Super Rugby Trans-Tasman: Bullish Highlanders looking to replicate 2015 tournament triumph

The Highlanders are taking a bullish approach to their underdog tag ahead of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final against the Blues.

The Southerners have only won Super Rugby once, but will draw on their build-up to that 2015 victory where most people had written them off before kick-off.

An approach they hope can prove successful once again.

The Highlanders have flown under the radar all season, and with a title on the line, it's how they'd like to keep it.

"We love that underdog tag, I've been in a team that's had it before too, they all said we couldn't and we did," says co-skipper Aaron Smith.

That was in 2015 when the Highlanders won their first and only Super Rugby title.

They went to Wellington, where the Hurricanes were widely expected to send club legends Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu off with a maiden crown.

But the Southerners spoiled the party. And they're ready to do it again

"We just chip away at our work down south, go about our work, our own way, we don't want all the hoorah, but we've got a great chance to go up to Auckland and prove some people wrong."

But there's probably no team with a bigger point to prove than the Blues.

Title-less since 2003, they're trying to put some unwanted history behind them and make some of their own.

The 2021 edition of the Blues is aware of the opportunity in front of them.

They certainly don't need reminding of how long it's been since they've won.

And captain Patrick Tuipulotu has tried to keep emotions in check.

"We don't wanna overdo it and get too far ahead of ourselves, we've still got to prepare like we do every other week," says captain Patrick Tuipulotu.

But a win for either side would be significant.

"Try and take another positive step in our landers history and try and be a team to remember," says Smith. 

They've done it once, and the Highlanders are out to repeat the dose on the Blues.

Join Newshub for live updates of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final from 7:05pm Saturday.