Higlanders first-five Colin Slade says he's still trying to get up to speed with Super Rugby after barely playing at all the past two years because of broken jaws.
Slade said he was disappointed with his performance in the 19-7 defeat to the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday but felt there's plenty of room for improvement in his game.
"I am still trying to find my feet," Slade said. "I was really disappointed with my kicking, that started things off poorly for me and it affected the rest of my game.
"I personally found it hard to get into the game from an attacking perspective. I'll shoulder the disappointment with my kicking and I'll certainly be kicking a few balls over the week to be ready for next weekend."
With the Highlanders winless after four games there could be the desire for Slade to take too much responsibility on his shoulders, that as the No 10, he's the one who needs to be the catalyst for a win.
However, Slade says he doesn't feel he's falling into that trap and that he's still looking to make openings for his team-mates.
"I have got a lot of trust in the guys around me to create and they're doing that," Slade said.
"We are creating the opportunities and I think we're leading the competition in line breaks, but we're just not finishing.
"I have got to focus on my job and that's directing play and kicking well. Against the Chiefs I didn't do that and I'll certainly be working hard this week.
"We are still chasing that win and we've got to get things right for next weekend, but it is becoming Groundhog Day."
Despite the lack of wins, Slade says the players still believe their season is alive. "We have still got great belief, we are zero for four and that's certainly not what we were targeting after our first four games, but we're going to keep trying and I think it's a confidence thing," he said.
"We need to get that first win out of the way and look to get onto a roll to finish the season well.
"We still count ourselves as being in with a chance, but we've got to get this first win and then the confidence back. We've got a hell of a team and we've certainly got a team that's capable, it's just that we're not fronting up together."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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