The Highlanders gave it their all tonight at Forsyth Barr Stadium, but it wasn’t enough against a Chiefs team that were just too good on the night. The Highlanders dominated the early exchanges, however a try against the run of play gave the Chiefs the momentum and lead in the match, which the Highlanders could not grab back.
The Highlanders threw everything at the visitors in the second half, but it wasn’t enough and the Chiefs ran out winners 27-21. The night was highlighted by a very special moment before the game, when Highlanders fan Jayden Barton was the ball runner and also at the end of the game when Highlanders Captain Jamie Mackintosh took over the MC mic and thanked the 17,000 strong crowd for their loyal support over the season.
Final Score Highlanders 21 (9) Chiefs 27 (18).
Tries - A. Hore, H. Gear
Pen - C. Noakes 3
Con - M. Delany
Tries - T. Nanai Williams, R. Robinson
Pen - A. Cruden 5
Con - A. Cruden
Referee: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 1: Vinny Munro
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
TMO: Nick Briant
1. Jamie Mackintosh (c), 2. Jason Rutledge, 3. Ma'afu Fia, 4. Jarrad Hoeata, 5. Nick Crosswell, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. Tim Boys, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Chris Noakes, 11. Hosea Gear, 12. Phil Burleigh, 13. Tamati Ellison, 14. Kade Poki, 15. Ben Smith.
Replacements: 16. Andrew Hore, 17. Chris King, 18. Josh Bekhuis, 19. James Haskell, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Mike Delany, 22. Buxton Popoali'i.
1. Toby Smith, 2. Mahonri Schwalger, 3. Ben Tameifuna, 4. Craig Clarke (c), 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 8. Kane Thompson, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Willison Jackson, 14. Tim Nanai-Williams, 15. Robbie Robinson.
Replacements: 16. Hika Elliot, 17. Sona Taumalolo, 18. Michael Fitzgerald, 19. Sam Cane, 20. Brendon Leonard, 21. Andrew Horrell, 22. Lelia Masaga