Highlanders

Highlanders start with Chiefs win

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The Highlanders started their Super 14 warm up campaign with a 31-24 win over the Chiefs at Carisbrook on Saturday and captain Jamie Mackintosh believes he has points to prove in this year’s Super 14.


The former All Black (2008) prop and Southland captain scored one of the Highlanders five tries.


The Highlanders showed good stamina in the match as they scored two converted tries in the last quarter to seal a come-from-behind win.


“I’m just looking forward to the season,” Mackintosh told Sportal.


“I feel like I’ve got a bit to prove so I want to have a good pre-season and carry it into the first game.”


Mackintosh said after the match that he was ‘a bit tired but pretty happy’ after the Highlanders rallied to recover from a 5-19 deficit.


“We were probably guilty of tackling too high in the first half and the Chiefs’ ball-runners were able to off-load.


“But, when the pace of their game slowed down a bit and we were able to show some structure, things improved for us.


“We kept things pretty simple. We wanted to used the ball and get it into space the last two tries were good examples of that. We’re pretty happy with the hitout but we realise there’s a way to go.”


Mackintosh paid special praise for two of the Highlanders newcomers, Southland flanker John Hardie and former Canterbury and now Southland wing James Paterson.


“John has an unbelievable workrate,” Mackintosh said.


“He’s super-fit. He’s good at the tackle and disrupting ruck ball and I think he’s going to go from strength to strength.


“James Paterson is an awesome trainer and he showed a couple of times, when he got into gaps, that’s he’s pretty electric.”


The Highlanders have another pre-season warm up with a match in Lautoka, Fiji, next week while the Chiefs will play the Blues.

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