The Super 14 champions sneaked a 24-19 win over the Force in Perth.
The Force went to a 19-5 lead at half-time, but the Crusaders struck back typically in the second period. Although the quality of play left a lot to be desired, the Saders scored three tries after the break. George Whitelock picked up his second while Jared Payne and Kade Poki also crossed the line.
The Force will play the Reds on 5 February while the Crusaders are up against the hapless Highlanders next Friday.
Force - Tries: Penalty try, Josh Tatupu, Josh Holmes. Conversions: Scott Daruda (2).
Crusaders - Tries: George Whitelock (2), Jared Payne, Kade Poki. Conversions: Colin Slade, Hamish Gard.