The Otago Highlanders re-ignited their Super Rugby campaign with a rousing 27-20 victory over the Bulls in Dunedin on Friday.

Held 13-13 at halftime, the Highlanders surged ahead with tries from flanker Gareth Evans and centre Malakai Fekitoa in an eight-minute burst shortly after the break, then defended valiantly to fend off a series of late raids.

Flyhalf Lima Sopoaga tallied 17 points, including the Highlanders' first try in the 33rd-minute, as the hosts improved to 4-3 on the season to keep in touch of the defending champion Chiefs in the New Zealand conference race.

The Bulls dominated the opening quarter, leaping to a 13-3 lead courtesy of a 22nd-minute Bjorn Basson try, but were made to wait until the last minute for their next score, when forward Marcel van der Merwe barged over, allowing Jacques-Louis Potgieter's conversion to salvage a bonus point. – Reuters