The Hurricanes snatched a 26-20 victory over the Highlanders with a Julian Savea try sealing the outcome in the dying minutes of their Super Rugby clash in Dunedin last night.
Victory for the Hurricanes, who lost 17-19 to the Highlanders in the third round, lifted them to one point behind the third-placed Higlanders in the New Zealand conference led by the Chiefs and Crusaders.
The Highlanders enjoyed most of the possession but after a faulty first 20 minutes the Hurricanes tightened their defence while the Highlanders attack lacked direction.
Both sides scored two tries, with the difference being the accurate boot of Hurricanes first five eight Beauden Barrett who punished the Highlanders' high error rate by landing four penalties.
The lead changed five times in the match with Savea's winning try coming six minutes from fulltime when the Hurricanes counter-attacked from a poorly directed clearing kick by Highlanders half-back Jimmy Cowan.
The powerful wing breached the Highlanders defence about 30 metres from the line and raced away to settle a match which could have gone either way.
The Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith says it's some of the best rugby his side has played and a great step up.