THE Highlanders held on to their top spot in the New Zealand Super Rugby conference after they beat the Hurricanes 17-19 in Wellington.
Both teams scored one try each and the difference came down to penalties with the lead changing hands several times in the second half.
Replacement flyhalf Chris Noakes kicked a 74th-minute penalty which clinched the victory ofr the Highlanders leaving them unbeaten after four rounds.
All Blacks flyhalf Colin Slade had previously scored a try among 16 points for the Highlanders who had to stage a late rally to retrieve the lead in the match despite overwhelming shares of territory and possession.
A 69th-minute penalty to talented rookie flyhalf Beauden Barrett had given the Hurricanes a 17-16 lead with 11 minutes remaining.
Read the full match report at the Super XV website.