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Gear: Highlanders closing in on elusive win

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Sportal.co.nz     04 Apr 2013     Getty Images

It has been a bitter-sweet season for the 13-Test All Black wing.

He has played some of the best rugby of his career and yet the Highlanders are winless after five games.

"I'm going OK but, when we don't get the results, it takes the lustre off things," he said ahead of Friday's clash with the Blues.

"I'm going alright individually but it's a team sport and I feel for my mates. I'm still not satisfied."

Gear believes it may be a confidence factor with some of the players.

"It's just the desperation to get a win. I still believe in them, win or lose. I'm just trying to help my mates and give them my best.

"For me it just comes down to opportunities and we're letting too many go by, whether by trying too hard to not showing enough composure.

"We're creating a lot of chances but we often can't seem to get that final pass away to get over the line."

Gear said line speed on defence was something the Highlanders wanted to improve after a sloppy first-half effort when the Highlanders lost by a point to the Queensland Reds last weekend.

"That let us down against the Reds and we've addressed that this week. Hopefully, there will be an improvement in Auckland on Friday.

"We're just trying to dig within ourselves to try to get our own game right and that is pretty much what is motivating us. You look at the firepower we have and that's why it has been so frustrating.

"We want to make this side better and we know and believe we have a side which can do really well. That's what is driving me."

Gear, the vice-captain, did not believe his promotion was the reason for his fine form this year.

"I've had more of a leadership role over the past two years but it hasn't changed too much this season except to run out second behind the captain.

"I believe in this side so much and I'm determined for us to start winning. I believe we have the personnel to win a title so that's a driving factor for me."

Gear does not necessarily believe he has a higher workrate this season but says he is doing more with the ball.

"I'm probably doing more with the ball in hand than I have in the past," he said. "

"The accent has been on doing some damage with the ball."

Gear is determined to add to his tally of test caps but he knows he has to first continue to impress for the Highlanders.

"I'm really determined to play well for this team and the guys around me and that comes from the belief I have in the boys."

Gear said he was enjoying his rugby and the Dunedin environment despite the unsuccessful season.

"I'm loving it," he said. "We've got a strong team culture and we just need to transfer that on to the playing field. My family and I are loving our time down here and we want to make the most of it.

"We just need to get our game right and make sure all the pieces in the jigsaw puzzle fit together."