Colin Slade kicked the Canterbury Crusaders to a cliff-hanger 18-17 victory over the Waikato Chiefs in a physically demanding clash between New Zealand's two glamour Super 15 sides on Saturday. It was the second loss of the year for the defending champions Chiefs, but they remain at the head of the New Zealand conference three points clear of the fast-charging Crusaders. Meanwhile, an Israel Folau try in the opening 28 seconds proved the difference as the New South Wales Waratahs ended a nine-year Super 15 losing streak against the Northern Bulls. Folau scored his ninth try of the season on his return from a throat injury to propel the Waratahs to a hard-fought 19-12 win in Sydney. On a wet night in Hamilton that nullified the opportunity for a free-flowing performance, Slade kicked all of the Crusaders points with six penalties as they turned around a 9-17 deficit at half-time to bank their fifth win from eight matches. But it was Slade's all round game that drew praise from stand-in skipper Ryan Crotty. "He was a big part of getting the momentum back in the second half. He kept the ball in front of us, put them under pressure and we capitalised on the back of that," Crotty said. "It was like the Crusaders sides of old. We dug deep and clawed our way back into it." The Chiefs scored the only try of the match, just on half-time, with the remainder of their points coming from the boot of Gareth Anscombe. Anscombe had a chance to win the game on full-time with a 51-metre penalty attempt, but the ball fell short of the posts. The Waratahs' first win over the Bulls since 2005 was watched by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and took the Tahs to within one point of the ACT Brumbies at the top of the Australian conference. The Bulls remained second behind the Coastal Sharks in the South African conference. Folau was controversially pulled out of the Waratahs match against Western Force in Perth last week by the Australian Rugby Union overriding the team's medical staff on the state of the prized fullback's bruised throat. But the former rugby league international showed again what immense value he is to the Waratahs as he scored the only try of the game. Fly half Bernard Foley kicked four penalties and a conversion to keep the Waratahs in front against the fast-finishing Bulls. In Durban, the Sharks battled home to beat the Cheetahs 19-8. In Cape Town, the Stormers overcame the Lions 18-3.