All Black No.8 Kieran Read broke his nose as his Crusaders demolished the Highlanders 51-18 on Friday night and could be in doubt for the Irish test opener at Eden Park in a week.
Another Crusader and former All Black Corey Flynn injured his ribs and won't take part in next weekend's North versus South fixture.
But he and Read can sit back for now and mull over a memorable win as the Crusaders ran in seven tries to two, subjecting the Highlanders to wave after wave of relentless attack in front of a sell-out Christchurch crowd.
Skipper Richie McCaw was among the try-scorers in a bonus-point win that narrows the gap on competition leaders the Chiefs to two points and gives the Crusaders' playoff hopes a massive boost.
Star five-eighth Dan Carter, back in his favoured position after a stint at inside centre, was also on song with the boot, kicking five conversions and two penalties.
The loss leaves the Highlanders seven points adrift of the Crusaders and their playoffs hopes hanging by a thread.
With just two games to go and the bye the Highlanders must now beat the Chiefs at home and the Queensland Reds away.