In a tough battle it was Crusaders who came out victorious with a 32-17 win against the Highlanders at AMI Stadium, Christchurch, on Saturday night.
The 32-17 result did not truly reflect the determined defensive effort by the Highlanders, who closed to four points after 57 minutes after trailing 10-0 at half-time.
Scorers: Crusaders 32 (Andrew Ellis, Jared Payne, Zac Guildford, Sean Maitland tries; Dan Carter 3 con, 2 pen) Highlanders 17 (Michael Hobbs 2 tries, 2 con, pen).
Half Time: Crusaders 10 Highlanders 0
Information and match report available on Sportal.nz