Post-match review of loss no fun for Dermody

Clarke Dermody. Photo: ODT files.
Clarke Dermody. Photo: ODT files.
It was not one to readily commit to the memory bank — the match between the Highlanders and the Chiefs on Saturday night.

Neither side was at its best and the Chiefs got home with a penalty in extra time.

But spare a thought for the coaches who have the job of going through the tape minute by minute and finding out where it went wrong.

It is a pleasure when the team you are coaching wins but a pain when the side loses.

Highlanders assistant coach Clarke Dermody had the task of watching the game again the next day.

"It was a tough watch. It was just not the performance we were after, really.

"Not being able to back up from the Crusaders game with a good game at home wasn’t great," he said.

"We were just not able to put enough pressure on the Chiefs.

"Just the penalties which let pressure off, pushing passes, execution. Just too often."

Dermody said the side did not react well to more kicking from the Chiefs.

The Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday night are the next opponent .

Last time round in the lead-up to the game, Dermody compared the Blues to a South African side which was jumped on by the Blues management and used as motivation.

Dermody was more cautious when describing the Blues this time around.

"I think there are contrasting styles between the Highlanders and the Blues.

"I guess it is whoever can execute their game plan the best. If you watched the Chiefs play the Blues, I think they [Chiefs] showed the blueprint of how we want to play them."

The Chiefs were aggressive in everything they did, attacking the set piece and not let the the Blues settle.

"They are athletes. If they get the ball going forward they are dangerous. They are a big momentum team."

The Highlanders have lost their three home games so far in Super Rugby Aotearoa and do not want a clean sweep.

Pari Pari Parkinson. Photo: ODT files.
Pari Pari Parkinson. Photo: ODT files.
It had simply come down to poor execution at home, Dermody said.

"Ask anyone in New Zealand and they love to come and play here. I guess it is the uniqueness and the atmosphere and the conditions.

"We feel like our game is good enough to beat anyone and we have shown that.

"We are not far away. Ask me a week ago and I would say we are there. But it is a funny comp. You’re playing the best teams. If you are not quite there, you come unstuck."

Dermody said big lock Pari Pari Parkinson was to get a scan on his injured ankle and more would be known in a couple of days. He was still limping around yesterday.

He did not mind games decided by golden point and said it was great when your side win.

The side was down after the loss.

"They were absolutely gutted. We did so well the week before to put us back into the competition and then within a minute and a-half it was taken away from us.

"We want to be a team that performs every week. It shouldn’t take a loss to make yourself want to play good the next week."

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