Highlanders drop All Black amid assault investigation

Highlanders Chief Executive Roger Clark said the investigation involving Frizell was a "distraction" for the team but his omission was not punitive.

"I think it is important for us all to remember at this time, these are all allegations and no charges have been laid.

"However, these have been a distraction for the player, and the team. And in the best interests of everyone concerned, we are going to omit Shannon from the team this week."

Frizell was reportedly alleged to have been involved in an assault on a woman at a bar early on Sunday.

Hurricanes dominate Highlanders in Super Rugby Aotearoa

In a free-flowing game the Highlanders were on the scoreboard first with a penalty in the fifth minute, before Devan Flanders scored the first of the Hurricanes six tries.

Both teams were down to 14 men in the 15th minute when Hurricanes captain Dane Coles and Highlanders first five-eighth Mitch Hunt were yellow carded for foul play.

The Highlanders adjusted quickest, with Japanese loose forward Kazuko Himeno breaking away to set up Josh Dickson to score the visitors first try.

Highlanders launch inquiry after fans injured from KFC stand fall

The incident happened just after Jona Nareki’s second half try in the round eight Super Rugby Aotearoa clash and was captured by another fan, who posted the footage to social media.

The three fans in the KFC stand suffered minor injuries but the outcome could have been worse and Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said the club would be launching an inquiry into the incident.

The KFC stand had been set up to the side of the ‘Zoo’ enclosure at Forsyth Barr Stadium, and was holding about half a dozen flag-waving supporters when the fall occurred.

Highlanders hold on to beat Blues

The Blues trailed 30-24 when replacement prop Alex Hodgman was sent off in the 73rd minute for driving his shoulder into the chin of Highlanders loose forward James Lentjes at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The Highlanders wasted no time capitalising on their man advantage, with Michael Collins cantering over with six minutes left after latching on to a bullet-like pass from Mitch Hunt.

Hoskins Sotutu barged over for the Blues a minute before the siren but the Highlanders won back the ball after the restart to clinch their first win at home for the season.

McKenzie penalty secures Chiefs a golden win

With the scores level at 23-23 after 80 minutes, and after McKenzie had missed a dropped goal and an earlier penalty, the All Blacks fullback nailed a 45m effort to seal the dramatic win.

The victory reverses the result from the last time the two teams clashed, a second round match in February won by a dramatic second-half comeback from the Highlanders.

The Chiefs led 10-5 at halftime after a scrappy first 40 minutes that saw a slew of penalties and opportunities missed.

All Black Shannon Frizell re-signs with Highlanders

Frizell has been a standout for franchise since his rookie year in 2018 and has gone on to play 13 tests for the national side.

After establishing himself as the first-choice blindside flanker for the All Blacks in 2020, the 27-year-old has continued his strong form Super Rugby Aotearoa this season and Highlanders coach Tony Brown said extending his contract was a no-brainer.

Highlanders halfback Folau Fakatava suffers season-ending knee injury

“This is very tough on Folau,” Highlanders head coach Tony Brown said in a statement.

“He’s been playing outstanding rugby for us this season and he must have been in consideration for the All Blacks with his performances in Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa and the Mitre 10 Cup.

“We are fortunate that we have an excellent replacement in Kayne Hammington who has been training hard for an opportunity, he is very experienced and knows our game well.”

Highlanders declare Josh Ioane available for selection again

Josh Ioane, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Sio Tomkinson, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Sione Misiloi and Daniel Lienert-Brown have all been declared available for selection after being stood down by coach Tony Brown last week for disciplinary reasons.

Lienert-Brown is still recovering from a broken arm, but the availability of regular starters Ioane, Mikaele-Tu’u and Tomkinson will increase Brown's options for Saturday's crucial game.

Strong finish earns Highlanders upset win

The Highlanders had dropped six players, including All Black Josh Ioane, for the match after they breached team protocols last weekend.

Sione Misiloi, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, Teariki Ben-Nicholas and Patelesio Tomkinson joined fullback Ioane on the sidelines.

The win came after last week's 30-19 loss to the Hurricanes, and means the Highlanders move off the bottom of the standings and into third place with only their second win so far this season.

Highlanders drop six players for ill-discipline

Coach Tony Brown has refused to say what the breach was but it could not come at a worse time for the Highlanders who are bottom of the competition ladder with just one win from games.

Sione Misiloi, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, Teariki Ben-Nicholas and Patelesio Tomkinson will join fullback Ioane on the sidelines.

"There's six guys who are unavailable through letting the team down around their standards -- broke the code that we live by and it's all around their professional habits," Brown told reporters.