Landers aim to defend trophy

Photo: ODT.
Photo: ODT.
The Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy is on the line for the match tomorrow night and the Highlanders want to retain it.

These days the trophy is only at stake  when the match is played at the home of the holder.

The Highlanders and the Blues clashed three weeks ago at Eden Park, but that match was not for the trophy, as it is held by the Highlanders.

The trophy used to be on the line in every game played between the teams when they clashed once a season, but this was changed after 2011, when New Zealand teams played each other home and away every year.

It was first played for in 2002.

Highlanders coach Tony Brown said Hunter, a former coach of Otago and the Highlanders’ first coach, brought the best out of players.

"Every player who played under Gordy loved him. Everyone went out there and performed  probably better than they actually were. That was his strength as a coach. He got players who might not have made other teams in New Zealand, he got them playing as well as they could.

"Just some coaches had that ability to get players to perform. He was definitely that guy who got guys to perform."

Brown said Hunter had an impact on his coaching.

"You can’t be coached by someone like Gordon Hunter and that not have an influence the way you go about things. Jamie Joseph was the same. Everyone was who was coached by Gordy. That is the guy he was."

He said learning about the history of the club was a big part of the Highlanders — who had played before you and who had coached before you, and Hunter was a big part of that.

"Our guys will be trying their best to put on a performance that he would have been proud of."

Remember to follow along with our live updates from 7.30pm on Saturday night here.


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