Both teams held back their big guns
The Hurricanes got their pre-season off to a winning start when they sneaked past the Crusaders in Timaru on Saturday.
The Canes shrugged off the loss of star wing Cory Jane to a season-ending knee injury to record a one-point (27-26) win over the seven-time champion Crusaders.
The Hurricanes had to overcome a slow start, down 5-19 midway through the first of four 20-minute quarters.
A late intercept try to Tim Bateman earned the Hurricanes the win.
In the end the Canes out-scored the home team five tries to four.
Only one All Black, hooker Dane Coles, was on display for the Hurricanes.
Canes coach Mark Hammett named Coles on an extended bench for a game that will be played four quarters.
With the All Blacks easing into their playing duties, the wider squad got an early chance to make an impression.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder - who already had to deal with the alcohol-fuelled outburst of star All Black Zac Guildford during the pre-season - also held back most of his big guns.
Blackadder used the team's season opener to play the newer members of the squad.
Seven players made their first appearance for the Crusaders in the starting line up this week - Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Dominic Bird, Shane Christie, Jordan Taufua, Jeremy Su'a and Kieran Fonotia.
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Marshall, Dixon, Eaton, Wharewera, Bateman
For the Crusaders:
Tries: Christie, Fonotia, Taylor, Marshall
Cons: Bleyendaal 2, Elkington
Crusaders: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 James Schrader, 13 Kieran Fonotia, 12 Robbie Fruean, 11 Shayne Anderson, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Jeremy Su'a, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Shane Christie, 6 George Whitelock (captain), 5 Joel Everson, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements - from: Paea Fa'anunu, Adrian Barone, Mitch Graham, Ben Funnell, Jimmy Tupou, Matt Simons, Luke Whitelock, Matt Todd, Andy Ellis, Tyrone Elkington, Kolio Hifo, Stephen Burt.
Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Rey LeeLo, 11 Matt Proctor, 10 James Marshall, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Mike Coman, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Callum Gibbins, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Blade Thomson, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Reg Goodes.
Replacements - from: Dane Coles, Jeremy Thrush, Eric Sione, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, James Broadhurst, Mark Reddish, Faifili Levave, TJ Perenara, Papa Wharewera, Ope Peleseuma, Ambrose Curtis, Parataiso Silafai-Lea'ana
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant referees: Kane McBride, AN Other