Dixon relieved to get try call

Date published: July 4 2015

Elliot Dixon admits his crucial try was a very close call in the Highlanders' Super Rugby Final win over the Hurricanes.

The flanker went over just before half-time, powering over and seemingly dotting down on Nehe Milner-Skudder's boot, however the ball then looked to touch the turf before he lost control.

TMO Ben Skeen gave him the benefit of the doubt, and it proved vital, with the Highlanders eventually winning by seven points.

"I thought I got the boot and the ground at the same time so I don't know," said Dixon. 

"A couple haven't gone my way this year so I thought I was probably going to get no good from the TMO but I was pretty happy when it went over."

The win marks an incredible turnaround for the Highlanders, who finished second bottom just two years ago but Dixon explained that the players always felt they were good enough to win the title.

"I think (head coach) Jamie Joseph said three weeks ago that people don't stumble upon quarter-finals or semi-finals but I think we did our work in the pre-season," said Dixon. 

"We knew deep down we're a championship-winning team. We just didn't get the support that we thought we should have earned and I think we showed everyone tonight that we could do it.

"I think that Waratahs game – some people called it boring rugby, but it was just tactics and we knew that was how we had to win. We came here with a never-say-die (attitude)."

The Highlanders were led by a pair of co-captains, Ben Smith and Nasi Manu, with the latter playing his final game before a move to Edinburgh next season.

"I'm so proud of the boys and we always believed that we could win if we performed well on the day," Manu told Sky Sports

"I'm just really proud of the boys and what a way to end the Super Rugby.

"We just play as a team. We're a champion team and to come away with a result. We want to say a big thank you to all our supporters who managed to get to the game."