The Crusaders stretched their winning streak to three matches when they edged Super Rugby champions the Chiefs 17-18 in Hamilton.
The Chiefs won the first contest between the teams 10-18 in February this year so this result evens out the wins to one each for 2014.
The result ends a two match winning streak for the Chiefs over the Crusaders.
The defining moment in the match came three minutes into the second half when the Chiefs went through 26 phases on the Crusaders line only to knock the ball on and come away with nothing from the immense pressure.
Two minutes before half time the Chiefs scored the only try of the match by former Crusader Tom Marshall and a try on the other side of the half would have surely killed off the Crusaders. However as the Crusaders defended their line and held the Chiefs out they took strength from their own defence and grew stronger.
Colin Slade kicked six penalties for the Crusaders and had two kicks hit the post. His opposite number Gareth Anscombe had the opportunity to snatch the result from the Crusaders with a penalty in extra time but his kick fell short.
Having made a slow start to the season the Crusaders have now worked their way into fifth place overall, second in the New Zealand Conference by going unbeaten in South Africa and knocking over the double champions at home.
The Crusaders have played eight matches at the half way point and won five while the Chiefs have played eight won four and drawn two.
Tries – T.Marshall
Pen – G.Anscombe 4
Pen – C.Slade 6
Cards – D.Bird (27th min yellow)