Shutting the Sharks down and inducing a night of skills paralysis and tactical imperfection, the Crusaders ran in five unanswered tries to claim a 38-6 win and an Investec Super Rugby final berth next week.
It is quite fitting that the Commonwealth Games is being staged in Scotland in 2014 just two years out from Sevens making its grand debut at the Summer Olympics, after all, it was here in the Borders to the South that the game began.
Not only will the All Blacks be attempting to win a vital first leg of the Bledisloe Cup, and gain away points in the Investec Rugby Championship, when they play Australia in Sydney on August 16, they also have a date with rugby history.
We look back on last edition of the Commonwealth Games, which took place in Delhi and saw the New Zealand team win their fourth successive Commonwealth Games gold medal, beating Australia 24-17 in the final of the 2010 Games.
Travelling across the Indian Ocean for a Investec Super Rugby knock-out game is one of the toughest assignments in this competition, but that is exactly what is facing the Sharks when they take on the seven-time champion Crusaders in Christchurch in the first semi-final on Saturday morning.
The Sharks team named by Director of Rugby Jake White shows a number of changes from last week’s line-up, albeit not in any major disruptive way as the team prepare for Saturday’s Investec Super Rugby Finals Series semi-final showdown with the Crusaders.