The Crusaders have enhanced their Super Rugby favouritism with an effortless 54-17 win over the Blues in their final-round match.
Winger George Bridge scored a hat-trick and centre Jack Goodhue a double in Christchurch on Saturday night to help the Crusaders notch a 12th-straight win.
The eight-time champions finished 12 points clear of the field, having already snared the minor premiership for the first time since 2008.
They will remain in Christchurch if they continue their winning run through the play-offs.
The Blues scored three tries but conceded eight, including four in the final quarter as the hosts ran rampant.
It continued a 14-year drought in Christchurch for the Blues, who are winless in their last 19 Kiwi derby matches.
Finishing second-last overall was a disappointing note to finish on for their Toulouse-bound All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino.
While the Blues finished with a 4-12 win-loss record, it was 14-2 for the Crusaders, who will host either the Melbourne Rebels or Sharks in next week's quarter-final.
The Crusaders showed they can win without possession and territory, coming second in those measures but making up for it with clinical finishing.
Bridge took his try tally to 14 for the season, lifting him level on that mark with fellow wingers Ben Lam (Hurricanes) and Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs).
Seta Tamanivalu, Sam Whitelock and Bryn Hall scored the other Crusaders tries while Melani Nanai bagged a double for the Blues, to go with a penalty try.