Highlanders' hero does what his father couldn't

Marty Banks
Marty Banks
Marty Banks has done what his father could not do.

Banks, a picture of calmness when he came on with 20 minutes to go against the Lions last night, helped sink the opposition with a conversion and penalty near the end of the game.

Banks said after the game the penalty which went over - and ultimately gave the Highlanders the win - was different than most kicks this year.

''We changed balls from Gilbert to adidas so they fly a little bit different. Usually when I kick I get a bit of right-to-left shape. With the adidas balls they fly pretty straight, so I just had to be confident that it would fly straight, so I just hit it,'' Banks said.

He credited his good kicking to his family and also some help from coach Tony Brown, who had refined his technique.

His father Richard played against the Lions in 1983 for a combined Buller-West Coast team but did not manage to beat them.

So Marty was one up on his father, which he would remind him of when he went home later this week.

He was looking forward to going hunting with his family to complete the week, but it would be hard to match the elation of last night's win.

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