Cape Town - The Sharks were handed a heavy 48-15 defeat against a ruthless and clinical Highlanders side in Dunedin on Friday.
As it happened: Sharks thrashed by Highlanders
The Highlanders were quickly off the mark against their South African opponents as Gareth Evans crashed over in the sixth minute.
The Sharks responded well after a slow start and when Tendai Mtawarira scored in the 31st minute and Fred Zeilinga converted, the scores were level at 10 all.
From there, the Highlanders completely blew the Sharks away with a fluid, attacking game to which the Sharks defence could not do anything to stop.
The Highlanders lead 24-10 at the break.
The second half started as the first ended and the contest was essentially over when Brendon Edmonds dived over in the 65th minute, scoring his side's sixth try of the match.
The Sharks responded minutes later as Bismarck Du Plessis dotted down after a rolling maul. The conversion was missed leaving the score at 43-15 in favour of the hosts.
The Highlanders scored their seventh try in the final minutes through Elliot Dixon.
Tries: 3' Gareth Evans, 34' Waisake Naholo, 37' Patrick Osborne, 55' Mark Reddish, 58' Aaron Smith, 65' Brendon Edmonds, 77' Elliot Dixon
Conversions: 5', 35', 39', 56', 66' Lima Sopoaga
Penalties: 20' Lima Sopoaga
Tries: 31' Tendai Mtawarira, 69' Bismarck Du Plessis
Conversions: 32' Fred Zeilinga
Penalties: 24' Fred Zeilinga