Dixon ‘stoked’ by Highlanders’ performance

Highlanders co-captain Ash Dixon. Photo: Getty Images
Highlanders co-captain Ash Dixon. Photo: Getty Images
Tackling never made it to the top of the agenda until halftime.

Electric winger Jona Nareki scored two, bombed two and let one in.

But it did not matter a jot in the final analysis.

The Highlanders bagged a 59-23 bonus-point victory against the winless Waratahs at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night.

Highlanders captain Ash Dixon was thrilled with the result.

"I’m really stoked with that, eh," he said.

"Even though we leaked some points in the first half it was nothing structural. It was just the bounce of the ball, the odd knock on and a bit of luck their way [that] they managed to get outside a few times.

"To come out in the second half and shut up shop, and for them to score no points, was really pleasing."

Almost 40 points was rattled on in the opening 20 minutes and by the end of the first 40 minutes 56 points had been scored.

Defence took a back seat but it was entertaining.

Centre Michael Collins scored first from a slick set move. Sio Tomkinson made a nice pass off the turf to create the opportunity.

The Waratahs may have gone through the season without registering a win but they know how to get to the line.

It was end-to-end rugby. The Highlanders scored right on the halftime hooter when Nareki went over to extend the lead to 33-23.

Big prop Ethan de Groot scored a double and was strong with the ball in hand.

The Highlanders ran in three tries in the final quarter of the game to complete a comprehensive win as the Waratahs fell apart.

Nareki brought up the half century when he got across in the corner. He could have had two more in the final frantic moments but his footwork let him down.

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