There's nothing bigger than the Chiefs
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder pointed to the impact of senior players Dan Carter and Kieran Read as crucial in their victory over the Blues.
The seven-time Super Rugby champions were dominant in their 23-3 victory over their Kiwi rivals, and Blackadder said that Carter helped to set the tone for his team.
"He's been very inspirational, and has been leading the charge in that transition area. He's confident, he's leading well, and though some big tackles went in from everyone, he in particular put everything on the line," he told Fairfax media.
Read returned from injury to skipper the side, and was at his destructive best from the word go.
"He's huge. Just having Kieran Read out there again and leading the charge ... George [Whitelock] has done a fantastic job, but when you bring a guy like Reado in he's got that firepower and that physical presence," said Blackadder.
The Crusaders have had to call on Taranaki hooker Laurence Corlett as Corey Flynn is suffering from a tight hamstring and Ben Funnell has suffered a minor medial ligament injury against the Blues, whilst Adam Whitelock is also sidelined with a knee injury.
Blackadder's side face the Chiefs this weekend in a massive clash that could have a big impact on which team tops the New Zealand conference.
"Every week you get challenged. There's nothing bigger than the Chiefs. They've set the benchmark the last two years and still are. We'll lick our wounds and regroup," he said.