The Crusaders have salvaged some New Zealand rugby pride by moving into second place on the Super 14 table.
The Crusaders' 20-13 victory over the now-third New South Wales Waratahs in Christchurch also came with the landmark of All Black Daniel Carter becoming the leading points scorer in Super rugby.
Carter's 15 points from five penalties took him to 1,022, moving him past the ACT Brumbies' Stirling Mortlock by three points.
The Crusaders look increasingly like the lone New Zealand contenders. A five-point gap's opened between the top six and the other local teams with the Christchurch side the only New Zealanders to post a win this weekend.
The Chiefs set the tone on Friday with a thrashing by competition leaders the Bulls of South Africa before the Western Force thrashed the Highlanders 41-27 at Queenstown and the Blues succumbed 33-21 to the fourth-placed Stormers at Eden Park.
The ACT Brumbies remain in contention for the semi-finals after a 61-15 demolition of a woeful Cheetahs side in Canberra.
The home side scored nine tries against the South Africans, while first-five Matt Giteau slotted six conversions for 12 points before he was replaced with 20 minutes remaining.
The Brumbies are now sixth, just below the Queensland Reds who thumped another South African side, the Lions, 41-26 in Johannesburg.