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Highlanders
Highlanders
29
Tries
Hayden Parker (78), Malakai Fekitoa (59), Shaun Treeby (31)
Penalties
Lima Sopoaga (67,17,15,8)
Drops
none
Cons
Lima Sopoaga (32)

31
Force
Force

Tries
Solomoni Rasolea (55), Ben McCalman (38), Sias Ebersohn (25), Nathan Charles (3)
Penalties
Sias Ebersohn (44)
Drops
none
Cons
Sias Ebersohn (56,39,26,4)


80'
Full Time
What an incredible match we''''ve had here tonight! The Force did well to score early in the second half and it looked like the match was wrapped up when Rasolea scored that brilliant try mid way through the half. The Highlanders came back strong to score and then it appeared as if the Force had shot themselves in the foot as they received two yellow cards in quick succession reducing them to 13 men. The Highlanders will rue their missed opporunity at the end, they were always going to score but it just took a bit too long for the home side. Still a well-deserved victory for the visitors tonight!

80'
The kick looked good but just came up short hitting the cross-bar! The siren goes almost simultaneously! The Force have managed to secure the win, plenty of drama to conclude proceedings here in Dunedin!

79'
Try
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, PARKER, 29-31! They use the overlap well as Parker takes on his man and crashes over near the corner! It's gonna be a tough kick and I'm not sure if there'll be time for anymore play!

77'
Looking at the replays here its impossible to see the ball being grounded. Scrum 5 to the Highlanders!

77'
The Highlanders maul strongly and go over the line! They've gone upstairs to check!

76'
Highlanders win a penalty in front. Huge indecison by the leadership as they take about a minute to make up their mind. They opt for a line out. They have to score here!

75'
Ebersohn intercepts!! he isn't able to break free but the Force manage to clear. The Highlanders take a quick line out and they back on attack again! Force scrambling here with two men down!

74'
Highlanders have opted for a scrum. They are right in front the of the posts! Must score here!

73'
Apologies, Adam Coleman the reserve is also in the bin from an earlier infringement. They're down to 13. Have to back the Highlanders from here!

71'
The Highlanders are into the 22m of the Force again and looking oh so dangerous! Fekitoa has a strong run and comes close! They knock the ball on but McCalman may have just costed the game for the visitors. McCalman tip tackled the man who knocked the ball on. Was extremely late and dangerous. He's been yellowcarded.

70'
Hayden Parker has come on for Lima Sopoaga. Not sure why, Sopoaga was having a great game. Lets see if the fresh legs do the trick for the home side!

68'
Penalty
PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS, SOPOAGA, 24-31! Great strike by the Highlanders pivot! They within striking distance now!

68'
Tough decisions here for the captain of the Highlanders as they win a penalty about 40m out. 10 points back with 13min to play...he opts for posts. Good call. Sopoaga lines up the shot!

66'
Highlanders on attack again after some strong runs! They looking dangerous for another try here. The Force do well and manage to win a penalty. Hodgeson the man who did good work to secure the penalty.

61'
Conversion is missed by Sopoaga!

59'
Try
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, FEKITOA, 21-31! The highlanders bounce back well! Great patience on attack right by the try line. A few times they were brought up short but did well to set up for a new phase instead of reaching for a try. Eventually Fekitoa crashes with the help of a few team mates behind him to get over the line!

58'
Highlanders have woken up now and are on attack! This looks dangerous!

57'
Conversion
CONVERSION, EBERSOHN, 16-31! Ebersohn hasn't missed a kick tonight!

56'
Try
TRY, FORCE, RASOLEA, 16-29! What an incredible try! The Highlanders had an inititated a dangerous looking attack before Cummins read the play well and put a solid hit on Fekitoa! The ball goes loose and is chipped forward by the Force. Sopoaga collects and attempts to clear, Rasolea CATCHES the clearance kick and steps Buckman to go over in the corner! Watch that one on the highlights package!

54'
McCalman does well to turnover ball and now the Force start to attack! The highlanders defend well as the Force battle to get anything going. Eventually they knock on as Nathan Charles finds himself in the way. Highlanders have a scrum just outside their own 22m.

52'
McCalman carries strongly again for momentum, and then Matthewson brings some relief as he finds a comfortable touch to get them out the danger zone.

51'
Buckman finds himself in a half gap and tries to offload to fekitoa! He just can't find him and they've lost it forward. Scrum back to Force now who will want to get it out of their 22m asap.

49'
The Force clumsily knock on in their own 22m. McCalman the offender their who loses the ball in contact. Highlanders will want to capitalize here!

48'
The Highlanders win a penalty at scrum time. Force have been dominating the scrums but Highlanders got the upper hand there. Sopoaga gets good distance with the touch finder. The reulting line out throw isn't straight and Force get a scrum in their own 22m.

45'
Penalty
PENALTY, FORCE, EBERSOHN, 16-24! Force building a nice lead now but can't afford to fall asleep in this half like they did last week.

44'
McCalman has another strong run from the back of a scrum! He goes over the line, but some good defence on the try line by the home side prevents a try. Held up. They were playing advantage and Ebersohn will have an easy shot for three.

43'
Beautiful running from McCalman who is doing some serious damage! Alby Matthewson has a good run to. They go wide to Cummins who can see the try line ahead of him! He basically tackles himself into touch as he trips over his own feet! Could have been an early try there for the Force!

40'
Half Time
Well it's been a fairly even contest thus far with both teams showing good signs and scoring some good tries! Highlanders have looked the more dangerous of the two whereas the Force have looked slightly more clinical. The Highlanders will need to keep some more possession and use it wisely to accumulate some points in the second half if they want to win this one. Force will be looking to score early. If they manage to it will be incredibly tough for the home side to come back from that!

40'
Conversion
CONVERSION, EBERSOHN, 16-21! Ebersohn gets his team a 5 point cushion as they head into the half time break!

39'
Try
TRY, FORCE, McCALMAN, 16-19! McCalman crashes with a textbook body position, slips a tackle and goes over under the poles! The Force are delighted!

37'
Western Force have a good passage of attack with a strong run from the young Rasolea in the centres as well as a great offload in the tackle from Sias Ebersohn. The Highlanders defend well and manage to hold them off. Scrum to Force on the Highlanders 22m, they'll want points here to go into the break ahead!

34'
Conversion
CONVERSION, SOPOAGA, 16-14! Sopoaga gets his team ahead!

32'
Try
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, TREEBY, 14-14! Great set piece play from the home side! Aaron Smith receives the ball from Manu off the back of the scrum and puts a perfectly weighted grubber kick through. Treeby is on it at pace and it pops up for him on the try line and he dots down for a five pointer!

30'
Highlanders find some space down the left hand side through Kurt Baker! He finds Fekitoa to continue the play! He gets brought down in the 22m. Force attempt to turnover and knock. Scrum to Highlanders in the 22m.

29'
Well Liam Coltman the Highlanders hooker is not having a great time now. He was the chap whose pass was intercepted and now has given away a penalty at a scrum!

27'
Conversion
CONVERSION, EBERSOHN, 9-14! Ebersohn converts his own try to extend the lead!

26'
Try
TRY, FORCE, EBERSOHN, 9-12! Ebersohn intercepts a pass that would have most likely lead to a try for the Highlanders! Great opportunistic try for a 14 point swing!

24'
Silly play from Hodgeson at the break down as he gives away a penalty. The Highlanders set up a line out deep in the Forces territory. Sopoaga tries a grubber through but Cummins is there to collect for the visitors!

22'
Western Force win a penalty at the break down just inside their own half. They set up a line out around the 10 yard line just in the Highlanders territory. Game fairly evenly poised at this stage!

20'
Aaron Smith has a run up the blind side from well inside his own half off a scrum. He tries to find Ben Smith out wide but Cummins gets in the way but knocks on in the process. Scrum Highlanders.

17'
Penalty
PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS, SOPOAGA, 9-7! Beautiful strike from Lima as it just sneaks over. He knew he had the distance and just timed it sweetly!

16'
Pek Cowan gets penalised for being offsides shortly after the restart. Sopoaga is going to have a crack from over 50m out! Let's see what kind of yardage this guy has!

15'
Penalty
PENALTY, SOPOAGA, 6-7. No problems for Lima!

14'
The driving maul is defended well by the Force! The Highlanders decide to use a few big lads to crash over before Aaron Smith has a dart! He's held up over the line as bodies pile on it becomes unclear as to whether he got it down! They go back for a penalty for offside and Sopoaga will take 3 points here.

11'
Richard Buckman finds some space on the wing and is away! He wriggles out of two oncoming defenders like an escape artist! Brilliant play! He's eventually brought down in the Forces 22m. The Highlanders win a penalty and kick for the corner to set up an attacking lineout 5m out!

9'
Penalty
PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS, SOPOAGA, 3-7. Sopoaga gets the home side started!

8'
Force were penalized earlier and were playing advanatge to the Highlanders. sopoaga will have an easy shot for 3 points.

7'
Sopoaga's penalty kick hits the posts!! They've managed to win it back and are on attack again in the Forces 22m! They go wide to Baker but he's taken safely into touch!

6'
Highlanders looking dangerous on attack shortly after the kick off! Western Force err as they infringe at the breakdown. Sopoaga will have a chance to get his team on the board!

4'
Conversion
CONVERSION, EBERSOHN, 0-7. Great strike from Sias!

3'
Try
TRY, FORCE, CHARLES, 0-5! Fantastic play from the visitors! They retained the ball well and used their runners effectively. Eventually they go wide and Ebersohn sends a lovely pass to Nathan Charles who shows and goes over the tryline!

2'
The Force set up a solid maul from the line out as they move into the 22m. They retain the ball well looking extremely composed.

1'
Ebersohn gets us underway for the second half! Buckman collects. And ref stops play for obstruction. Force will have an early attacking scrum on the Highlanders 22m!

0'
Kick Off
Sopoaga gets us underway as he goes long! Force collect but do not find touch in the clearance! Highlanders counter attack but are penalized on the ground. Force set up a line out!

0'
Highlanders news: Kurt Baker gets his first start of the Super Rugby season for the Highlanders in Saturday's clash with the Western Force. Baker starts on the left wing in a side featuring two personnel changes and two positional switches. Malakai Fekitoa shifts from the wing to outside centre in the place of Winston Stanley while flanker John Hardie moves from 7 to 6 as Shane Christie comes into the side and Gareth Evans drops out.

0'
Western Force news: Western Force boss Michael Foley has named an unchanged squad to tackle the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.

0'
Welcome
Welcome to the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin for our Super Rugby clash featuring the Highlanders and the Western Force! The Force came out flying last week to beat the Rebels and will be hoping to do the same against the Highlanders today.


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