The Crusaders warmed up for their Vodacom Super Rugby title defence with a 34-19 victory over the Hurricanes in Levin on Saturday.
Both coaches named fairly strong lineups, with a number of first-choice players mixing it with several fringe players aiming to stake their place ahead of the Super Rugby season.
Of most importance to both coaches, John Plumtree and Scott Robertson, would have been that their respective sides managed to make it unscathed through the friendly.
The Hurricanes opened the scoring within the first five minutes when a break from scrumhalf Jackson Garden-Bachop led to centre Vince Aso dotting down.
However, the Crusaders quickly struck back, big winger Manasa Mataele levelling the scores after brilliant play from scrumhalf Mitchell Hunt, before hooker Andrew Makalio went over from the back of a powerful driving maul.
Mataele grabbed his brace just before the break, which saw the Crusaders go into half-time 19-7 ahead.
Both sides emptied their benches in the second half as the Crusaders scored two quick-fire tries to extend their lead.
The Hurricanes threatened a comeback as scores from flank Du’Plessis Kirifi and flyhalf Callum Harkin made it a 10-point game, but wing Will Jordan then raced down the right-hand touchline to touch down and ensure a victory for the Crusaders.
Photo: Hagen Hopkins