Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger is proud of the performance and result his men earned in last night's win over the Blues after what he described was a "challenging" stretch of losses.
The Highlanders ended their five-match losing streak with the 24-12 win in Dunedin last night to keep their season alive.
Mauger said the team had finally been rewarded for all their hard work.
"I'm extremely proud of the fortitude and resilience of our team, not just tonight but over the past four or five weeks," Mauger said.
"It's been challenging.
"Tonight's performance is a reflection of just how much our boys care about each other and they care about representing the Highlanders."
Before beating the Blues, the Highlanders' last win came back in round two when they beat the Reds. After that, they suffered four straight close losses before being outclassed by the Crusaders in Christchurch last week.
But Mauger believes last night's win shows the Highlanders are right in the mix.
"I think we went a long way today," he said after the match.
"There are some areas where we need to be better. We probably bombed a couple in that first half.
"We could have been a litt but further ahead at half time.
"We played some good footy but there's still plenty left in us."
The Highlanders will look to make it two in a row in Tokyo next week when they take on the Sunwolves on Friday.