Jason Emery sees red as Highlanders lose to April-inspired Sharks
Fly-half Garth April booted five penalties to guide the Sharks to a 15-14 Super Rugby victory over 14-man defending champions the Highlanders in Dunedin.
The Highlanders were forced to play the majority of the game a man down after inside centre Jason Emery was shown a red card in the 12th minute following a sickening collision with Wille Le Roux.
Chasing a high kick, Emery took out the South Africa international in the air and the full-back landed on his neck and needed lengthy attention from the medics.
Emery also required treatment following the collision, before being dismissed by New Zealand referee Ben O'Keefe, while Le Roux returned to the game after a concussion test.
Two penalties from April enabled the Sharks to take a 6-3 lead into half-time.
The Highlanders, returning to action after a bye week, scored the only try of the match when Matt Faddes went over in the right-hand corner in the 60th minute to move 14-12 ahead.
It was, though, the kicking of April that proved to be the difference as the Sharks playmaker saw the South Africans end a three-match losing streak, but only after Lima Sopoaga missed with a late drop-goal chance for the hosts.
The loss was another blow to the Highlanders' title defence after they were beaten by the Reds 28-27 in Brisbane last time out.