Two late penalties from Tom Taylor handed the Crusaders a hard-fought victory over the Rebels on Sunday.
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With two tries in the opening 12 minutes the seven-time Super Rugby champions looked set to blow the lowly Melbourne side away but were made to work for their win in Christchurch.
Three unanswered tries from Scott Higginbotham, James O'Connor and Ged Robinson saw the visitors hit the front for the first time late in the contest.
It set up a thrilling finish that Crusaders inside centre Taylor made sure went the home side's way when he slotted his fifth and sixth penalties in the final 10 minutes.
Zac Guildford scored the opening try after just four minutes after he was released by Israel Dagg and they had a second just eight minutes later as Tyler Bleyendaal crossed with Taylor adding the extras.
O'Connor then booted a penalty for the Rebels before Higginbotham went over for their first try to reduce the deficit to four points.
Taylor then booted a penalty to extend the lead again before O'Connor responded in kind but a further penalty from Taylor made it 18-11 at the break.
The duo traded penalties again after the break before O'Connor went over for the Rebels second try after being set up by Higginbotham.
And the Rebels took the lead for the first time after 56 minutes as Robinson went over after a well-worked line-out with O'Connor booting the conversion.
A penalty from Taylor reduced the gap to just two points and two further kicks in the 70th and 76th minutes handed the Crusaders a nervy win.