Despite going down 33-12, Moana Pasifika made the Crusaders work for all their points with a powerful defensive display and were right in the game at the 70th minute with the score line at 21-12.
Two late tries secured a bonus point for the Crusaders and made for a slightly flattering score line for Scott Robertson’s side.
Moana Pasifika opened the scoring through a beautifully executed long range to flanker Solomone Funaki in the 13th minute to grab the early lead and scored another in the 68th minute through outside back replacement Fine Inisi.
Moana Pasifika captain Sekope Kepu played tribute to his team on a ‘historical day’.
"Pretty surreal ... 26 years they've been talking about it (having a Pacific Super Rugby team). It was about trusting ourselves and backing each other and the boys showed a lot of courage, lot of passion.
"We can take a lot of confidence out of that (because) they've set the bar for years."
Moana Pasifika 12 (Tries: Solomone Funaki, Fine Inisi Con: Lincoln McClutchie) Crusaders 33 (Tries: Codie Taylor 2, Mitchell Dunshea, Abraham Pole, Ethan Blackadder Cons: Simon Hickey 3, Richie Mo’unga 1)
Watch the highlights below: