Depsite encouraging performances in 2011 and 2011, the Highlanders have faded away in the later stages of both seasons and I think finishing eighth and ninth are only satisfactory. Maybe Joseph has to change the way his team plays slightly, because while their physical approach to the breakdowns gets them turnovers, it seems to lead to late season fatigue, with players looking tired. Maybe some more promising young players bringing further depth to the Highlanders squad will make rotation easier going forward. I think the Highlanders have it tough as part of the strong New Zealand franchise and if they were based in Australia, they would have been been challenging for the top spot in the conference. Instead, the Highlanders will probably finish fourth in the New Zealand conference and ninth overall. The only consolation is the massive buffer between themselves and the Blues.
Do you think re-signing Jamie Joseph is good for the Highlanders?
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has re-signed with the franchise for two years.
The 42-year-old former All Black and Otago representative took up the role in 2010 following coaching stints with the New Zealand Maori and Wellington Lions.
Highlanders general manager Roger Clark said they were excited about the opportunity to continue working with Joseph.
"Having Jamie re-sign for another two years is a great result for the Highlanders and this will allow the franchise to build on the outstanding progress made since his arrival.
"He has added so much value to the team and business over the past two seasons, and he'll be a central part of our next two seasons."
Joseph said with just two seasons under his belt and no playoff appearances, he had plenty of unfinished business.
"We've made some real progress over the last couple of seasons, and I want to remain because I have my sights on a very clear goal - to take the Highlanders to a Super Rugby final," he said.
The Highlanders finished eighth in 2010 and currently sit in ninth with the team on a bye in the last week of the regular season.
The team has a 9-7 win-loss record this season which includes early-season wins against the Chiefs, Crusaders and Hurricanes - all New Zealand teams still in contention for the playoffs.