Highlanders: 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Elliot Dixon (c), 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Rob Thompson
Force: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Bill Meakes (c), 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Brynard Stander, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Richie Arnold, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Pek Cowan
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Lewis Carmichael, 21 Isireli Naisarani, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 James Verity-Amm
Highlanders head coach Tony Brown has made minimum changes to his starting XV after last weekend?s 17-10 win over the Bulls in Pretoria. In the back-line, there are two changes with Tevita Li coming into the run-on side for the suspended Waisake Naholo and Kayne Hammington starts at scrum-half in place of Aaron Smith, who is amongst the replacements. Li will start on the left wing with Patrick Osborne, who wore the number 11 jersey against the Bulls, shifting over to the right wing.
Meanwhile, in the forwards, Liam Coltman returns to start at hooker with Ash Dixon dropping down to the bench. Brown has also shuffled his back row with Elliot Dixon, who leads the side from number eight, swapping places with Gareth Evans who starts on the blindside flank. Also included amongst the replacements is All Black fly-half Lima Sopoaga who is set to return to action after recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in the Round 3 triumph against the Blues in Auckland.
The Western Force have welcomed back into the side a host of players for their clash with the Highlanders in Perth on Saturday. Tatafu Polota-Nau returns as the starting hooker after missing the Jaguares match last week. Jermaine Ainsley will start at tighthead prop after recovering from an elbow injury he suffered against the Crusaders in Round Five. Brynard Stander is the only change in the back row, as the ferocious ball runner is set to start at openside flank. Veteran Peter Grant will start at fly-half after an impressive performance in Buenos Aires last week. Jono Lance will miss the game with an injured hand.
Inside centre Bill Meakes will captain the side for the first time and becomes the 12th man to do so, as he lines up next to centre partner Curtis Rona. In the back three, Luke Morahan returns from a fractured cheekbone and will start at full-back. In the reserves, Anaru Rangi and Tetera Faulkner will look to bring plenty of impact off the bench, along with locks Lewis Carmichael and Matt Philip who makes his return from an injured foot. Michael Ruru is the last inclusion in the reserves, returning from an ankle injury he suffered in Round 7 against the Kings.
Hallo and welcome to our live coverage of the Super Rugby match between the Western Force and Highlanders at the nib Stadium, Perth.
Peter Grant gets the game underway for the Force.
A kick through from a scrum sees the Force take the ball into touch for a lineout on their 22. They take the lineout and kick down field. The Landers give a little chip kick over the Force defence but they handle it well. A little kick down the field rolls into touch.
The Force keep possession for a while before Grant kicks down field. The Highlanders collect and return the kick. Now the Force attack on the halfway line before a grubber is chased without success. Possession changes hands frequently as both teams kick the ball away constantly.
Ian Prior misses the first penalty attempt of the game.
The Highlanders take the ball up into the Force 22. They build 5 phases before a cross field kick to the corner goes into touch. They come back for the advantage.
PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS, BANKS! 0-3.
From a scrum Bill Meakes gives a flat pass to Curtis Rona who breaks the line. He searches for Michael Ruru on his outside but the ball goes to ground. The Highlanders kick down field allowing the Force to attack once again.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, LI! 0-8: The Highlanders have a lineout outside the Force 22. They go down the line and kick forward, forcing the Force into touch for another lineout on the other side of the field. They build a few phases from the lineout and Tevita Li exploits the overlap thanks to some quick hands to score in the corner.
CONVERSION, BANKS! 0-10.
Both teams enjoy kicking the ball away with very little reward. The Highlanders are punished for being offside.
PENALTY, FORCE, PRIOR! 3-10.
The Force win a penalty at a scrum in the Highlanders half and will go for goal.
PENALTY, FORCE, PRIOR! 6-10.
The Highlanders have the ball inside the Force 22. They kick it away and the Force deal with it. They set it up and kick for touch.
The Highlanders attack from outside the 22 and go wide. A pass to Semisi Masirewa on the wing sets him away but he loses the ball into touch with the tackle.
The Highlanders get close to the line but the ball doesn't come out again and they have a scrum 5 metres out.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, SEIULI! 7-15: From the scrum the Highlanders go down the line but the lose the ball, however they win it back quickly and attack again. Bill Meakes steals it on the ground for the Force but in an attempt to get the ball away he throws an intercept pass which Aki Seiuli grabs and falls over from close range.
CONVERSION, BANKS! 6-17.
Semisi Masirewa is sent off for a deliberate knock down trying to prevent a Highlanders attack and possible try. The Highlanders will take a scrum 5 metres out.
From the scrum Kayne Hammington spots a little gap but is stopped just short of the line before the Force turn it over. With that the half-time whistle blows.
The Highlanders get the second half underway.
TRY, HURRICANES, OSBORNE! 6-22: A frantic start to the second half sees the Highlanders attack from their own half. Patrick Osborne gets the ball and hits a gap on the outside and has the pace to run all the way to score.
CONVERSION, BANKS! 6-24.
Richie Arnold is sent off for a no-arms late tackle on Marty Banks.
The Force have a lineout in the Highlanders 22. They fail to make ground and concede possession. The Landers kick the ball away but straight into a Force player and into touch.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, SEIULI! 6-29: The Highlanders attack from outside the Force 22. They break into the danger zone before Aki Seiuli picks up the ball from the back of the ruck and somehow finds a gap to run through for his second try of the game.
CONVERSION, BANKS! 6-31.
From a lineout in the Force 22 the Highlanders barge their way to a few metres out before Lima Sopoaga gives a cross-field kick. Tevita Li challenges for it in the air and seems to score, but he looks to have knocked it on.
The knock on is confirmed by the TMO so the Force will have a scrum 5 metres from their own line. They clear for touch.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, THOMPSON! 6-36: From a ruck in the Force 22 the Highlanders go to the right. The ball goes through the hands and gets to Tevita Li who steps inside before popping a pass over the top to his outside which Rob Thompson takes to score in the corner.
CONVERSION, BANKS! 6-38.
The Force enjoy some possession build 10 phases as they make their way to the Highlanders line, but a loose pass sees the visitors pounce on the loose ball.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, HUNT! 6-43: The Force kick own field. No chase means the ball finds Rob Thompson who goes on the run and hits a gap, making his way all the way into the Force 22. He almost scores a wonderful solo try but is brought down a few metres out. Dillon Hunt is on hand to pick it up and fall over.
CONVERSION, BANKS! 6-45.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, BUCKMAN! 6-50: A long pass from Bill Meakes sees Richard Buckman intercept and run the distance to score. That was Meekes's second intercept pass of the night.
Banks fails to add the extras.
A few kicking exchanges sees the Highlanders collect the ball in the middle of the field. They lose the ball and the Force pounce before kicking down field where the visitors cleans up and finds touch.
The Force have a scrum in their own half and win a free kick. They take it quickly but the Highlanders force a penalty at the breakdown.
Lima Sopoaga fails with the conversion as the final whistle goes. The Highlanders win this one-sided, scrappy affair 55-6. Thanks for joining us.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, THOMPSON! 6-55: The Highlanders have an attacking scrum in the Force 22 metre line in the final play of the game. The Force steal it and go wide but they drop the ball and Rob Thompson pounces to score his second of the game.