The Crusaders got two penalty tries in their 30-7 win over the Western Force but failed to secure the bonus point that would have ensured they stayed top of Super Rugby's New Zealand conference going into the international break.
The home side absolutely dominated the first half but only had a converted try from winger Johnny McNicholl, set up by a break and offload from fullback Israel Dagg, and three penalties from the boot of first five Colin Slade to show for their efforts.
Perth-based Force, this season's Super Rugby surprise package, came out firing in the second half and finally got on the scoreboard after 49 minutes when winger Dane Haylett-Petty spun out of three tackles to score under the posts.
Force lock Sam Wykes was shown a yellow card after 71 minutes as the visitors defended desperately, and after the next play the Crusaders were awarded a penalty try when a maul was pulled down close to the line. A second followed after the hooter after the Force front row collapsed.