A second half meltdown has ended the Highlanders' season in horrendous fashion.
When Luke Whitelock arrived in the South in 2016, the pulses of Highlanders’ fans were hardly racing.
The serious stuff arrives tonight for the Highlanders and the question is: which Highlanders side is going to turn up?
The Highlanders have named a full-strength side to take on the Waratahs in Saturday night's Super Rugby quarterfinal in Sydney.
The Highlanders hold an impressive 23-6 lead over the Waratahs at half-time. Join us for live updates of the second half to see if they can hold on.
Waratahs forward Ned Hanigan is wary of the Highlanders' "organised chaos" style heading into their Super Rugby quarter-final.
The Otago Rugby Football Union does not have an issue with Highlanders players playing for club teams this weekend despite Otago players having been pulled from the competition.
Highlanders defence coach Glenn Delaney says conceding 120-plus points in the past three games is not ideal but the side has been working hard to improve.
The Melbourne Rebels have fined departing forwards Amanaki Mafi and Lopeti Timani $15,000 each for their physical altercation in Dunedin last weekend.
The Highlanders will be hoping history can repeat when they take on the Waratahs in their Super Rugby quarterfinal in Sydney on Saturday night.
The Highlanders should head across the Ditch this weekend with some confidence - but knowing they need to go up another level to keep their season going.
The Waratahs will host the Highlanders in a knockout quarterfinal next weekend after the final eight teams in this year's Super Rugby competition were confirmed.
Patience and resilience are the qualities that enabled the Highlanders to lock in their sixth place and are the qualities that will make them a serious contender in the play-offs.