Faddes happy to rediscover the throttle

Matt Faddes. Photo: ODT files
Matt Faddes. Photo: ODT files
Turns out Matt Faddes can still scamper 50m when required.

The Highlanders winger provided one of the highlights in his side's critical 24-12 win against the Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night.

He expertly picked off a pass from Blues halfback Sam Nock and dashed 50m to score.

It was one of the turning points in the match, and may have come as something of a shock to anyone who had seen him pull up lame in the previous match against the Crusaders.

He had a similar opportunity, but on that occasion looked as though he was running up Baldwin Street in gumboots.

"Yeah. I was a bit freer this week. It was quite nice to get across the line this time," he said.

"I was copping a bit of flak from the boys, spectators and supporters."

In all fairness, something was not right with his leg.

But the medical staff worked on it and he is now feeling more like his lightning self.

The intercept was kind of a plan. He is always looking to poach the ball if it is there, or at least rush up when possible and create pressure.

"You can say you planned it, but a lot of it is just reading the game and taking the opportunity."

Perhaps. But he read between the lines with that play.

The win has kept the Highlanders' tenuous playoff prospects alive. The franchise also gets to hold on to the Gordon Hunter Memorial trophy for another year. Both mean a lot to the team.

For Faddes the game was also an opportunity to test himself against arguably the best winger in the world - Rieko Ioane.

"There was a couple of times out there where he made me look silly. But to be fair, a lot of teams have big left wingers now as well.

"It was only a couple of weeks ago you were playing Ben Lam, who is pretty good himself and does similar stuff.

"You have to account for the individual you are marking and do your home work."

 

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