Fiji Time: 6:47 PM on Tuesday 23 May

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Joseph wants first victory

Aap
Friday, April 04, 2014

WELLINGTON - Coach Jamie Joseph is desperate for the Highlanders to overcome their Super Rugby Australian hoodoo when they play the Rebels.

They have lost six consecutive matches to their trans-Tasman rivals, most by agonisingly close margins, including a 38-37 defeat by the Rebels in Melbourne last year.

Joseph struggled to single out reasons but knows they must turn the trend around if they are to be a force in this year's competition.

"This is by far the toughest competition in my tenure as coach," he said.

"Australian teams across the board are a lot stronger, and I can only see them getting tougher as the years ago by."

Former influential Highlanders midfielder Tamati Ellison lines up for the Rebels, and Joseph acknowledges the potential threat he poses.

"Quality player, quality person," he said.

"I'm sure he'll add a lot to the Rebels, as he already has. I still think of him as a Highlander."

Prop Kane Hames is serving a one-game suspension — one of six players who started against the Blues to miss the match.

He is replaced by Ma'afu Fia in the front row with hooker Liam Coltman also restored to the starting line-up.

Veteran lock Brad Thorn is replaced by Joe Wheeler while blindside flanker Gareth Evans bumps Elliot Dixon to the bench.

Midfielder Phil Burleigh is out with a recurring shoulder injury, while wing Patrick Osborne misses with an ankle injury.

Shaun Treeby replaces Burleigh, while Kurt Baker comes in for Osborne.

Co-captain and No.8 Nasi Manu said the Highlanders had to arrest their habit of not playing out the full 80 minutes.

"We haven't nailed an 80-minute performance yet," he said.

"I think it's probably more of a mindset. There are few factors. You could possibly put it down to self-belief and fatigue."

He said the Rebels' 32-24 win over the Brumbies last week showed the risks of taking them lightly.

"They're a dangerous side, unpredictable, and they've tipped over some big teams."

Manu says the Highlanders have the ability to make the post-season despite losing three of their opening five matches.

Highlanders: Ben Smith, Richard Buckman, Malakai Fekitoa, Shaun Treeby, Kurt Baker, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu, Shane Christie, Gareth Evans, Jarrad Hoeata, Joe Wheeler, Ma'afu Fia, Liam Coltman, Chris King.

Reserves: Ged Robinson, Craig Millar, Matias Diaz, Josh Bekhuis, Elliot Dixon, Fumiaki Tanaka, Trent Renata, Hayden Parker.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.65480.6358
JPY 54.612351.6123
GBP 0.37200.3640
EUR 0.43160.4196
NZD 0.70020.6672
AUD 0.65190.6269
USD 0.48720.4702

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 23rd, May, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Debate over article
  2. Toorak youths distraught over lost jerseys
  3. Students forced to walk home
  4. World urged to unite if US leaves
  5. Sevens best
  6. Interpol query
  7. Kubuabola: Force has manpower to combat riots
  8. Man, 70, hit by car at crossing
  9. Bail for youth on defilement charge
  10. Climate action

Top Stories this Week

  1. Parents watch son fulfill rugby dream Thursday (18 May)
  2. Fijian barber experience for Crusaders players Thursday (18 May)
  3. A-G sounds warning Sunday (21 May)
  4. 200 illegally in Fiji Thursday (18 May)
  5. Work cut out Monday (22 May)
  6. $5b in debt Wednesday (17 May)
  7. 'Past politicians' did not fix roads Saturday (20 May)
  8. Qoro on Pleass board Monday (22 May)
  9. Ratu Naiqama set to return as MP Friday (19 May)
  10. PM seeks China's help Thursday (18 May)