It was like a Geoff Boycott hundred. Got there in the end but at times excruciating to watch.
The joke was on the Brumbies as the Highlanders won their Super 15 rugby match 26-20 at Invercargill tonight.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph admitted his side went off its game in the middle period but was still good enough to get the win.
Highlanders lock Tom Donnelly just wants to get on with the season, after a blighted six months with injury.
In-form loose forward Adam Thomson believes the Highlanders are ready and raring to go ahead of their Super 15 rugby match against the Brumbies in Invercargill tomorrow night.
Colin Slade gets his first start of the season, while winger Kade Poki has recovered from a knee strain and takes his place in the Highlanders side to take on the Brumbies in Invercargill tomorrow night.
A strong recent record against the Highlanders looks to be one of the few positives the Brumbies will take into Friday's Super 15 match as the Canberra-based side hope to avoid a fifth consecutive loss in the competition.
The Highlanders have returned to base and will be looking to relaunch their season with victory against the Brumbies in Invercargill on Friday night.
A note of caution has been sounded by Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph over expecting big things from returning first five-eighth Colin Slade.
The Crusaders showed a ruthless streak and underlined an enduring ability to perform away from home as they outclassed Super 15 rugby rivals the Highlanders 44-13 at Carisbrook in Dunedin.
It was a long trip home for the Highlanders but captain Jamie Mackintosh will not be using that as an excuse this week.
Tony Brown will make his first start for the Highlanders in seven years as the side takes on the Crusaders on Saturday.
This really is the litmus test for the new-look Highlanders. As far as examinations go, they probably do not get much harder.
Tony Brown will make his first start for the Highlanders for nearly seven years as he looks to steer the side to a win over a formidable Crusaders line-up.
Highlanders first five-eighth Robbie Robinson faces disciplinary action from the franchise after he spent time in a police cell yesterday morning.
Stand-in captain Jimmy Cowan says the Highlanders should not be blinded by the firepower of the Crusaders.
Police are beefing up patrols and bag searches, and promising intoxicated rugby fans will not gain entry into this evening's Super 15 match at Carisbrook.