Late tries to Richie Mo'unga and David Havili have carried the Crusaders to their opening win of Super Rugby Aotearoa, dispatching the Hurricanes 39-25 in Wellington.
The three-time defending Super Rugby champions dominated proceedings through the first hour, but allowed their rivals to stay close with persistent infringing at the breakdowns - a common fault of teams adapting to new rules in the revamped competition.
The Crusaders rocked their hosts in the opening minute, when Sevu Reece and Codie Taylor combined down the right for the Fijian wing to score in the corner.
Further tries to midfielders Braydon Ennor and Jack Goodhue gave the visitors a 19-15 lead at halftime, but their constant offending allowed Hurricanes first-five Jackson Garden-Bachop to keep his side in the contest, slotting four penalties and a drop goal.
Eventually, Goodhue was the unlucky culprit dispatched to the sin bin, when referee Brendon Pickerill had had enough.
The Hurricanes finally broke their try drought midway through the second half, when Ngani Laumape bullied the Crusaders defence and provided replacement hooker Asfo Aumua with an overlap in the corner. Garden-Bachop's wobbly sideline conversion levelled the scores and a grandstand finish seemed in prospect.
But moments later, Mo'unga capitalised on Kobus Van Wyk's defensive blunder to swing momentum back to the Crusaders. From a scrum, George Bridge chipped ahead and although Van Wyk initially controlled the ball, he elected to pass infield as he was herded towards touch.
Replacement halfback Mitch Drummond pounced on the loose ball and found Mo'unga on his shoulder to score.
The Crusaders continued to press their fading opposition and when Bridge again challenged the defence, Drummond found Havili steaming untouched through a gap to clinch victory.
They return home to face the winless Chiefs next Sunday, while the Hurricanes - also without a win over the opening two weeks - have a week off to address their faults.
Crusaders 39 (Reece, Ennor, Goodhue, Mo'unga & Havili tries; Mo'unga 4 conversions & 2 penalties) Hurricanes 25 (Aumua try, Garden-Bachop conversion, 5 penalties & drop goal)