Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Rebels in
Melbourne tomorrow night.

Joseph has made two changes to the starting XV that played the Hurricanes last
weekend in Wellington.  In the forwards, captain Andrew Hore comes back into the
run-on XV.

In the backs, Jason Emery will start at centre and Tamati Ellison will move to second five-eighth.

Shaun Treeby moves to the reserves and Buxton Popoalii drops out of the 22.

Highlanders v Rebels, AMII Park, Melbourne – Friday 12 July 2013, 9.40pm (NZT).
1. Tony Woodcock (124)
2. Andrew Hore – captain (140)
3. Ma’afu Fia (23)
4. Brad Thorn (106)
5. Josh Bekhuis (70)
6. TJ Ioane (12)
7. Elliot Dixon (15)
8. Mose Tuiali’i (76)
9. Aaron Smith (43)
10. Colin Slade (46)
11. Hosea Gear - vice-captain (102)
12. Tamati Ellison (76)
13. Jason Emery (10)
14. Kade Poki (41)
15. Ben Smith (71)
16. Liam Coltman (12)
17. Bronson Murray (44)
18. Jake Paringatai (9)
19. Joe Wheeler (13)
20. Fumiaki Tanaka (13)
21. Hayden Parker (9)
22. Shaun Treeby (25)

The Highlanders turned on one of their performances of the season to beat the Hurricanes 49-44, in a try-frenzy in the capital last night. With the match seen as having little significance in terms of overall standings, both sides being out of playoff contention, the Highlanders showed everyone again what could have been.
Both teams exchanged penalties early on, with Beauden Barrett kicking his side out to a 6-3 lead, before Colin Slade sparked the Highlanders into action.
Taking the ball from inside his own 22m, the first five-eight then linked up with Hosea Gear who took off down field, eventually being tackled just outside the opposition 22m. Tony Woodcock was on hand to gather Gear’s offload before handing the pill to Mose Tuiali’i who went in for the sides opening try. Slade finished it all off with a conversion to give the visitors a 10-6 15 minutes in.
Slade was at it again a couple of minutes later, taking off on a nice little run before putting in a nicely weighted chip kick for Tamati Ellison to chase. Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara was back in cover to chase the kick, however he failed to gather the ball as he dived for it, leaving Ellison to pick it up and cross over for the try. Slade again adding the extras, to have the Highlanders ahead 17-6 inside the opening quarter.
Elliot Dixon, in one of his best performances this season, got into the action in the 25th minute when he broke off the back of a maul, holding off the tackle of Perenara long enough to slip a great offload to put Aaron Smith in for a try.
The Hurricanes finally got a break when Hooker Ash Dixon closed the gap, diving through the defence for a try just minutes out from halftime. Barrett added the conversion to bring the score to 27-13.
Kade Poki finished off a superb first half effort when he went in for a try, fending off three defenders to grab the bonus point try after the halftime siren, giving the Highlanders a 32-13 lead at the break.
Aaron Smith received a yellow card in the 53rd minute after multiple team offences, the extra man giving the Hurricanes the space to put Ben Franks in for a try before Julian Savea grabbed one of his own moments later. Barrett kicking both conversions to close the gap to 35-27.
Hosea Gear took the match into his own hands when he set off on a run in the 64th minute, seeing off Barrett before spinning out of the tackle of Brad Shields to go in for a superb individual try. Hayden Parker added the extras to put the visitors ahead 42-27.
TJ Ioane showed his class minutes later when he took off on a charging run, pushing off a couple of would-be tacklers before slipping a nice ball to send Elliot Dixon in for a try between the posts. Parker kicked the conversion to bring the Highlanders out to a 49-27 lead.
The Hurricanes started a comeback with just over 10 minutes remaining, when reserve halfback Chris Smylie grabbed an opportunist try, intercepting an Andrew Hore pass from the bottom of the ruck to score an easy try.
James Broadhurst further closed the gap when he stretched out for a try, arguably while being held in a tackle however the try was awarded by the referee. Barrett added the extras to make the score 49-41.
The Highlanders again went down to 14 men with Bronson Murray receiving a late yellow card, leaving the southern men to finish the match one man down. The Hurricanes opted for a penalty following the offense, closing the scores to 49-44 where the would remain to give the Highlanders their third win for the season.
The bonus point victory has also allowed the Highlanders to move up a position on the table, lifting themselves from the bottom with one match remaining.
Highlanders 49 (Mose Tuiali'i, Tamati Ellison, Aaron Smith, Kade Poki, Hosea Gear, Elliot Dixon tries; Colin Slade 3 pen, 3 con; Hayden Parker 2 con)
Hurricanes 44 (Ash Dixon, Ben Franks, Julian Savea, Chris Smylie, James Broadhurst tries; Beauden Barrett 3 pen, 5 con) HT: 32-13

The Highlanders have suffered another loss in their final home match for the season, going down 40-12 to the Crusaders. A solid start from the home side gave their loyal fans some hope of a win, although the Crusaders ran away with it in the second half.
The Crusaders hit the board early with a Dan Carter penalty two minutes into the match, the Highlanders being caught offside. However, the home side wasted little time in securing their first points of the night, Ben Smith crossing over for a try following some nice team play and a good offload by Tamati Ellison. Colin Slade kicked the conversion to give the Highlanders a 7-3 lead inside the first ten minutes.
Jarred Hoeata received a yellow card in the 18th minute for foul play, however a determined defensive effort by the Southerners prevented the Crusaders gaining any immediate advantage from the extra man.
The Crusaders were finally rewarded for their efforts when George Whitelock finished off a good Dan Carter break, scoring a try between the posts. Carter added the extras to give his side a 10-7 lead 10 minutes before halftime. Another Dan Carter penalty after the halftime siren gave the Crusaders a 13-7 lead at the break.
The Highlanders survived an early second half attack, Zac Guilfords efforts being reviewed by the TMO, although a try was not awarded. However, moments later the visitors extended their lead tanks to an Andy Ellis try. Carter adding the conversion for a 20-7 lead two minutes into the second half.
Hosea Gear got the home side back on track when he dotted down in the corner, bringing them back in touch at 12-20. Ma’a Nonu became the second player sent off when he was given his marching orders for a dangerous tackle, although instead of a yellow card he received red which spelt the end of his night. Carter subsequently kicked the penalty for the dangerous tackle, extending their lead to 23-12.
Moments later Crusaders replacement hooker, Corey Flynn was also shown a yellow card for a stiff-arm on Aaron Smith, becoming the third player of the match to be sent off the field.
Dan Carter further extend the Crusaders lead through a penalty with 15 minutes remaining, followed minutes later with a converted try. Former Highlanders wing, Telusa Veainu put the final nail in the coffin with a great individual effort, scoring one of the tries of the night right on fulltime. Carter added the conversion to seal the 40-12 win.
Crusaders 40 (George Whitelock, Andy Ellis, Dan Carter, Telusa Veainu tries; Dan Carter (4) Penalties, (4) Conversions)
Highlanders 12 (Ben Smith, Hosea Gear Tries; Colin Slade Conversion)

Due to ticket demand, the Highlanders have opened the Mitre 10 Mega Stand for tomorrow’s final Super Rugby home fixture versus the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The stand was not planned to be opened for this match (due to University holidays), however with ticket sales exceeding expectation the stand has now be opened for public sale.  

Tickets sales have reached 17,000 and the additional seats brings the capacity to 22,600.

Tickets are the regular price of $15 (same price for both adults and children).  The stand will still be GA (general admission – not allocated seats).

Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night. The Highlanders resume competition play after the June test window, and with Highlander Hosea Gear
playing his 100th Investec Super Rugby game, a large crowd is expected in Dunedin.

Hosea made his debut for the Highlanders in 2012 and has had a remarkable run.  He played all 16 games in 2012 and has not missed a game this season, bringing his total games for the Highlanders to 29 caps.  Hosea made his debut for the Hurricanes against the Chiefs in 2004.  With 36 tries in Super Rugby and 42 tries at provincial level, he has proven himself as one of the best finishers in the game.

Highlanders’ Head Coach Jamie Joseph has seen the development of Hosea into a world-class player and professional athlete.

“I have seen Hosea develop into one of the best players in the world in his position. He is one of the hardest workers both on and off the field.  He always brings a professional approach to the Highlanders team environment and is highly respected by all the guys.  Our team would like to congratulate him for reaching this remarkable milestone”.

Highlanders' General Manager Roger Clark also congratulated Hosea on reaching 100 games in Super Rugby.

"Hosea is a remarkable player and a strong leader within our team.  He has always done his talking on the field and led by example and this season has been one of his best.  On behalf of the Highlanders I would like to congratulate Hosea on reaching 100 Super games tomorrow night".

Tomorrow night’s game is the 23rd between the southern neighbours with the Crusaders having the on-field advantage with 15 wins to the Highlanders 8.  Jamie Joseph has made three changes to the starting XV that dispatched the Blues on 1 June.  Tony Woodcock starts at loose-head prop, Elliot Dixon replaces the injured John Hardie at openside flanker and Kade Poki comes back into the run-on XV after a long absence with a rib injury.  On the bench, Lima Sopoaga makes his return from an ankle injury.

Ticket sales have been strong all week with 16,800 tickets sold to date.  Forsyth Barr Stadium capacity is 22,600.

Highlanders v Crusaders, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin – Saturday 29 June, 7.35pm.
1. Tony Woodcock (122)
2. Andrew Hore – captain (138)
3. Ma’afu Fia (21)
4. Brad Thorn (104)
5. Josh Bekhuis (68)
6. Jarrad Hoeata (44)
7. Elliot Dixon (13)
8. Mose Tuiali’i (74)
9. Fumiaki Tanaka (11)
10. Colin Slade (44)
11. Hosea Gear - vice-captain (99)
12. Shaun Treeby (23)
13. Tamati Ellison (74)
14. Kade Poki (39)
15. Ben Smith (69)
16. Liam Coltman (10)
17. Bronson Murray (42)
18. Jake Paringatai (7)
19. TJ Ioane (10)
20. Aaron Smith (41)
21. Lima Sopoaga (15)
22. Ma’a Nonu (132)