The Highlanders unbeaten run in Super Rugby came to an abrupt end in Wellington.
This as the Hurricanes held their nerve to secure an impressive 29-12 win in an enthralling New Zealand derby at the Westpac Stadium.
The hosts scored the first try of the match against the run of play. Beauden Barrett collected a loose ball and then raced to score.
The Highlanders continuous pressure resulted in a try for wing Waisake Naholo in the 20th minute. It was a tight contest in wet conditions and both teams had equal domination of possession.
The Hurricanes were handed an advantage to the halftime break as they led 12-5.
This after superb finishing by Ben Lam as the winger managed to get the ball down in the left corner before he was forced into touch by a couple of Highlanders’ defenders.
After the break the Hurricanes’ defence was breached as Naholo showed superior skill.
He collected the bouncing ball and crashed over for his second try of the evening.
Lima Sopoaga converted to level the scores.
The Hurrricane regained the lead with a Jordie Barrett long-range penalty goal.
The hosts had a 10 point lead with 15 minutes remaining as Vincent Aso scored a converted try.
Lam scored his second try of the day in the 73rd minute, as he showed strength and determination to reach over the line.
The victory moved the Hurricanes to second on the New Zealand conference.
Meanwhile Sunwolves suffered their fifth successive defeat against the Waikato Chiefs in Tokyo.
The visitors dominated for large periods and eventually outscored the Sunwolves to a 61-10 win.
Damian McKenzie and Solomona Alaimalo grabbed two tries each in a dominant Chiefs performance as they ran in nine tries.
McKenzie also kicked eight of nine conversion attempts. The win is the Chiefs’ third one from four matches this season.