‘We just fell to pieces’ admits Mackintosh



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Highlanders captain Jamie Mackintosh was forced to admit that his team “fell to pieces” in the second half of their match against the Force.

The Highlanders were playing their final Super Rugby match at Carisbrook and in their new light green kit and collapsed in the second half after leading 14-3 at half time.

Force winger David Smith scored two tries in the final quarter to hand the Force their first victory over the Highlanders in Dunedin at 14-21.

“It was the half from hell,” Mackintosh said of the second 40 minutes.

“We played some really nice rugby in the first half, we did exactly what we wanted to do, played with width and shape but we just fell to pieces really,” Mackintosh said.

“Our kicks were poor, our scrum got put under pressure and we couldn’t get out of our half and things just compiled.

“It’s really disappointing to lose like this especially as it’s a big week for us, last game at Carisbrook, and with the new strip and everything.”

“But it was just a disappointing way to finish.”

Force Captain Nathan Sharpe praised his team and said that after a slow start they came back with a “gutsy team effort” after they had played for 10 minutes with 14 men while James Stannard was in the sin-bin.

“We started very slowly tonight and I think the Highlanders played a very expansive game. “

“We probably weren’t prepared for that,” Force captain Nathan Sharpe said.

“It probably took us 20 or 30 minutes to get into the game.

“I think the Highlanders are one of the best teams in the competition at the breakdown so we knew that was going to be a key for us tonight.”

“That was a really gutsy team effort and I’m very happy with the boys.”

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