Absorbing some dynamic play thrown at them by the Hurricanes, the Crusaders turned the pressure around to claim a 42-32 opening-round win in Super Rugby Pacific.
Coach Scott Robertson said the Crusaders' defence just before halftime had been significant.
"We know the Hurricanes can break out, change the game quickly. Jordie Barrett – how good is Jordie? He just shows class and the ability to play 80 minutes in the first game back and to perform like that is pretty special," he said.
The Crusaders' defence and their ability to go to their set-piece when they needed to had been crucial.
Robertson said the ability to train the players' mindset to think a play ahead had helped.
Cohesion gained over time by both the coaching and playing groups contributed to achieving that, he said.
"Their instinct kicks in," he said.
Stepping in at first five-eighths in Richie Mo'unga's absence, Fergus Burke had been composed, sharp when required and did his job well, he said.
"We're really pleased for him, he's worked hard and he's waited for this op [opportunity]," he said.
Having to undertake a four-hour bus trip from Queenstown to play at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin was taken as another of the challenges the Crusaders put in front of them.
Robertson said by the time they played a couple of podcasts and sang a couple of songs, they were halfway there.
"We've realised we are going to have to make sacrifices, we have to adapt to scenarios. Coming here and playing under this roof is a different chance for us to challenge us around being a little more uncomfortable. It's a unique chance to find out about yourself," he said.
Hurricanes coach Jason Holland acknowledged the Crusaders' ability to score when opportunities occurred.
The Hurricanes had not only missed the chances for hooker Asafo Aumua and loose forward Ardie Savea, but he missed four or five other chances.
"We're in the business of winning so we've got to make sure we learn from that," he said.
"You do need a little bit of luck at times, and there was a lot of other moments that didn't require luck - they required a bit of skill under pressure.
"But I saw lots of really good signs we can build on," he said.
Injuries to Hurricanes players included an ankle problem for centre Billy Proctor and a back injury suffered by Du'Plessis Kirifi.
Crusaders 42 (Tries: Fainga’anuku 3, Penalty try, Klein, Cons: Burke 2, Hickey, Pens: Burke 3) Hurricanes 32 (Tries: Love, Sullivan, Barrett, Garden-Bachop, Cons: Barrett 3, Pens Barrett 2)
CRUSADERS: 15 Will Jordan, 14 George Bridge, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Oli Jager, 2 Brodie McAlister, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Shilo Klein, 17 George Bower, 18 Tamaiti Williams, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Mitch Dunshea, 21 Mitch Drummond, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Sevu Reece.
HURRICANES: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Ruben Love, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Justin Sangster, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Pouri Rakete-Stones.
Replacements: 16 Jacob Devery, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Ben May, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Brayden Iose, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Bailyn Sullivan.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant referees: James Doleman, Fraser Hannon
A few updates for round 2. Can't wait to see Moana Pasifika in action#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/02ryxcUuoE— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) February 20, 2022