The Hurricanes used their bench players to defeat the Highlanders 21-14 in round three of Super Rugby Pacific.
Three tries to two wins was a brave effort by the home side, but the visiting Highlanders are now without a win after three games.
The Hurricanes were strong defensively in Wellington and their bench players made an impression when they took the field.
Both teams made plenty of mistakes, but the Hurricanes held out for their second straight win after beating the Blues in a stunning finish last week.
Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea said Covid-19 runs through the team.
“There were some late changes at omicron,” Savea said.
“One of our guys came off Palmy and jumped on the bench and then made his debut.”
“I’m really proud of how the boys got through.”
Hurricanes ban Caleb Delaney was one of several young players who were given the chance to rise. While backup halfback Logan Henry of Palmerston North joined the team as cover and scored on the debut.
Highlanders coach Tony Brown said individual performances are acceptable within the Highlanders but the team does not work as a unit.
He said that was a problem and regretted the missed opportunities.
“We had a lot of possession and a lot of territory but we couldn’t get over the line,” Brown said.
“Our leaders need to stand up and create faith next week.”
“We just have to start staying on the ball and shooting attempts when they’re available.”