Highlanders have qualified for the playoffs with a losing bonus-point against the Rebels in Sunday’s final game of the regular season.
The frantic game ended 31-30 in favour of the Rebels, who finished their campaign on a positive note.
The Dunedin outfit were out of the blocks quickly, scoring in the third minute through Rory Vugt before Josh Dickson scored another try at the 20-minute mark.
The Rebels responded with three unanswered tries scored by Glen Vaihu, Nick Jooste and Lukas Ripely.
In the final quarter, the game opened up, and the Highlanders crossed the whitewash two more times through Folau Fakatava and Fetuli Paea within five minutes of each other.
However, a late Young Tonumaipea try in the 74th minute sealed the win for the Rebels.
Despite losing, the Highlanders have claimed the final spot in the Super Rugby Pacific playoffs ahead of the Western Force, who miss out by one point.
Video credit: Super Rugby Pacific
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