CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 28: Conrad Smith (C) of the Hurricanes celebrates with team mates during the round seven Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Hurricanes at AMI Stadium on March 28, 2014 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

Livewire winger Alapati Leiua fended off five tacklers in a brilliant individual try to lift the Wellington Hurricanes to a thrilling 29-26 win over the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday.

In a pulsating match packed with highlights, Leiua's scintillating dash down the right wing gave the visiting side a three-point lead with seven minutes left that the Crusaders were unable to bridge.

The Hurricanes were dominant early, with flanker Faifili Levave and scrumhalf TJ Perenara scoring tries to drive their team to a 17-3 lead after 20 minutes but winger Johnny McNicholl hit back with a brace of tries in seven minutes to help the Crusaders to a one-point halftime advantage.

Hurricanes winger Julian Savea chased his own kick to touch down only two minutes after the break, but Crusaders flyhalf Colin Slade scored his side's third and final try in the 56th minute to keep the home side in touch before Leiua's late effort sealed the contest. – Reuters