The Bulls will be going all out on Friday to keep them in contention for a Semi final spot. It’s a big ask as the Bulls need a 5 point win against the Crusaders, luckily the Crusaders have rested McCaw and apear to be stuttering.
This is probably the biggest match of the weekend and will have a big influence on the outcome at the top of the log. If teh Crusaders pick up one point today they should be assured of a Semi-final spot but the Crusaders being the team they are they will want to bounce back from last week’s loss and the weeks before’s draw.
If the match was in Christchurch it would probably be a forgone conclusion but as the match is at Loftus where the Bulls are notoriously strong this should be a huge match from two top sides.
Almost Live match summary
Referee: Scott Young (Aus)
Conditions – Good
Hamilton is on the bench at 22.
The Crusaders have started well creating the overlap but Rico Gear passed the ball to Carter’s head.
The Crusaders who get the first try of the night as Tanerau Latimer gets the ball from the wing and goes over.
The Bulls come back create the overlap but the ball is passed and no one is there.
The Bulls give away a penalty and Carter will take it – He misses
Bulls 0 Crusaders 7
The Crusaders keep up the pressure as Aaron Mauger goes over for the try.
Bulls 0 Crusaders 14
The Bulls keep getting the ball and passing to non existant players. The Bulls seem to be rattled. Jaco van der Westhuyzen gets the ball and kick out on the full.
Crusaders keep up the pressure keeping the attack onasthe Bulls are forced to keep resorting tokicking the ball to clear. When the Bulls do get the ball and tryto run it the Crusaders defence is impeccable.
Bulls pressure pays off asNdungane forces the Crusaders out for the line out which is working well for the Bulls.
Bulls have a free kick and go for the lineout. They attack but the Crusaders turn the ball over and send it all the way down to the Bulls 25.
Bulls give away a penalty and Carter goes for posts.
He misses again!
Its back and forth as both sides trade kicks but its the Crusaders who blunder the kick first.
Bulls win the lineout and go wide. The attack on the right and as they are going forward an offside Crusader hand goes to the ball. Penalty to the Bulls. Steyn gets the Bulls first points of the night with a penalty.
Bulls3 Crusaders 14
Crusaders get near the Bulls 25 and Carter lines up for the drop – he gets it.
Bulls 3 Crusaders 17
Again van der Westhuyzen boots down field and it rolls behind the dead ball line.
Crusaders get a penalty and Carter gets this one.
Bulls 3 Crusaders 20
Bulls keep getting pinged for playing the ball on the ground as another penalty is awaded to the Crusaders.
Carter gets another one
Bulls 3 Crusaders 23
As the game restarts the Crusaders kick out on the full and the hooters goes – its half time
Bulls 3 Crusaders 23
2nd half is underway
Crusaders continue where they left off keeping the Bulls unders pressure
A handling error sees the ball going to ground and MacDonald picks up and scores the try
Carter misses the conversion
Bulls 3 Crusaders 28
The Bulls get their best attack of the night as du Preez kicks the ball down the line. Carter is there to defend.
Bakkies Botha comes off. Is this now a lost cause for the Bulls?
The Crowd is losing interest as Latimer scores the Crusaders bonus point try.
Bulls 3 Crusaders 35
Some of the loyal Loftus crowd have given up and are going home. Even the Mexican wave cant keep them.
Greg Somerville is sin binned as the Bulls on the attack 5 m out.
Victor Matfield scores a try for the Bulls. TV replay suggests he might have lost it in the tackle
Morne Steyn converts
Bulls10 Crusaders 35
Penalty just inside the Crusaders half but Carter goes for it. His kick is short.
The Bulls are still attacking and they come up with another try as replacementHeini Adams dives over for the try
Morne Steyn doesn’t miss the conversion
Bulls17 Crusaders 35
The Bulls suddenly come to life but it all comes too late. They have options on both sides, Danie Rossouw dives over the line but loses control. No try.
The hooter goes. Full time score Bulls 17 Crusaders 35
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15 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JP Nel, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Frikkie Welsh, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Tim Dlulane, 6 Jacques Cronje, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Danie Thiart, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Wessel Roux.
Reserves: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 Danie Rossouw, 19 Pierre Spies, 20 Francois van Schouwenburg, 21 Heini Adams, 22 Bryan Habana.
15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Aaron Mauger, 11 Caleb Ralph, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andrew Ellis, 8 Mose Tuiali’i, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Johnny Leo’o, 5 Reuben Thorne (c), 4 Chris Jack, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Reserves: 16 Tone Kopelani, 17 Campbell Johnstone, 18 Craig Clarke, 19 Brad Mika, 20 Kevin Senio, 21 Cameron McIntyre, 22 Scott Hamilton.