Christie lauds Highlanders spirit

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Highlanders captain Shane Christie praised his team’s defensive effort as they got the better of the Brumbies in their Super Rugby clash.

Friday’s quarter-final win books the reigning champions a place in the last four of the competition, but it was never easy in wet weather.

Christie, who returned to the side after an illness, was a real leader for the Highlanders and was clearly thrilled to have secured victory.

“The last 15 minutes was all defence for us. We just dug in,” he told Fox Sports as his side prevailed in a result that included two tries.

“It was always going to be tough coming here but we’re into the semis and are stoked about that. We look forward to the week ahead.”

As Christie mentioned, the closing stages of the contest saw the Highlanders defending for their lives, but they held on to get the win.

“The whole game was a battle,” added the openside flank.

“We knew it was going to be with the weather making it a bit tighther in that we couldn’t play our game how we would have wanted to. But I’m stoked with the performance and stoked with the effort put in by the lads.”

The Highlanders have recently travelled to South Africa, Argentina, back to New Zealand and this week to Australia in a tough schedule at the business end of the Super Rugby season. But Christie refused to use that as a negative as he celebrated yet another key victory.

“We’ve been around the world in the last month and enjoyed every day of it, so as a team it just makes us stronger,” said the captain.

“We are not thinking about back-to-back Super Rugby titles at the moment. We are going to look forward to Monday and take it from there.”