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White wants Highlanders win before tour

With seven wins from eight games Sharks coach Jake White wants another, against the Highlanders, before heading off on a tough Australasian tour.

The Highlanders game is being played on Saturday morning (NZT) and White is bracing the side for a tough game.

"We're top now and everyone wants to beat us, that's something that happens in all sports.

"We want to control our own destiny in the competition with a home final and home semi-final," he told Sapa.

If they were to do that it involved winning as many games as possible both home and away.

"The Highlanders are here on tour, they're coming off a bye and there's no doubt they're going to want to get a win in their first game in South Africa.

"The challenge for us is to focus on getting a result against them. It's our last home game for a long while and we have to keep the momentum going, whether it's the Highlanders here or the Rebels the following week," he said.

White talked of the Highlanders threat seriously saying they were a good side with good players and looked a happy unit. They had been disappointing in 2013 but he had no doubt coach Jamie Joseph would have learnt plenty from last year.

"They've lost some key players, but they seem to be playing with more happiness, understanding and passion together," he said.

The Highlanders team for the game is: 1.Kane Hames, 2.Liam Coltman, 3.Chris King, 4.Jarrad Hoeata, 5.Joe Wheeler, 6.Elliot Dixon, 7.Shane Christie, 8.Nasi Manu (co-captain), 9.Aaron Smith, 10.Lima Sopoaga, 11.Patrick Osborne, 12.Shaun Treeby, 13.Malakai Fekitoa, 14.Richard Buckman, 15.Ben Smith (co-captain).?

Reserves: 16.Ged Robinson, 17.Craig Millar, 18.Ma'afu Fia, 19.Josh Bekhuis, 20.Gareth Evans, 21.Fumiaki Tanaka, 22.Trent Renata, 23.John Hardie.