The Crusaders remain as the overall leader in Super Rugby after they beat the Waratahs 29-10 at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
The Crusaders could be overtaken by the Chiefs later in the round if they beat the Rebels with a bonus point.
The Crusaders had the bonus point in the bag in the 60th minute after Jordan Taufua scored the home side’s fourth try but former Crusader Zac Guildford scored for the Waratahs which cost the Crusaders the try bonus point.
Winger Johnny McNichol scored the Crusaders opening try in the third minute and then set up the Crusaders second try by fullback Israel Dagg which gave the home side a 12-0 lead after eight minutes.
The Crusaders outscored the Waratahs by four tries to two in the contest and is the Crusaders first victory over the Waratahs since 2013.
Both of the last two matches between the teams were won by the Waratahs including the 2014 final in which Bernard Foley kicked a late penalty to win the Sydney side their first title.
The result extends the Crusaders unbeaten run at home to five straight matches and they have now won 9 of their 11 matches this season. The Waratahs have won six from eleven matches. The loss for the Waratahs ends a four match unbeaten run this season.
Crusaders half-back Andy Ellis won his 150th cap (149 in Super Rugby) in the match while Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett won his 165th Cap which breaks Keven Mealamu’s record for most caps for one team. Crockett is contracted to NZ Rugby until 2018 so he could go on to reach 200 caps.
McNicholl, Israel Dagg, Richie Mo’unga and Jordan Taufua all scored tries for the Crusaders, while Rob Horne scored in the first half for the Waratahs and Guildford scored late in the second spell.
Mo’unga added three conversions and a penalty to take his total for the season to 126, putting him at the top of the competition scoring list ahead of the Hurricanes’ Beauden Barrett with 122.
The Crusaders used the kicking skills of Mo’unga and Dagg to pin the Waratahs in their own half from where they were happy to keep the ball in hand and attack the line.
Israel Folau, moved to outside centre for the Waratahs, made the most of the few chances he had which included setting up Horne’s try to get the Waratahs on the board.
Next week in Round 14 the Crusaders travel to Auckland where they will play a Blues side coming off a tour of South Africa and Western Australia. The Waratahs return home to Sydney where they will host the Chiefs.
Final Score Crusaders 29 (22) Waratahs 10 (5)
Tries – J.McNicholl, I.Dagg, R.Mo’unga, J.Taufua
Pen – R.Mo’unga
Con – R.Mo’unga 3
Tries – R.Horne, Z.Guildford
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO : Chris Wratt
1. Joe Moody ,2. Codie Taylor , 3. Owen Franks ,4. Luke Romano , 5. Sam Whitelock , 6. Jordan Taufua , 7. Matt Todd , 8. Kieran Read (C), , 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Richie Mo’unga , 11. Jone Macilai, 12. Ryan Crotty, 13. Kieron Fonotia, 14. Johnny McNicholl, 15. Israel Dagg
Replacements : 16. Ged Robinson , 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Mike Alaalatoa, 19. Scott Barrett , 20. Tim Boys , 21. Mitchell Drummond , 22. David Havili , 23. Marty McKenzie
1. Paddy Ryan, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 3. Tom Robertson , 4. David Dennis, 5. Will Skelton , 6. Dean Mumm , 7. Michael Hooper (C) 8. Jed Holloway , 9. Nick Phipps , 10. Bernard Foley, 11. Rob Horne , 12. David Horwitz, 13. Israel Folau, 14. Reece Robinson , 15. Andrew Kellaway ,
Replacments:16. Angus Ta’avao , 17. Hugh Roach , 18. Jeremy Tilse , 19. Sam Lousi , 20. Wycliff Palu, 21. Matt Lucas , 22. Matt Carraro, 23. Zac Guildford.