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Highlanders aim to continue hot start to 2024 against Brumbies

Highlanders aim to continue hot start to 2024 against Brumbies

All BlacksMarch 13, 2024

Back in home conditions to face the Brumbies in DHL Super Rugby Pacific, the Highlanders are looking to build on their winning start in the competition. They have won two of their three games.

They were within a hair's breadth of going down to the Waratahs with a last penalty attempt missing, but assistant coach Kendrick Lynn said he believed the Highlanders did enough to win the game.

Their review of the game showed that their counter-attack was a strong point, but there was some clunky play in the second half.

Lynn said, "The clarity wasn't there in their roles, so that's for me to help guide [them] and get better at, so that we stay consistent week in, week out."

Traditionally, the Brumbies have been Australia's best side, but this year the Reds have been performing well, which was a change.

"The Force did well in Canberra, but the Brumbies did find a way to win. That's part of them. They're always a well-organised team, they're well-coached and they're going to be a tough ask."

The results from the weekend showed some surprises, and Lynn said that was good for the competition.

"What is a competition? A competition is when anyone can win, and you don't know the results.

"It's great; that's what will make Super Rugby. The product of how the sport is played is outstanding; there's never been an issue with that. It's fast, it's positive, it's skilful, and it's physical.

"The difference between what Super Rugby's had and other competitions have had is uncertainty and that closeness, and we're seeing it. I'm excited about it."

Lynn was also pleased with how replacement first five-eighths Ajay Faleafaga performed when joining the game from the bench.

"Ajay's [Faleagaga] someone who has been in our system a while, He's been part of the Academy and he's been training really well. We have full faith in whoever we put on the field whatever the situation. I was happy for Ajay and that will do wonders for his confidence."

An added factor in the performance was the high percentage rate achieved by the side's goal-kickers. Lynn said all kickers have off nights, but he was confident they would finish with a high percentage success rate across the season.

While some sides have been quick to start their internal rotations of players, Lynn said the early emphasis with the Highlanders has been about trying to build cohesion and continuity within the squad.

"There is going to be a time when we start freshening it up and giving other players a chance to step up and that'll probably start happening this week."

Where things stand after round 3️⃣

Where is your team placed after the weekend’s action?#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/78ooyleIiQ

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) March 10, 2024

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