Crusaders came up with a five-try performance as they trounced Highlanders 33-13 in their Super Rugby clash at Orangetheory Stadium on Friday.
This is Crusaders' third win from four games as they claim the top spot in New Zealand Conference with 14 points while Highlanders are at the bottom with four points.
Highlanders started the proceedings with a sixth minute penalty goal from Josh Ioane but Crusaders responded back strong with Codie Taylor scoring the opening try in the 14th minute following a pass from George Bridge that was improved by David Havili.
As Tom Christie and Michael Collins traded tries the scoreline became 12-8 but the home side finished the first half strong with two more tries from Braydon Ennor (26') and Bridge (32'). Bryn Hall also kicked both the conversions as the teams finished the first half with a 26-8 scoreline.
Highlanders suffered a setback with Frizell sin-binned at the start of the second half but Crusaders failed to capitalise on the numerical advantage as they failed to score a point in the next minute.
At the start of the final quarter, Jona Nareki touched down to bring down Highlanders' deficit to 13 points but as they could not find any more breakthrough, Sione Havili with a 74th minute try capped off a 20-point win for Crusaders.