The Crusaders have rumbled past another New Zealand Super Rugby opponent with a 34-20 win over the Chiefs to edge closer to defending their title.
Authoritative derby wins over the Blues and Hurricanes this month were followed by another muscular performance from the Crusaders' pack on Saturday in Hamilton.
None of their four tries was pretty, but they were enough to make it 10 wins in a row and propel their record to 12 from 14.
The Christchurch outfit take a nine-point lead over the second-placed Hurricanes into the June international break. They can wrap up the top seeding if successful in their remaining games against the Highlanders and Blues, both at home.
The Chiefs scored three tries, two of them to flanker Luke Jacobson, but the end of their 11-game winning streak in Hamilton leaves them fourth in the NZ conference and fifth overall.
Richie Mo'unga kicked five goals from as many attempts for the visitors and was sound in general play, shading All Blacks five-eighth rival Damian McKenzie for a Test bench spot against France.
Mo'unga played behind a pack who set up first-half tries to loose forwards Heiden Bedwell-Curtis and Matt Todd to lead 20-13 at halftime.
George Bridge and Luke Romano bagged their second-half tries.
A notable milestone arrived when Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett came off the bench, becoming the first player to represent a Super Rugby team 200 times.
Pete Samu also entered the game in the second half, currently subject of a Test tug-of-war this week between the Kiwi and Australian unions.
The Chiefs' hopes of an upset weren't helped by the departure at halftime of All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick, reportedly struggling with a minor shoulder injury.
Uncapped Test squad prop Karl Tu'inukuafe also hobbled off late, while injured loose forwards Sam Cane (Chiefs) and Jordan Taufua (Crusaders) were late scratchings from bench roles in further unwelcome news for the All Blacks.