The Force staged a courageous comeback against the Crusaders to seal a second draw against the Crusaders with both teams locked at 23 all.
Almost unbelievably in 2006 when the two teams first met the Crusaders went out to a lead and the Force came back to level the scores - 23 all.
The Crusaders ran in three tries in the first half and looked like the fourth and bonus point might come as the first half closed. Instead they were beaten by the clock.
The Force scored the first points of the second half and Stephen Brett kicked a penalty a short while after to extend the Crusaders lead.
Matt Giteau then opened the Crusaders defence and could have scored himself but passed to Haig Sare on the wing who ran in the the Force's first try which Giteau converted.
The turning point in the game happened in the 65th minute when Leon MacDonald was sent to the bin for tackling James O'Connor in the air.
The Force then used their numbers and Matt Giteau again opened the Crusaders after a sniping run by fellow Wallaby Drew Mitchell and Giteau passed to James O' Connor who ran in the Force's second try untouched.
Giteau converted the try to level the scores.
Giteau was the star of the show as he kicked two conversions and three penalties - 14 points - and created second-half tries for Haig Sare and James O'Connor.
Defending champions the Crusaders scored first-half tries through centers Ryan Crotty and Tim Bateman and lock Isaac Ross to lead 20-6 at halftime and were in front 23-9 after 52 minutes.
Giteau's solo break in the 59th minute created a try for Sare and he provided the final pass in a try for O'Connor, after 67 minutes, from which his conversion tied the scores.
Crusaders flyhalf Steve Brett missed a penalty in the 73rd minute that could have given the hosts the win.
Wallabies star Giteau ended the match battered and bruised but helped the Perth-based team improve its championship standing while the injury-hit Crusaders remained without a win in their past four matches.
"I'm very proud of the boys," Force captain Nathan Sharpe said.
"We put a lot of pressure on their line in the first half and that paid dividends.
"It's a funny old thing, a draw, but we'll take it better than a loss."
Giteau and Crusaders flyhalf Steve Brett exchanged penalties in the seventh and ninth minutes of the match before Canterbury's first try, to Crotty off a long pass from Brett, gave the home side an 8-3 lead.
Bateman scored from a fortuitous bounce off the upright in the 14th minute and Ross scored an outstanding team try in the 33rd minute to put the Crusaders ahead 20-6 at the interval.
Giteau and Brett again exchanged penalties to start the second half but Brett's 52nd-minute goal was the Crusaders last score.
Giteau made Sare's try in the 59th minute and O'Connor's in the 67th while the Crusaders had All Blacks fullback Leon MacDonald in the sin-bin.
"We played pretty well in the first half and got out to a good lead but right at the end there we couldn't quite hold on," Crusaders captain Kieran Read said.
Tries -Ryan Crotty,Tim Bateman,Isaac Ross
Penalties -Stephen Brett 2
Conversions -Stephen Brett
Drop Goals -
Cards - Yellow (65) Leon MacDonald
Tries -Haig Sare, James O’Connor
Penalties -Matt Giteau 3
Conversions -Matt Giteau 2
Drop Goals -
Kick-off: Sat 14 March. 5.30pm (local),
Referee: Marius Jonker (SA)
Ass. Refs: Chris Pollock (NZ), Willie Roos (SA)
TMO: Kane McBride (NZ)
Assessor: Greg Cooper (NZ)
1. Wyatt Crockett,2. Jason Macdonald ,3. Bronson Murray ,4. Brad Thorn ,5. Isaac Ross ,6. Kieran Read (Capt) ,7. George Whitelock ,8. Thomas Waldrom ,9. Kahn Fotuali’i,10. Stephen Brett ,11. Colin Slade,12. Ryan Crotty, 13. Tim Bateman ,14. Adam Whitelock ,15. Leon MacDonald
Rserves : 16. Daniel Perrin ,17. Owen Franks ,18. Ross Filipo , 19. Nasi Manu ,20. Tyson Keats, 21. Hamish Gard,22. Blair Cook.
1. Pek Cowan,2. Tai McIsaac,3. Ben Castle,4. David Pusey,5. Nathan Sharpe (c),6. Richard Stanford,7. David Pocock,8. Tamaiti Horua,9. Josh Valentine,10. Matt Giteau ,11. Cameron Shepherd,12. James O’Connor,13. Ryan Cross,14. Nick Cummins,15. Drew Mitchell
Reserves:16. Luke Holmes,17. AJ Whalley, 18. Tom Hockings,19. Matt Hodgson,,20. Chris O’Young,21. Junior Pelesasa,22. Haig Sare.