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Watch: Naholo's game saving hit

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Watch: Waisake Naholo's game-saving bone cruncher

The Rebels fought to the very end of last night’s season-defining encounter with the Highlanders but finished on the receiving end of Waisake Naholo’s right shoulder.

The Highlanders winger pulled off a colossal game-saving hit on flying Rebels fullback Jack Maddocks with time up on the clock to end the Rebels playoff hopes. Down 43-37 and requiring a last-ditch try to win the match and seal their playoff spot, the Rebels looked like pulling off the impossible from a smart line-out move.

Out of nowhere came Naholo, who capped off a massive performance with the clutch defensive play. He also racked up 130 run metres on 10 carries, scoring one try and helping setting up another by pulling in a cross-field kick and offloading as he was tackled into touch.

The Highlanders will face the third-placed Waratahs in next week’s quarterfinal in Sydney while the Rebels will rue what could’ve been after the Sharks defeated the Jaguares and claimed the 8th playoff spot.

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Watch: Waisake Naholo's game-saving bone cruncher