The Highlanders have extended their winning streak to six games, but only after producing one of the greatest comebacks in Super Rugby history in Bloemfontein – scoring three tries in the last four and a half minutes to edge the Cheetahs 45-41.
Yellow cards against Highlanders Matt Faddes and Siate Tokolahi saw the Cheetahs turn a five-point halftime lead into a 22-10 advantage, but the visitors scored twice through Rob Thompson and Waisake Naholo to regain the lead in the 51st minute while still a man short.
The freewheeling Cheetahs then posted three unanswered tries in the space of six minutes to seemingly snare a stunning upset, and they still led by 17 in the 76th minute – but the sin-binning of Uzair Cassiem for a high tackle would prove crucial.
Faddes set up Tevita Li for what seemed like a consolation try, but a brilliant length-of-the-field try finished off by Faddes – after superb lead-up work by Fletcher Smith and Malakai Fekitoa – kept the Highlanders’ flame flickering.
After working their way down-field again from the restart, Naholo crossed for the match-winner just after the fulltime hooter.