The Highlanders extended their winning streak to four straight wins by beating Japanese Super Rugby franchise the Sunwolves 40-15 at Invercargill.
The Highlanders earned the bonus point from the match as they outscored the Sunwolves by six tries to two in the match.
Two of the Highlanders tries were scored by centre Matt Faddes in an eight minute burst shortly after half time.
The Highlanders victory keeps them in contention for the play offs and although they made a slow start to the season they have now won five of their eight matches.
The other Highlanders tries were score by Malakai Fekitoa, Liam Squire, Aaron Smith and Ben Smith while Marty Banks converted five of the home side’s six tries.
The Sunwolves got on to the scoreboard in the eleventh minute but went for almost 50 minutes without adding to the scoreboard.
Late tries from Willie Britz and Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco made the scoreline look more respectable for the Japanese side who never looked like they would win the match.
The Highlanders All Black did the damage for the Dunedi side as centre Fekitoa opened the try-scoring for the Highlanders in the third minute after being set up by returning All Black winger Waisake Naholo.
Fellow All Black fullback Ben Smith finished the scoring by diving over a ruck and in between the two tries half back Aaron Smith scored in the corner.
Next week in Round 10 the Highlanders host the Stormers in Dunedin while the Sunwolves take on the Chiefs in Hamilton.
Final Score Highlanders 40 (21) Sunwolves 15 (3)
Tries – M.Fekitoa, L.Squire, A.Smith, M.Faddes 2, B.Smith
Con – M.Banks 5
Tries -W.Britz, R.W Vosayaco
Pen – Y.Tamura
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Cam Stone
TMO : Glenn Newman
1. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Siate Tokolahi , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Joe Wheeler , 6. Liam Squire , 7. Elliot Dixon , 8. Luke Whitelock , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Marty Banks , 11. Tevita Li , 12. Malakai Fekitoa , 13. Matt Faddes , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith (c)
Replacements : 16. Greg Pleasants-Tate , 17. Aki Seiuli , 18. Siosuia Halanukonuka , 19. Tom Franklin , 20. Gareth Evans , 21. Josh Renton , 22. Teihorangi Walden , 23. Sio Tomkinson
15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 William Tupou, 12 Timothy Lafaele, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Yuhimaru Mimura, 6 Edward Quirk (c), 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Keita Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 21 Yuki Yatomi, 22 Hayden Cripps, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi