Highlanders end losing streak
The Highlanders recovered from an 11-point first-half deficit to end a six-match losing streak against the Crusaders as they won 25-20 in Christchurch on Saturday.
It had looked like being a seventh win in a row for the Crusaders as they went into a 14-3 lead midway through the first half, but they were pegged back and were unable to extend a winning run which had dated back to March 2012.
Matt Todd and Jordan Taufua scored first-half tries for the Crusaders and with Colin Slade and Israel Dagg sharing the conversion duties successfully, they appeared in command.
But Ben Smith crossed for the Highlanders as the break loomed to get his side right back into it, and with Lima Sopoaga on the mark with a conversion and two penalties, they went into the interval just 14-13 behind.
They went on to put up 22 unanswered points, with Waisake Naholo going in for what proved to be a match-winning double, and it would have been more had Malakai Fekitoa not had a fourth try chalked off.
That put them clear at 25-14 and although Slade added two penalties to set-up a tense finish, the Highlanders held on for the win.