Ma’a Nonu starred on debut as the Highlanders beat the Crusaders 38-21 in their pre-season friendly in Oamaru on Friday.
The former Blues star marked his first appearance for the Highlanders with a try and had good synergy with Phil Burleigh in midfield.
The All Black centre was influential in his 65-minute showing while fellow new recruits Tony Woodcock and Brad Thorn played 50 and 60 minutes respectively.
The Crusaders rested key players like Kieran Read, Dan Carter, Sam Whitelock and Owen Franks.
Nonu drew first blood for the Highlanders and fullback Buxton Popoali'i dotted down the second try to give them a 12-0 lead.
The Crusaders responded well with a brace by Luke Romano but Hosea Gear had the final say in the first half, his try giving the hosts a 19-14 half-time lead.
The second half belonged to the Highlanders with Hayden Parker scoring a double and Lima Sopoaga getting in on the act.
Kieran Fonotia scored a consolation try for the Crusaders.
Tries: Nonu, Popoali'i, Gear, Parker 2, Sopoaga
Cons: Sopoaga 2, Parker 2
Tries: Romano 2, Fonotia
Cons: Taylor 2, Bleyendaal