All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith came off the bench to score a try with four minutes remaining as the 14‑man Highlanders rallied to beat the Chiefs 30‑27 last night in the opening match of the Super Rugby season.
The Dunedin‑based Highlanders looked to have little chance of victory as they trailed 27‑20 after replacement Patelesio Tomkinson was shown a red card for a shoulder charge with 13 minutes remaining.
But the Highlanders narrowed the Chiefs' lead with a penalty in the 73rd minute and Aaron Smith skirted a ruck three minutes later to snatch a win for the Highlanders against the odds.
The Chiefs were leading 19‑10 at half time.
In another match, former Wallabies star Quade Cooper has produced a blistering Super Rugby debut for Melbourne Rebels, playing a starring role in their 34‑27 victory over the Brumbies.
Tonight, the Blues will meet the defending champions, Crusaders at 6.35pm at Eden Park while the Waratahs will face the Hurricanes at 8.45pm.
The Sunwolves also face the Sharks at 10.55 tonight.
The Bulls meet the Stormers at 3.15am tomorrow while the Lions face the Jaguares at 9.40am tomorrow.
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