The table-topping ACT Brumbies consigned the Highlanders to another Super Rugby loss beating them 30-19 in Dunedin last night.
The Highlanders tipped as potential title contenders before the competition began, have lost all seven games this season and are rooted to the bottom of the table.
Last night's loss featured too many errors against a clinical Brumbies side, who dominated the breakdown and were ruthless in their defensive pattern.
Both of the visitors' first half tries came from errors while Otago first five Hayden Parker slotted four penalties for the home side to keep them within sight at 17-12 by halftime.
The Brumbies, however, strangled the Highlanders in the second half with two early penalties, and a Joe Tomane try to move back to the top of the table on 33 points.
All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith's 75th minute try, which Parker converted, was some consolation from some late endeavour but the hosts were never really in the game after the break.