The Highlanders have put a big dent in the Hurricanes' Super Rugby playoff hopes with Friday night's controversial 18-16 win in Wellington.
Highlanders pivot Hayden Parker kicked a perfect six from six, including a drop goal, to lift the Highlanders to fourth on the table.
The Hurricanes scored the lone try in the match to TJ Perenara, but had another awarded then ruled out in the 76th minute after review by the television official.
It was decided replacement hooker Ash Dixon had obstructed a Highlanders defender when the halfback dived over the line.
The Hurricanes had the majority of territory and possession but committed silly errors inside the Highlanders' half and were restricted to two penalties to first-five Beauden Barrett and a penalty and conversion of Perenara's try by Andre Taylor, after Barrett left the field with an injury.
The Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith admits making the playoffs now becomes a tough for his team from here - they're now just outside the top six.