The DHL Stormers ended their Australasian tour with a 33-15 defeat against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.
The teams were evenly matched in a hard-fought first half, but the Highlanders were the only team to score in the second half as they pulled away to secure the win.
The game got off to a frantic start, with the DHL Stormers probing deep into Highlanders territory, but the home side would score first as some impressive handling saw flank Liam Squire get the opening try.
The DHL Stormers were intent on showing off some quick hands of their own and there were many slick offloads in the build-up to there first try, which saw lock Chris van Zyl plow his way over after his team showed some composure in the 22.
The DHL Stormers followed that up with another try to take the lead from the first time, with some good linespeed in the 22 resulting in a loose ball which Damian Willemse snapped up to race away and score.
The scores were level at 12-12 soon afterwards when Highlanders scrumhalf Aaron Smith scored following an impressive run from wing Waisake Naholo.
The DHL Stormers went ahead again with a penalty from fullback SP Marais, but it would be the home team to take a slender 19-15 advantage into the half-time break thanks to a try from the powerful Naholo.
The Highlanders struck first in the second half with a try from No.8 Luke Whitelock and would score again just minutes from the end through Smith to secure the victory.
The DHL Stormers had their opportunities after half-time, but were not able to convert against a motivated home team.
For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Van Zyl, Willemse
Tries: Squire, Smith 2, Naholo, Whitelock
Cons: Sopoaga 4
DHL Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 JJ Engelbrecht.
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.