Team Highlanders: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Scott Gregory, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Patelesio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (cc), 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (cc), 1 Ayden Johnstone. Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20 Jesse Parete, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Teariki Ben-Nicholas.
Team Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Ben May. Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen.
In their game last week the Hurricanes defeated the Chiefs 25-18, while the Highlanders went down 40-20 against the Crusaders.
The Hurricanes will be confident, as they have won the last four games here at Sky Stadium against the Highlanders.
In this mid-table clash both teams will be desperate for a win in order to narrow the gap on the Crusaders and the Blues.
G'Day and welcome to Sky Stadium for our live coverage of this Super Rugby Aotearoa clash between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders.
Our referee is Brendon Pickerill. We are underway here in Wellington!
A brisk start by the visitors, as they make their way into Hurricanes territory from the kick-off. A superb placed kick finds touch inside the 22.
NO TRY, HIGHLANDERS! Great work by Aaron Smith, who collects the ball in his own half and side-steps into a gap to run all the way to score! However the TMO rules there was obstruction in the build-up. A harsh call!
NO TRY, HURRICANES! The Hurricanes feed a line-out from their penalty and drive forward. They then go wide before Laumape storms over to score! WOW! Once again the TMO rules that there was obstruction! Justice!
Lam is into a gap and chips the ball forward, before the Hurricanes concede a penalty at the breakdown. Nice speed from him!
The Highlanders then earn an offside penalty near the halfway line and they go for touch. They secure the line-out and drive forward. Great defence by Aso then shuts play down by forcing an error! Great work!
After a few resets at the scrum and a frustrated Perenara the Hurricanes come away with it. They string six phases together before securing an offside penalty. They opt for the corner.
After a slow ball recovery they go wide via Jordie Barrett. They string six phases together before losing the ball five metres out. Great work Highlanders!
Perenara clears a scrum on the halfway line. The Hurricanes cross the 22, before securing a penalty. That was the best piece of play thus far in the game.
Jordie Barrett finds a good touch and they come away with it. They wide and after six phases a grubber kick allows Aaron Smith to jot it down for a 22m restart.
The Highlanders make their way into the Hurricanes 22, before it is turned-over. Rinse and repeat and the ball is turned over again. The Highlanders then secure a penalty on the halfway line.
Hunt finds touch inside the Hurricanes 22. They clear the ball and Hunt is into a gap. Great work by May to steal the ball under pressure.
It's a penalty for the under-pressure Hurricanes in their own half at the breakdown. Barrett sends it into Highlanders territory.
TRY, HURRICANES, PERENARA! 5-0: The Hurricanes clear the line-out and go wide. They recycle the ball and then Perenara outsmarts Aaron Smith with a side-step and a dummy to run home and score!
CONVERSION, HURRICANES, BARRETT! 7-0: Jordie Barrett adds the extras.
The Highlanders secure an offside penalty and Hunt goes for goal. The wind is not helping and he pushes it wide!
Jordie Barrett is squeezed for room in his own 22, but he does come away with a penalty. Barrett then fails to find touch. Poor!
TRY, HURRICANES, VAN WYK! 12-0: Perenara clears a scrum and they go wide. Barrett is then into a gap and he makes good ground. They recycle the ball before Van Wyk storms over in the corner!
The conversion is missed by Barrett.
Aso is into a gap and the Hurricanes make their way into Highlanders territory, before losing it forward.
HALF-TIME: HURRICANES 12-0 HIGHLANDERS. The battle between the best scrumhalves in New Zealand provided us with an entertaining first half. Please join us after the break.
Kick-Off! We are back underway in the second half.
Great work by the Hurricanes to turn the ball over inside the Highlanders half. They string 14 phases together before Aso is stopped short. They come again and secure an offside penalty after being held up.
TRY, HURRICANES, FLANDERS! 17-0: The Hurricanes opt for a five metre scrum. They go to the short side and Laumape is just stopped short. After 16 more patient phases Devan Flanders scrambles over to score! That was always coming.
The conversion is pushed wide by Barrett.
PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS, HUNT! 17-3: The Highlanders secure a penalty at the breakdown and Hunt goes for goal. This time he slots the kick!
Hunt finds a good touch after yet another Highlanders penalty. They go wide and then Nareki makes his way towards the 22.
TRY, HIGHLANDERS, SMITH! 17-8: The Highlanders secure a high-tackle penalty and Hunt finds touch nine metres out. Frizzel secures the line-out and then Aaron-Smith runs at an angle to score!
Hunt sends the conversion wide. We have 20 minutes left.
Smith tries a box-kick and the Highlanders regather it. Great work!
After 10 patient phases the Hurricanes secure a penalty for offside. Barrett finds touch in the corner.
The Hurricanes secure the line-out and go wide only to knock it on in contact. Messy!
Great work at the scrum and the Highlanders secure a penalty. Hunt finds touch near halfway. Lomax come away with the ball for the Hurricanes. They go wide and come withing five metres of the line, before it is knocked-on.
The Hurricanes steal yet another line-out ball and Perenara tries a cross-kick and it rolls out five metres out.
The Highlanders mess up their line-out and the ball rolls forward for an attacking Hurricanes scrum. The Hurricanes go wide and now they mess it up with a wayward forward pass.
The Hurricanes secure a free-kick and opt for another scrum inside the Highlanders 22. Again a handling error let them down. That has been a common mistake in this half.
Mitchell Hunt is into a gap and the Highlanders make their way into the Hurricanes 22. They come within five metres and feed a scrum.
PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS, HUNT! 17-11: The Highlanders secure the scrum and after seven phases they have an offside penalty. Hunt goes for goal to ensure a bonus point.
FULL-TIME: HURRICANES 17-11 HIGHLANDERS. An entertaining game ends with victory for the home team. The Highlanders go home with a bonus point. Thank you for joining us.