The Highlanders colour scheme should work. Blue, maroon and yellow are colours that should work together, and yet somehow, the shirts have always looked a little bit… shit. Last year brought things back from the brink somewhat, opting for a much simpler, cleaner design, and the theme has been continued here. Where the other SR teams this year have opted for designs so busy they make Heathrow airport look like a sleepy backwater airfield, the Highlanders have stripped it right back, creating the best shirt in the NZ conference in the process.The key thing here is the drastic reduction of maroon in the shirt’s design. That might not go down too well with Southland fans, but there’s little doubt that reducing it to a flash on the collar placket not only streamlines things overall, but actually makes the maroon stand out a bit better in its scarcity.
The Otago ITM Cup shirt this year featured one of the most wretched bits of jersey sublimation – like your Gran’s curtains on crystal meth. Mercifully, things are much more classy here. From a distance it looks like the subtle hoops used on this year’s Lions jersey but in actual fact, they’re Celtic bands – a nice nod to the team’s heritage.
The Celtic band design is much more evident on the alternate shirt, which again opts for the lime green colour that the team used last year. It’s slightly more out there, and it’s a lot more polarising than the home shirt, but the combination of green, blue and white really works here. It’s nice to see ‘The Pride Of The South’ ringing the collars of both shirts too. A nice touch on two very nice shirts.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD