Highlanders to keep the pedal down

Sun, 04 May 2014 13:03
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After claiming two four-try bonus points on their South African tour, the Highlanders are looking forward to an open game against the Lions next week.

After claiming two four-try bonus points on their South African tour, the Highlanders are looking forward to an open game against the Lions next week.

The team from Dunedin will be back on home turf after an encouraging tour which saw them take seven log points from their two games, and coach Jamie Joseph is expecting more fireworks against the free-running Lions.

The visitors are coming off a resounding defeat at the hands of the defending champion Chiefs, and Joseph is expecting a major response from the Johannesburg side who have the advantage of already being in New Zealand.

"They play a running game of rugby and they will be playing under a roof and we have got to travel halfway around the world with about one and a half trainings so we have got to make sure that mentally we are ready to go," he said.

Joseph said that whilst his team's one-point defeat to the Stormers at Newlands was disappointing, he was happy with what they achieved in South Africa after becoming the first side to beat the table-topping Sharks in Durban this season and pushing the Stormers all the way.

"If you asked the team pre-tour they would have been happy with that, especially given the calibre of opposition we were going to play, but there is nothing like a game of rugby to change your goals," he said.

Joseph was full of praise for the Stormers who managed to score four tries of their own, and said that they have mentally turned a corner.

"You have to take your hat off to a very good Stormers team on the night, we thought and prepared for them to come out and play some hard rugby with an attacking mindset right from the very start and they did that.

"At the end of the day it was a very good performance from the Stormers right across the park, they had a plan and something that they haven't actually done so their preparation would have been just in training, so mentally I guess they have turned a corner," he said.

He explained that although his side are right in the mix in a congested New Zealand conference, they are not allowing themselves to think too far ahead.

"I'm not sure that we are the sort of team that can look at what happens at the end of the season with the tables, positions on the ladder and all the rest of it.

"We just have to prepare as well as we can for every opposition. The Lions made a great start and they won four, now they are on tour and there is nothing like getting a hiding to get yourself right," he said.

By Michael de Vries
 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10