Replacement back James Lowe scored a last-gasp try in his debut Super Rugby match for the Chiefs to secure the double-defending champions an 18-10 win over an errant Crusaders side in Christchurch on Friday.

The 21-year-old off-season recruit sprinted 60 metres down the right try-line after intercepting a pass to sink the Crusaders' hopes after the home side pulled within a point courtesy of a penalty from Tom Taylor.

The Crusaders were left ruing seven missed penalty kicks, five from Tyler Bleyendaal in the first half and two further sprays from Taylor in the second.

Ex-Crusader Robbie Fruean, playing outside centre, punished his former team, breaking three tackles and feigning a pass inside before crossing in the corner for the opening score at the 10-minute mark as the Chiefs took an 8-0 lead at half-time.

Lock Sam Whitelock barged over for the line early in the second half to put the Crusaders within reach, but the Chiefs held on to win the re-match of the teams' hard-fought semi-final last year. – Reuters