Ben Smith has played some mighty games for the Highlanders over the decade he has been in the team. Steve Hepburn of the Otago Daily Times picks 10 of the best.

10 v Chiefs, Hamilton, 2016, won 25-15

This was a tough match for the Highlanders entering cowbell country. But Smith was the architect of a gutsy win as the side made the most of chances and scored a fine win over the Chiefs.

9 v Force, Perth, 2013, lost 19-18

This was probably the nadir for the Highlanders in the dreadful 2013 season. Beaten by a team of journeymen and has-beens, going down to a last minute penalty. Smith, though, was superb and was far and away the best on the park for the Highlanders.

8 v Hurricanes, Dunedin, 2018, won 30-14

The game was close at halftime, but the home team pulled away in the second half and Smith was to the fore as he ran hard and straight and ran the ball back with plenty of dash.

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Ben Smith of the Highlanders attempts to catch a high ball against the Hurricanes. Photo / Photosport
Ben Smith of the Highlanders attempts to catch a high ball against the Hurricanes. Photo / Photosport

7 v Chiefs, Dunedin, 2014, won 29-25

The defending champion came to town and the Highlanders stood tall to get one over them. Smith scored a crucial try in the second half and was calmness personified when he had to be as the side hung on to win.

6 v Force, Perth, 2009, lost 33-28

Smith played in every game in his debut season and in the final game of the year scored two tries and looked lively on the right wing. After this he had a stellar year for Otago and was picked for the All Blacks.

5 v Stormers, Dunedin, 2017, won 57-14

An attacking blitzkrieg came from the Highlanders. The back three of Patrick Osborne, Waisake Naholo and Smith were to the fore. The two Fijians scored four tries between them. It ended with a Joe Wheeler grubber kick to complete the scoring as Smith revelled in the open spaces.

4 v Force, Queenstown, 2010, lost 41-27

Ben Smith in action against the Western Force in 2010. Photo / Photosport
Ben Smith in action against the Western Force in 2010. Photo / Photosport

This was Smith's first game at fullback for the side after Israel Dagg dropped out through injury. Smith found gaps, made tackles, hit lines and was best on the park by a long stretch in what was a woeful effort from all the other Highlanders who took the field.

3 v Chiefs, Invercargill, 2015, won 36-9

The match was close at halftime and the Chiefs had a try scrubbed out at the end of the first half. The home team then came out and blew the visitor off the park with a fantastic display. Smith steered everything from the back and scored the all important fourth try to grab a bonus point.

2 v Crusaders, Nelson, 2011, won 26-18

The Highlanders looked to be on a hiding to nothing in Nelson as the Crusaders were out to do the double. Smith had to play at second five-eighth with Shaun Treeby injured. He was a colossus in midfield, making tackles and charging the ball up. He showed his versatility to lead the backline in attack and defence as the Highlanders scored an upset win.

1 v Hurricanes, Wellington, won 21-14 (final), 2015

Highlanders' Ben Smith celebrates winning the 2015 Super Rugby final against the Hurricanes. Photo / Photosport
Highlanders' Ben Smith celebrates winning the 2015 Super Rugby final against the Hurricanes. Photo / Photosport

This was the climax of a great season and Smith led the side to the title. All the hurt and tough losses were forgotten as the side reached the promised land. Smith was immense in this game, taking the game to the Hurricanes and playing his heart out.