The Crusaders avoided their worst start to a Super Rugby season in 17 years by beating the Blue Bulls 41-19 in the tournament's fifth round.
The Christchurch-based Crusaders lost their opening matches to the Blues and Hurricanes and were facing their first 0-3 start since Super Rugby's inaugural season in 1996.
But the seven-time Super Rugby champions scored six tries against the Pretoria-based Bulls to win their first home match of the season.
In other action, the Queensland Reds will play the Western Force in an all-Australian match later on Saturday.
The Crusaders struggled in the first 25 minutes of the match against the Bulls but quickly recovered after Robbie Fruean scored the opening try to take a 22-9 lead at half-time.
"I think that first half probably showed our intent but we didn't look after the ball as much as we needed to," the Crusaders' Keiran Read said. "The effort there was great and we just finished off at the end of the first half which was nice.
Tom Marshall broke through several Bulls tackles to score again for the Crusaders four minutes into the second half. Prop Wyatt Crockett added another try in the 62nd minute before Deon Stegmann scored the Bulls' only try, cutting the lead to 34-19.
The Crusaders finished strongly with a try to reserve scrumhalf Willi Heinz, clinching a vital win that keeps them close to their rivals in the New Zealand conference.
The Bulls weren't able to build on last weekend's win over the Auckland-based Blues.
"You've got to give credit to the Crusaders, they were on song tonight and obviously they were desperate for a win," Bulls captain Pierre Spies said. "We just couldn't get going, they kept us out of our games so credit to them for doing that today." – Sapa-AP