Highlanders relishing underdogs tag

Date published: June 29 2015

The Highlanders are relishing their role as underdogs in Saturday's Super Rugby Final against the Hurricanes in Wellington.

After their shock 35-17 semi-final victory over the Waratahs, the men from Dunedin are set to make history if they beat the Hurricanes this weekend. Since the tournament was revamped in 2011, no side that finished outside the top two positions for the Finals Series have gone on to win lift the title.

Speaking shortly after the win over the Waratahs, Highlanders number eight and co-captain Nasi Manu said his side used the underdogs tag as motivation.

"It just added fuel to the fire, coming over here and everyone writing us off," he told Newstalk ZB

"No-one really expected anything from us. I guess we have always been the underdogs and I believe we thrive off that."

The Highlanders lost both their matches to the Hurricanes during the regular season. They suffered a 20-13 defeat in Dunedin in Round Six and were beaten 56-20 in Namier in Round 17.

Manu admitted that they will have to deliver a special performance to get the better of their New Zealand rivals.

"We know the Hurricanes are a tough team," he added. 

"They are the best attacking side and the best defensive side. We are just looking forward to a big week, we have given ourselves another chance and another Monday. 

"We are pretty excited about it."