Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has admitted it was a "different feeling" watching his side walk off the park after suffering a massive upset 33-12 loss to the Highlanders last night.
The Highlanders had dropped six players from its side, including All Black Josh Ioane, for breaching team protocol after last weekend's loss to the Hurricanes.
Up against the undefeated Super Rugby Aotearoa leaders in the Crusaders, it seemed like a tough ask for the struggling Highlanders to pull off an unlikely victory in Christchurch.
But that is exactly what they did, scoring three tries to the Crusaders one, as they pulled away late to register a comfortable 33-16 victory.
Billy Harmon, Michael Collins and Connor Garden-Bachop were the tryscorers for the visiting Highlanders, while Codie Taylor and David Havili bundled over for the Crusaders.
After the match, Robertson said his team were unable to find any rhythm in the game.
"We were up for the game and had an understanding we wanted to put in a really proud performance, but they did it to us.
"It’s a different feeling and we are hurting."
The victory meant the Highlanders jumped to third spot in the Super Rugby Aotearoa standings with 9 points, one point behind the Blues, who play the Hurricanes tonight.
The Crusaders remain top with 18 points through five games.