Highlanders desperate against Chiefs this Friday
Wed, 27 Jun 2012 6:42p.m.
By David Di Somma
Because of the All Black test series against Ireland, the Highlanders haven't played since their 33-point whipping at the hands of the Crusaders a month ago.
But behind the scenes they've been working hard and coach Jamie Joseph knows what's needed as the Super Rugby season reaches its conclusion.
“The guys are well aware - we have to win two games or we are history,” says Joseph.
Their half-dozen All Blacks are back for Friday's home game against the table-topping Chiefs. And halfback Aaron Smith is looking at Superman for inspiration as they try to emulate their win over the Waikato-based team back in round one.
“That seems a long time ago - then they went a nine-and-zero trot - but hopefully we are their kryptonite,” says Smith.
It was 23-19 that night in Hamilton and the Chiefs are a much better side now than they were then.
“When you give guys like Aaron Cruden and Sonny Bill one on opportunities they are dangerous - but it's up front we have to match them and beat them,” says Jamie Mackintosh.
“Obviously they've got a lot of X-factor in their backline so defensively we have be at the top of our game and play well,” says Joseph.
With 44 points, the Highlanders are currently eighth after nine wins and five losses but are still play off contenders, but with the Chiefs and then defending champs the Reds in Brisbane, it's a tough finish for a tough team.
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