Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin at 19:35 (NZ)
In Investec Super Rugby, the Highlanders would love to continue their winning run and play well vs the Waratahs in Dunedin this Saturday.
They are now back home, after winning 3 away games, 2 in South Africa and a record victory overseas in Perth. Also the Highlanders side is slowly closing in to full strength squad.
Ash Dixon who is the standing captain said that the team is focusing on themselves and their performance rather than to think of anything else. They would like to continue the good form and are vary of the Waratahs challenge.
The Highlanders side know that Ben Smith has a chance to equal Anton Oliver’s record of 127 appearances and the team needs to still focus on the match to win, not losing their concentration in celebrations.
At home, we need to perform to give our fans something special and we are working hard on that. We look forward to this encounter said Ash Dixon.
The stand in captain Dixon was missing from action for a long time due to his injury. A prolapsed disc during training and taking a blow to the head. He said he heard a loud crack and fell on his chest. He has had to be patient and trust the medical staff as they help him recover and specially the area of injury. He wanted to be back and continue to play.
Though not back to 100% fitness, he seemed fine and was able to get back on field which is a good boost for the team. He mentioned that he is yet to regain complete fitness and was unhappy for missing out for his team so long, but is hopeful to go good this time.
Another is Lima Sopoaga, who had his 1st game in more than 2 months and is back post some good performance against the Force where he was seen execute his skills and added much needed boost to the team- assistant coach Scott McLeod.
McLeod mentioned that there are many wallabies in the Waratahs line-up & they were starting to showcase their individual performances in a bid to be involved in the international window & the Foleys, Hoopers & the Folaus all played outstandingly against the Rebels last week & that had lifted the side.
Coach McLeod said that the side had used a fair amount of their luck, especially in the first 2 wins in South Africa & while they had been under pressure, the team came through nicely. The management is quite happy with the Force game, record victory for the Highlanders overseas, as in the past, it had been a tricky game for the side.
We have been really clinical; playing as per the plans made, executed our skills and showed competitiveness in the games so far, hence looking forward to win more in future.
The Waratahs always feel the heat when on field and are not going in a positive mindset after a few losses. Here is where we highlanders will take opportunity to keep them down.
Prediction- Highlanders win close.
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