Wellington just isn't a good city for the Crusaders. They haven't won there since 2012 and were never much of a chance of breaking that pattern in 2018 after being subjected to a ferocious opening half hour by a rejuvenated Hurricanes.
Clearly, the Hurricanes are glad to be back in New Zealand after two weeks on the road. They looked a lot like the team they were in 2016 – lively, ruthless, creative and connected.
They were, simply, too good for the Crusaders. They came out harder and faster – raced out to a big lead - and had the clinical edge that was maybe not apparent in the opening two weeks.
But that is the magic of being at home and indeed of a local derby – it brings the best out of teams and this was a good, solid game of rugby where both teams scrapped for everything and refused to give an inch.
The speed and physicality was hard to comprehend at times. It looked more like test football than Super Rugby.
The speed at which both sides came off the defensive line gave the game a claustrophobic feel. No one had any space or time on the ball.
It was rush, rush, rush and when the tackles came, they were hard. The Hurricanes especially had some venom in their defence, actively looking to unsettle the Crusaders with the way they threw themselves into the contact.
Ardie Savea made some useful tackles. So too did Chris Eves and Brad Shields and every man in a yellow jersey carried the ball with impact and direction.
It was breathless and relentless and it was unfortunate, but not surprising that there were casualties. Ryan Crotty was the first to leave – after barely 10 minutes - when he suffered a nasty head knock in an accidental clash with his teammate David Havili.
Sam Whitelock followed him off not so long after when he too had to have a head assessment, from which he didn't return.
It was a huge blow for the Crusaders to lose their captain and vice-captain, particularly as they were under siege in that first quarter.
It was all about the Hurricanes in the first 20 minutes. They had so much energy with or without the ball, made bold decisions on how to use the space and finished every opportunity they made.
They played with width and at pace, changing the point of attack at will – no one more effectively than Jordie Barrett who set up a try for TJ Perenara with a terrific angled run.
The Crusaders, on the other hand, couldn't get the ball and when they did have it, they were punished for every mistake they made.
One spilled ball after a promising passage saw Beauden Barrett pick up, time the pass to Ben Lam and the former sevens player took off to go all the way.
Even after the Crusaders did manage to score a try to close the gap to 21-5 after half an hour, they were so sloppy on the kick-off exit that the ball was charged down and the Hurricanes scored the easiest five points.
A lesser team would have been broken at that point. But not the Crusaders. They cranked their set piece, dragged their way back into the game and made a fist of things in the second half.
But they had left themselves too much to do and they lacked the composure and accuracy in those critical times to take advantage of the half chances they created.
Hurricanes 29 (C. Eves, TJ Perenara, B. Lam, M. Proctor tries; B. Barrett 3 cons; J. Barrett pen)
Crusaders 19 (M. Mataele, J. Taufua, M. Ala'alatoa tries; M. Hunt cons)