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Crusaders knock Bulls out of Super Rugby

Zac Guilford scored the first try of the match

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Article Published: Saturday 21 July 2012|

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The Crusaders sealed a place in next week's Super Rugby Semi-finals when they comfortably beat the Bulls 28-13 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Crusaders will have to wait until the second Super Rugby qualifier between the Reds and the Sharks to find out who they will play next weekend.

If the Reds beat the Sharks the Crusaders will travel to Cape Town to face the Stormers and if the Sharks beat the Reds then the Crusaders will travel to Hamilton to face the Chiefs.

The result has a flavour of revenge for the Crusaders as the teams have met each other three times in recent Super Rugby finals matches and all three matches were played in South Africa and won by the Bulls.

While the Crusaders won the match there will be concern as for the second week running they faded in the second half.

In a clash of Test-match proportions with 11 All Blacks in the Crusaders starting line up and 14 Springboks appearing for the Bulls, the Crusaders took control early with ferocious tackling, producing vital turnovers.

They raced to a 16-0 lead before the Bulls scored their first points with a penalty just before half-time.

Although the South Africans outscored the Crusaders in the try stakes two-to-one, they only managed to cross the line late in the game when the result was already beyond doubt.

The Crusaders meanwhile cashed in on their high penalty count as the Bulls struggled to defend their line and Dan Carter, who amassed 23 points, landed six penalties and a drop goal.

The Bulls highly vaunted set piece failed them, they were unsettled in the scrums, their rolling maul failed to make ground and fly-half Morne Steyn's usually reliable kicking radar was off.

The result continued a remarkable record for the Crusaders, the tournament's most successful team, who have won all 15 of the play-off matches they have contested at home in the history of Super rugby.

The Crusaders forwards drove lower and harder than the Bulls and their attack-at-all-costs philosophy meant they maintained a territorial advantage which enabled Carter to give them the early initiative with two penalties.

Carter was also instrumental in the Crusaders sole try when he drew Steyn off his line, opening a gap for Zac Guildford to race through to the tryline.

The All Blacks fly-half added the conversion and then a drop goal to have the Crusaders up 16-0 before a Steyn penalty put the Bulls on the board.

The Bulls started the second half with a purpose that was lacking in the first 40 minutes but within five minutes the attack fell apart in a bone-jarring tackle by Crusaders inside centre Ryan Crotty.

Within the next five minutes the Crusaders won two further penalties within the shadow of the posts and Carter converted both to increase the lead to 22-3.

The Bulls were eventually rewarded when Dewald Potgieter drove over the line and in the closing minutes Wynand Olivier scored in a rare passing movement through the backline.

However, neither Morne Steyn nor Louis Fouche later could convert either try for the Bulls while Carter landed two further penalties for the Crusaders.

Final Score Crusaders 28 (16) Bulls 13 (3)

Scorers

Crusaders
Tries - Z. Guildford
Pen - D. Carter 6
Con - D. Carter
Drop - D. Carter
Cards -

Bulls
Tries - D. Potgieter, W. Olivier
Pen - M. Steyn
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee:
Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Keith Brown
Assistant Ref 2: Glen Jackson
TMO: Garratt Williamson

Teams

Crusaders

1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Corey Flynn, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. George Whitelock, 7. Matt Todd, 8. Richie McCaw (c), 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Dan Carter (vc), 11. Zac Guildford,12. Ryan Crotty, 13. Robbie Fruean, 14. Adam Whitelock, 15. Israel Dagg.

Reserves: 16. Quentin MacDonald, 17. Ben Franks, 18. Tom Donnelly, 19. Luke Whitelock, 20. Willi Heinz, 21. Tom Taylor, 22. Sean Maitland.

Bulls

15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Pierre Spies (c), 7. Dewald Potgieter, 6. Jacques Potgieter, 5. Juandre Kruger, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Dean Greyling.

Replacements: 16. Willie Wepener, 17. Frik Kirsten, 18. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19. Deon Stegmann, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Louis Fouche, 22. Francois Venter.

 
 
 
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