8 May 2010

Crusaders fall to dubious late try but remain alive

8:06 am on 8 May 2010

The Bulls of South Africa have beaten the Crusaders 40-35 in the visitors' must-win Super 14 rugby match in Pretoria.

The Bulls led 24-19 at half-time in a see-sawing game that saw the lead change three times in the last few minutes.

The Crusaders were in front by four tries to two when a Morne Steyn drop goal saw the Bulls take the lead 33-32, but Dan Carter landed a penalty from beyond halfway to give the Crusaders a 35-33 lead with two minutes on the clock.

After captain Richie McCaw charged down another Steyn drop goal attempt, it looked to be all over but the Bulls found space out wide on their left and scored a dubious try off what looked like a forward pass to take the victory.

Replays showed a Crusaders player touched the ball to propel it forward and the try was given.

But it was inconclusive as to whether the ball came off the hand or the head of the Crusaders player, or if the pass was forward in the first place.

The Crusaders did score two bonus points and are now fourth on 36 points, behind the Hurricanes on 37, the Stormers on 38 and the Bulls now set to host a home semi-final on 47.