Crusaders end Bulls Semi-final dreams




The Crusaders kept their home semi-final hopes alive in the 13th week of the Super 14. Their two week dip in form will be put down as a stutter.

Captain Richie McCaw was rested for this match and many thought that this would be the Crusaders downfall. Instead Richie McCaw sat in the coaches box watching the match feeling very relaxed as the Crusaders turned over ball after ball without him.

Everytime the Bulls attacked they were forced wide and the ball twice went to non-existant players. In the first half the Bulls made 5 handling errors while the Crusaders made none.

Latimer scored the first try of the evening and this was followed shortly after by Mauger who also went over. The Bulls did recover somewhat but only managed a Steyn penalty bringing the score to Bulls 3 Crusaders 23 at half time.

MacDonald opened the scoring for the Crusaders in the second half with a fairly soft try coming off a Bulls handling error. Carter missed the conversion making it three misses in the match at that point

With half an hour to go and the Bulls nearly 30 points down the Bulls replaced Bakkies Botha leaving the 41 968 strong crowd to wonder if the match had become a lost cause for the Bulls. 10 minutes later the faithful Loftus crowd has resorted to entertaining themselves with Mexican Waves which is always a sign of boredom.

After Latimer scored his second try of the night earning the Crusaders their bonus point many of the Loftus faithful started to leave even though their were 18 minutes left on the clock.

Somerville was then sent off and Matfield scored a try with 10 minutes to go sparking a late Bulls revival.

The Crusaders were awarded a penalty just inside their half and as the Waratahs have a preferential points difference they opted to kick for the posts. Carter missed this one as well, this one coming up short.

The Bulls had a late comeback scoring a try in the dieing minutes as Heini Adams dived over for a try which Morne Steyn converted.

Danie Rossouw almost scored another try for the Bulls in the last minute but lost control as he dived over the line. The Bulls were South Africa’s only hope for the Semi final and can no longer qualify for the Semi-finals.

The Crusaders host the Brumbies next week at home where they will surely be playing for a home Semi final. The Semi finals will now surely be made up of the Crusaders, Hurricanes, Waratahs & Brumbies.

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