Super Rugby Aotearoa: Crusaders claim thrilling Golden Point victory after see-saw clash with Hurricanes

The Crusaders have prevailed in extra time to pip the Hurricanes 30-27 in a pulsating Super Rugby Aotearoa clash at Wellington's Sky Stadium.

Conditions in the capital promised great rugby and that's what both sides produced, scoring 57-points between them in a tight tussle that saw the lead change several times.

The result eliminates the Hurricanes from finals contention, while the Crusaders can book a home final with a bonus-point win from their remaining two games against the Blues and Chiefs.

It looked like business as usual for the Crusaders, as they ran out to a 14-3 lead midway through the first spell, but the ghosts of their shock loss to the Highlanders reappeared, as sloppy play and a fired-up Hurricanes outfit levelled the scores at the break.

A George Bridge try double was scrubbed out by a barnstorming Ngani Laumape and an opportunistic Julian Savea, as the Hurricanes showed the form that had evaded them through 2021.

Laumape powered through four defenders for the Hurricanes' first try, but a Richie Mo'unga penalty goal had the red-and-blacks up by seven with 10 minutes to play in the opening spell.

Savea scored from a Scott Barrett fumbled ball, showing signs of the past, as he left chasing defenders in his wake.

Laumape was yellow-carded for an elbow to the throat of Barrett on halftime, but the Hurricanes would strike first in the second half.

Inspirational captain Ardie Savea, who would leave the field late on with a knee injury, powered through Bryn Hall to get his side on the front foot, moments before a fleet-of-foot Wes Goosen dotted down to give the Hurricanes the lead for a second time.

But the Crusaders never let the lead drift beyond seven points and with 16 minutes to play, a Sevu Reece try levelled the scores at 27-27 to set up an enthralling final quarter.

Barrett missed a 63-metre penalty in the closing stages, while Mo'unga was also wayward with a drop goal attempt, as time wound down.

Enter Golden Point. Less than 24 hours after the Chiefs' historic first-ever sudden-death win over the Highlanders, the relentless Crusaders proved their championship mentality, needing only two minutes to end the game.

Lock Mitchell Dunshea charged down down a clearing kick and after five settling phases, David Havili dropped into the pocket to slot the winning drop goal.

The victory takes the Crusaders to 22 points from six games and need just a bonus-point win from their final two games to secure a home final.

All Blacks Joe Moody, Jack Goodhue and Ardie Savea all left the field with leg injuries, with Moody seen in a moon boot during the second half.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson says both his charges will have scans on Monday, but admitted both looked serious.

Join us at 7pm Friday for live updates of the Blues v Highlanders Super Rugby Aotearoa clash