The Hurricanes have beaten the Crusaders 41-31 in the first pre-season match of 2015 at Eketehuna in front of a 4000 strong crowd.
The home side scored six tries in the match which was divided into four 20 minute quarters. Emphatic blindside Brad Shields scored the opening try of the game while former Rebels fullback Jason Woodward and All Blacks prop Ben Franks touched down for the others in the first period for a 17-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Newcomer to Super Rugby, Hawkes Bay lock Geoff Cridge, opened the scoring in the second quarter with a try followed by Ray Lee-Lo who played at second five-eighth in his first match for the Hurricanes since returning from a one-year stint with the Crusdaers.
Tries to Crusaders Matt Todd and Johnny McNicol got their side back in touch but Hurricanes prop Reggie Goodes gave the home side a 31-12 lead at halftime.
In the third stanza both sides rang the changes including the introduction of Dan Carter for the Crusaders. Matt Proctor extended the Hurricanes lead to 38-12 before Robbie Fruean and David Havilli scored three unanswered Crusdaers tries to complete the scoring in the game.
Woodward added four conversions in the game for the Hurricanes and Otere Black added a late penalty while Richie Mo'unga and Carter kicked the conversions for the Crusaders.
The Hurricanes next pre-season is against the Blues in Auckland this weekend before they head to Sotuh Africa for the opening match in Super Rugby against the Lions.
Hurricanes 41 (Jason Woodward, Brad Shields, Geoff Cridge, Ben Franks, Reggie Goodes, Matt Proctor tries; Jason Woodward 4 conversions; Otere Black penalty)
Crusaders 31 (Matt Todd, Johnny McNicholl, David Havilli, Robbie Fruean 2 tries; Richie Mo’unga conversion; Dan Carter 2 conversions