We've got to be a careful
The Crusaders may have outscored the Reds by four tries to none, but captain Kieran Read felt it was defence that won the game.
The Crusaders sounded an ominous warning when they summarily dispatched the Reds, 38-9, to march into the Super Rugby semifinals.
They will have to wait till Sunday to find out who, and where, they play in the semifinals. If the Brumbies beat the Cheetahs in Canberra, the Crusaders will head to Hamilton to face the Chiefs. If the Cheetahs win, the Crusaders will travel to Pretoria (to face the Bulls) and the Cheetahs will tackle the Chiefs.
Flyhalf Dan Carter scored a try among 20 points as the seven-time champions put on display a fluent performance of attacking rugby.
Carter scored the second of four tries by the Christchurch-based Crusaders and kicked three conversions and three penalties - six goals from eight attempts - to reward his team's physical domination of the Reds, who were champions two years ago.
Read, who described the win as "pretty pleasing", said it was nice to hit your straps at this time of the year.
"We set the tone really early and turned it on from there," Read said of a 10-0 lead his team took with a converted try and a penalty in the opening exchanges.
Asked about his team's ability to keep the Reds tryless, Read said he was pretty happy with the defence.
"In finals [play-off] games your D is where character shows and probably where it is won," the skipper said, adding: "Certainly we stepped up there from last week.
"The conditions also helped us to play a bit of free-flowing footy and that was nice as well."
He said his team's flowing game comes off a "bit of dominance up front".
"We were able to get over the advantage line and get a bit of quick ball," Read said, adding: "We got that right and hope to do it again next week."
However, he warned about getting carried away with the big victory, suggesting that they need to keep their feet on the ground.
"We've got to be a careful. Every time we've had a good win, we've lapsed the following week.
"You certainly can't afford to do that at this time of year.
"We'll go to the drawing board again on Monday and look forward to whomever we play."