortunately, for him he knocks on!

DROP GOAL, HIGHLANDERS, PARKER! 13-0. Parker has just handed the visitors some of their own medicine! The hosts can't breach their opponents' defence with their forwards and Parker catches everyone by surprise when he lands a snap-shot from about 25 metres out!

PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS, PARKER! 10-0. Parker lands a three-pointer from 48 metres out after the Lions forwards are penalised for illegal play at a ruck.

Elliott Dixon is pinged for entering a maul from the wrong side. Boshoff puts the ball out five metres from the halfway line.

The Lions take the ball through the hands and are soon inside the home side's 22! The ball comes to Anthony Volmink who goes to ground but John Hardie does brilliantly to win a turnover!

The Lions put huge pressure on the Highlanders at a scrum! Referee Angus Gardner penalises the visitors' front row, however, for illegal scrummaging. Parker kicks for touch and puts the ball out on his 10-metre line.

Ma'afu Fia is penalised for illegal scrummaging. Boshoff puts the resulting penalty into touch on the Highlanders' 22-metre line.

Aaron Smith attacks inside the Lions' 22 but is pinged when he holds onto the ball on the ground. Boshoff kicks for touch and puts the ball out on his 10-metre line.

Now it's the Highlanders who take the ball into contact with their forwards. They eventually come out wide with their backs and Malakai Fekitoa offloads to Jason Emery, who stabs a grubber kick through which rolls into touch inside the visitors' 22.

The Lions take the ball through the phases with their forwards and are soon just outside the Highlanders' 22. Boshoff drops into the pocket and tries a drop goal attempt but it's just wide of the mark!

CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS, PARKER. 7-0. Parker adds the extras to extend the home side's lead.

TRY, HIGHLANDERS, BUCKMAN! 5-0. Richard Buckman sets off on a mazy run down the right-hand touchline! He beats four defenders before crashing over in the corner!

The Lions are pressure inside their 22. Faf de Klerk whips out a pass to Marnitz Boshoff, who clears his line with a kick into touch 10 metres outside his 22.

Kick Off
Hayden Parker gets the game underway! His kick is gathered just outside the Lions' 22 by Martin Muller, who immediately sets up a ruck.

Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has made three changes to his starting XV. In the backline, Marnitz Boshoff will start at fly-half in Elton Jantjies' place while Anthony Volmink comes into the run-on side for Deon van Rensburg on the left wing. Meanwhile, in the forwards, there has been just one change with MB Lusaseni replacing Franco Mostert at lock. On the bench, Corne Fourie has been called up to provide prop cover, while Rudi Mathee and Warwick Teckenburg are also new inclusions.

The Highlanders will be without fly-half Lima Sopoaga for three weeks, due to an ankle injury, with Hayden Parker wearing number ten in his place for today''s clash. Outside Parker will be Phil Burleigh, who comes in for Shaun Treeby at twelve, while Jason Emery is given a start on the wing ahead of Trent Renata. Liam Coltman is benched so Ged Robinson is the starting hooker while Shane Christie, who was set to start on the openside flank, has been ruled out after sustaining a back injury in training on Thursday. He has ben replaced by John Hardie.

Good day and welcome to the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin for our live coverage of this Super Rugby clash between our hosts, the Highlanders, and the Lions. Don't go away! We'll return shortly with team news.

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