The Highlanders have kept themselves in the hunt for the Super Rugby playoffs with last night's 27 to 20 bonus point win over the Blues at Eden Park, claiming the Gordon Hunter memorial trophy in the process.
The win also helped Hosea Gear's chances of winning an All Black recall with the Poverty Bay product scoring two tries in a solid display on the left wing.
Despite the far from convincing performance from the Highlanders, who again failed to close out the game after taking a 21 point lead, captain Jamie McIntosh was happy with his first ever win on Eden Park.
The visitors were gifted the four try bonus point when a woeful Blues lineout on their own goal left Highlanders flanker Adam Thompson with an uncontested stroll to the line.
However it was a much gutsier performance from Pat Lam's side who fought back from 27-6 down to provide an exciting finish to the match.
Lam was heartened by the Blues resolve but says the loss was hard to swallow after a couple of dubious refereeing decisions.