yt 3536 Super Rugby Highlanders want more polish as they head to South Africa 1024x576 - Super Rugby: Highlanders want more polish as they head to South Africa

Super Rugby: Highlanders want more polish as they head to South Africa

SKY SPORTHighlanders coach Aaron Mauger is demanding more polish from his side after they lost the chance to grab a bonus point in the 32-27 win against the Jaguares on Saturday night.  The Highlanders took a 26-13 into halftime but had to be satisfied with two second-half penalties from No 10 Josh Ioane as some familiar errors crept into their game. “It would have been nice to do it a bit more convincingly and taken an extra point,” Mauger said. “I think we put ourselves in that position. READ MORE: * Super Rugby: Highlanders down Jaguares, Liam Squire withdraws with personal issues * All Blacks coach Steve Hansen puts his top props on notice * The remarkable journey of All Black Sam Cane: From broken neck and back again * Late Lions penalty consigns Waratahs to another narrow Super Rugby defeat “There’s still some things we need to polish up and make sure we’re better with. “We just didn’t execute and they’re a team that get up “I was a bit disappointed with our kick-chase on a couple of instances, which let them back into the game, which they scored points from.” The Highlanders depart for a two-game tour of South Africa on Sunday and the news was mixed on who they would have available. Liam Squire will remain in New Zealand as he attends to “personal issues” while fellow All Black Jackson Hemopo, who copped a knee injury last week, isn’t right to tour. On the plus side, Waisake Naholo will be part of the 27-man touring squad, as will experience midfielder Teihorangi Walden. Mauger wasn’t using the Highlanders’ injuries as an excuse for their second half display on Saturday but he was pleased with some improvements from the 31-31 draw against the Chiefs last week. “Our intensity was step up from last week, we were a lot more clinical,” he said. “Our management of the territory was a lot better, I thought Aaron [Smith] and Josh [Ioane] both controlled that really well. “Nuggy took a lot of that responsibility on tonight, his leadership was really clear to see and and Josh is learning.  “He’s getting better every time he gets out onto the field.” The Highlanders will have to prepare for a stern examination at scrum time against the Lions in Johannesburg. The 2017 and 2018 finalists put the Waratahs under severe pressure at the set-piece overnight, with Springboks hooker Malcolm Marx in rampaging form. However, Mauger said he would back his entire squad to do the job, noting that Sio Tomkinson had stepped up admirably in Walden’s absence against the Jaguares.   “He’s another guy who’s getting better every time he gets out on the grass,” Mauger said. “Last year we gave him a couple of cracks and he probably didn’t really fully trust where he was at. “Now he goes out there and he really trusts his game. “He’s strong and he’s smart. “Go back to his school days and he played a bit of No 10 … he’s got good vision and understands the game pretty well and he’s learning from Teihorangi Walden.” The Highlanders sit fifth in the overall ladder and were t

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