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Highlanders lock Jack Whetton has urged his team to back itself as it prepares for its match against the Hurricanes in Wellington this weekend.
The Highlanders produced a spirited effort against the Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.
The home side was in the contest and battling hard, but the weight of possession exacted a heavy toll.
The visitors dominated the final 10 minutes, running in a couple tries, eventually winning 40-20.
"We were there or thereabouts," Whetton said.
"We can take some positives out of that but the way we finished the game was pretty disappointing, too, letting in a couple of soft tries."
Asked how the Highlanders could turn it around, he said "I think just trusting ourselves — a bit of belief.
"We showed it on the weekend. We can play rugby, so not being afraid to throw that pass, not being afraid to back your skills. That is the main thing."
Whetton was thrust into the game against the Crusaders much earlier than expected when Josh Dickson fractured a bone in his lower leg.
"Thoughts go out to him but any opportunity I can get I want to take."
With Dickson out for the season, Whetton is likely to see a lot more game time.
The 28-year-old has been working hard on his mobility and getting himself into position where he can make a good tackle or carry the ball.
And, of course, he is never short of advice. His father,
former All Black Gary Whetton, still regularly chips in
with his opinion.
"I got a call from him just after the game. He was actually having a few beers, so he saw it on TV.
"Same old chat from dad. He just goes, you did some good things but you can still work on this, this and this.
"Every time — he’s consistent."