The Highlanders have kept their Super Rugby finals aspirations alive with a 27-20 victory over the Blues at Eden Park.
The visitors have closed the gap on the Crusaders to just two points, courtesy of the bonus point victory.
Coach Jamie Joseph concedes they were a little lucky to bring up four tries, with Adam Thomson lucky to dot down.
"I think that might be our third so they're scarce in our game so whether that'll play a part in the final stages of the competition, only time will tell, but we got a cheap try there with Tommo's - pretty fortunate I think."
Joseph has some encouraging words and insists the Blues are still a good side, despite having just two wins from 13 games.
"I guess when the young guys get picked, the coach shows a bit of belief in their inexperience and backs them, it tends to bring out the best in those sorts of players in those sorts of situations so we weren't surprised by that."
Blues coach Pat Lam believes his selection experiment has paid off, despite his side's loss.
Lam selected a number of rookies in his starting 15, leaving All Blacks Ma'a Nonu, Ali Williams and Piri Weepu on the bench.
He believes despite the loss, it's paid dividends in the enthusiasm of players at both ends of the spectrum.
"There's some new boys that went out there and I thought they performed very well and then I thought these old guys came on, well old-er guys came on, and did a really good job when they came on too."
Meanwhile the Sharks have beaten the South African conference leading Stormers 26-20.
Photo: Hosea Gear (Photosport)