The Highlanders snapped a three-game Super Rugby losing streak with a 13-6 victory over the Hurricanes in Invercargill.
The Highlanders scored the only try of the match to fullback Ben Smith, while Lima Sopoaga added a conversion and two penalties.
The home side's defence and pressure at the breakdown caused problems for the Hurricanes throughout the game.
The Highlanders led 10-3 at half-time in a match played in driving rain and chilly temperatures.
Aaron Cruden slotted two penalties for the Hurricanes, who welcomed back Ma'a Nonu and Piri Weepu. Halfback Weepu had broken his leg and dislocated his ankle last October.