All Blacks captain Richie McCaw admitted that the Crusaders had made some crucial mistakes which cost them the match in their 28-19 loss to the Rebels in Melbourne.
McCaw resumed the Crusaders captaincy for this match and made his first start for the seven time Super Rugby champions since last year's Rugby World Cup in October.
"Those periods straight after halftime were what killed us," McCaw said.
"We started well," said McCaw of the Crusaders first half performance which had them leading 10-19 at half time.
"We had a grip on the game but we made some crucial mistakes, and you can't do that in Super rugby," McCaw said.
The result makes the race for the play offs much tighter as the Chiefs can move to ahead in the New Zealand Super Rugby conference as much as 12 points if they beat the Reds with a bonus point on Sunday.
"This is going to make things a lot more difficult," said McCaw of his team's chances of winning the New Zealand conference.
Rebels captain Gareth Delve said that their performance last week against the Bulls set a new standard for Super Rugby's newcomers.
The Rebels scored scored five tries against the Bulls but still lost 35-41 but Delve said this week was proof that they are improving.
"We've worked hard, our confidence is building," Delve said.
"At times we were struggling, but we made a massive impact in the second half."
"We set a bit of a standard last week in how we wanted to play the game and the guys off the bench made a massive impact," Delve said.
"To hold such a fantastic team as the Crusaders scoreless for the second half is amazing and shows that we are really making some progress and the key now is to keep pushing on."