Highlanders – Rebels: 22- 28
Highlanders: attempts – McKie, Smith, Gregory; goals- Ioane (2); penalty – Ioane.
Rebels: attempts – Mix, Ranks, Kellaway (2); implementations – Toomua (4).
Although the Highlanders, who only recently badly upset the Australian conference leader the Brumbies, were approaching a home battle with the Rebels as favorites, the reality was inexorable for the New Zealand, who only managed to defend the bonus point in the end. The guests started the meeting powerfully, clearing the property immediately after the restart. In the 8th minute, Beal Meeks forced his way through three defenders, and a little later, Anaru Rangi successfully caught up behind the Melbourne Mall train. In the 21st minute, things got really bad for the Highlanders: Andrew Kellaway couldn’t believe his luck, intercepting a hasty pass from Mitchell hunt to the onrushing Ioane; all he had to do was win an 80 – meter run from John Nareka, which he did. Having been far behind in the score, the Highlanders finally found fresh ideas ahead: Josh McKie left his opponents on the edge and played one try, and just before the break, the forwards organized a skid to Aaron Smith (especially beautiful was the pass behind Jessa Pareta). The fans in the stands had a tangible hope of success.
In the first half, the Highlanders had misfortune: James Lentjes seriously injured his leg after falling after a cancer sweep, and this season was over for the Highlanders captain. After the break, the hosts continued to press on the defensive lines of the guests and the break in the match looked like a done deal: the Highlanders brought a try, but TMO after watching the replay saw a pass forward from Aaron Smith and canceled the take. With sin in half, the Rebels fought off the New Zealand, and in the 52nd minute, Kellaway repeated his trick with the disappearance of the ball from the possession of Landers with its materialization behind the line of the scoring field. But the Highlanders were not yet completely played out: Scott Gregory was the author of the third attempt, and some time later-the author of a very late jump and an inappropriate attack on Haylett-Petty, who was in the air. Soon the referee equalized the teams, sending bill Meeks to the penalty box, who got into an offside position not far from his score. Josh Ioane’s penalty cut the lead to 6 points. In the remaining time, the Highlanders were left without the ball at all, and finally regaining possession and the initiative, they were again left in the minority: Jonah Nareki repeated an illegal reception by Gregory against the same Haylett-Petty.