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Highlanders rout Sharks

The Highlanders kept themselves in Super Rugby contention with a seven-try drubbing of the Sharks in Dunedin on Friday.

Highlanders' 48-15 victory means they stay in touch with rivals the Hurricanes and Chiefs in the New Zealand conference.

Although they were clawed back from 10 points up to 10-10 during the first-half, there was no stopping the Highlanders after that, as they moved effortlessly through the gears.

It represented an excellent recovery following last week's defeat against the Brumbies, setting themselves up for the remainder of their Super Rugby campaign.

Gareth Evans scored the Highlanders' opening try, which Lima Sopoaga converted, before a penalty opened up a 10-0 advantage.

But that was the cue for a brief revival by the Durban-based Sharks as prop Tendai Mtawarira scored a try, with Fred Zeilinga kicking a conversion and penalty.

That was as good as it got for the Sharks, though, as the Highlanders stormed clear through touchdowns from Waisake Naholo, Patrick Osborne, Mark Reddish, Aaron Smith, Brendon Edmonds and Elliot Dixon, while Sopoaga finished with 13 points.

The Sharks managed a consolation try from Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis, but the damage had long been done.

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