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Highlanders battle back to fend off Western Force and win fifth straight game

The Highlanders battled back from an early 14-0 deficit to beat the struggling Western Force 32-20 and record their fifth successive Super Rugby win of the season.

Converted tries from Dane Haylett-Petty and Ben McCalman in the opening nine minutes had the Force - with just one win previously this campaign - dreaming of a shock upset in Dunedin.

However, the defending champions recovered to draw level by the 30-minute mark through tries from Patrick Osborne and Dan Pryor, before going on to claim the win with second-half scores from Matt Faddes and Jason Emery.

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