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No time for Dixon to think about milestones

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Lynn McConnell     02 May 2018     Getty Images

But milestones were not something on his mind at the moment.

Dixon said he hadn't thought about the milestone and said he was more concerned about trying to get wins against two African sides on the trot.

It was more likely to cross his mind later in the year, or once he has finished playing rugby, but for the moment his attention was on the Sharks.

"They're a really physical side and they've just come off a bye so they would have watched the game against the Bulls and seen opportunities of what they can have a crack at," he said.

It was a similar situation for the Highlanders in assessing what they needed to do and working on that.

"It's going to be a big upfront battle too, they're going to have a crack at the scrum which the Bulls did and managed to do things there so we'll have to do a bit of work on that to sort that out," he said.

It wasn't immediately obvious what the issue had been but they would take it to the drawing board and have a good think about it and get some work done during the week to try and work it out.

While it is his 50th game for the Dunedin-based side, he has 64 Super Rugby games to his credit having earlier played for the Blues and the Hurricanes before moving south in 2015 to be part of the Highlanders' Super Rugby winning effort.

Centre Rob Thompson said he was feeling comfortable in the Highlanders environment after taking a season or two to get into the rhythm of their approach.

He also felt the physical build-up the side had during the pre-season had put a lot of the players in good stead for the campaign.

He had a better understanding of how the Highlanders wanted to play their rugby. The same structures had been in place since he joined the side and understanding that had helped him a lot, he said.

Having been playing at centre this year, he said he settled into it well and enjoyed the extra moments, both on attack and defence, while the players inside him, Tei Walden and Lima Sopoaga, were good communicators who were also able to put him into a lot of space and there were players outside him like Ben Smith and Waisake Naholo who were very vocal players.

"That makes life a heck of a lot easier. Waisake is probably one of the most vocal wingers I have played with and he makes it a lot easier," he said.

While his combination with Walden had flourished this year, they hadn't played a lot together over the previous two years and they had complemented each other. Thompson added that Walden also positioned himself well which made their work together a lot easier.