Low-profile packs key in Super Rugby final

9:36 PM   They boast backlines to envy but the Hurricanes and Highlanders both reckon their less-heralded forward packs hold the key to victory in the Super Rugby final.

Highlanders leave Tahs' title dreams in tatters

Hard to swallow: Jacques Potgieter was sin-binned for a swinging arm.

Georgina Robinson   Nick Phipps's body language said it all. Shoulders slumped, shaking his head as he left the field in the 72nd minute. The dream was over. The Waratahs' title defence in tatters.

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SA attitude to Super Rugby is hurting game

Spiro Zavos

Spiro Zavos   South Africa need to change the rule that allows players to go to Europe and still qualify for the national team.

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Highlanders train crosshairs on "Will Skelton and his mates"

Big challenge: The Waratahs' Will Skelton has vowed not to temper his aggressive play.

Georgina Robinson   Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph targets "Will Skelton and his mates" to pull off upset in Sydney and lock in the Highlanders first final since 1999.

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Rattling Highlanders No.10 key to a Waratahs win

Paul Cully dinkus Dinkus

Paul Cully   Ask for the barometer of this Highlanders side and most will point to halfback Aaron Smith, but the Waratahs should instead draw a target on his No.10 Lima Sopoaga.

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Highlanders beat Chiefs to book semi spot

On the rampage: Waisake Naholo of the Highlanders.

Winger Waisake Naholo has continued his outstanding as the Highlanders downed the Chiefs in a breathtaking encounter.

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Highlanders storm into playoffs with Blues rout

Try scorer: Patrick Osborne of the Highlanders makes a break in Auckland.

The Highlanders will head into the Super Rugby playoffs with confidence after trouncing the lowly Blues 44-7 on a soggy night at Eden Park.

Hurricanes honour Jerry Collins with massive win

Sad night: Hurricanes players observe a minute's silence for Jerry Collins in Napier.

TOBY ROBSON   There were no celebrations for the Hurricanes as they secured a home Super Rugby semi-final in Napier, but Jerry Collins would have been proud.

Highlanders too good for Force

Patrick Osborne makes a break for the away team.

The Western Force remain winless against all Super Rugby teams bar the defending champions in 2015 with the Highlanders winning 23-3 in Perth on Saturday night.

Highlanders run Cheetahs ragged

Ben Smith makes a break for the Highlanders.

Ryan Tongia and Aaron Smith bagged try-scoring doubles as the Highlanders whipped the Cheetahs 45-24 in Bloemfontein to improve their Super Rugby play-off chances.

Lions roar home to beat Highlanders

Andries Coetzee of the Lions flirts with the sideline.

The Lions staged a remarkable second-half comeback to defeat New Zealand's Otago Highlanders 28-23 in their Super Rugby clash at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Highlanders run Sharks ragged in Dunedin

Irresistible force: Dan Pryor of the Highlanders on the charge.

Aaron Smith was at his sparkling best as the Highlanders outclassed the Sharks 48-15 in a record-breaking Super Rugby win in Dunedin.

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Brumbies take on the Highlanders

Robbie Coleman.

David Polkinghorne   Follow the live action as the Brumbies take on the Highlanders at GIO Stadium in Canberra.

Boots and all Henry Speight ready for Fijian showdown

Henry Speight will use a midfield switch to spark his best form.

Chris Dutton   ACT Brumbies winger Henry Speight hopes a breakthrough try will spark a scoring spree for the rest of the season, vowing to step up as a backline leader to get the team's season back on track.

Carter to miss Highlanders clash following death of childhood friend

Sam Carter has been granted leave to be with his family after the death of a childhood friend.

Chris Dutton   The ACT Brumbies have granted lock Sam Carter a leave of absence to be with his family after the death of childhood friend Nicholas Tooth, who died from a head injury sustained while playing rugby last weekend.

Highlanders hang on after Blues fightback

Victors: Josh Hohneck celebrates as the Highlanders notch a strong win on Saturday.

A brutally efficient first half set up the Highlanders for a 30-24 Super Rugby win over the Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

Highlanders stun Crusaders in Christchurch

Holding on: Patrick Osborne of the Highlanders is tackled by Kieran Read of the Crusaders.

A sizzling double to wing Waisake Naholo has helped halt the Highlanders' Super Rugby losing streak against the Crusaders with a 25-20 win in Christchurch.

Highlanders take foot off the brake

On the move: Aaron Smith of the Highlanders.

Fijian flyers Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne both got in on the act as the Highlanders beat the Stormers 39-21 to record their biggest win of the Super Rugby season.

Hurricanes win scrappy Super Rugby game over Highlanders in Dunedin

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 20: Maa Nonu of the Hurricanes moves the ball despite the attempted tackle of Malakain Fekitoa of the Highlanders during the round six Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium on March 20, 2015 in Dunedin, New Zealand.  (Photo by Rob Jefferies/Getty Images)

Nathan Burdon   With so much X-factor under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium for the Highlanders' Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes, the only certainty was that no-one would be going home early.

Coles out of Highlanders clash

Out: Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles.

Hooker Dane Coles will miss Friday's Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin, but two other All Blacks will return to the Hurricanes' starting line-up.