Crusaders coach Scott Robertson took time to celebrate Kieran Read's efforts following his side's 38-14 victory over the Highlanders last night.
Having taken part in a stop-start season with injury and All Blacks rest duty hampering his availability, Read was a standout in the Crusaders' quarter-final victory, sealing a semi-final berth in their attempt for a third straight title.
Speaking to media after the match, Robertson praised Read's effort, which he said was instrumental to the Crusaders' win.
"He's one of those players that the media love to jump on if he sneezes," Robertson joked.
"He's a special player, a great leader for us. It just shows his class.
"He hasn't played a lot of rugby, but when he gets two or three games into him, he is world class."
Read and the Crusaders will face the winner of tonight's clash between the Hurricanes and the Bulls in Wellington.