New Zealand’s Canterbury Crusaders kept alive their Super 14 title hopes with a tense 16-13 win over the Bulls on Friday.
Canterbury flyhalf Stephen Brett kicked his team to their third victory in as many weeks with two penalties, a conversion and a drop goal after lock Isaac Ross scored their only try in the first half.
”It was a really tough game tonight, the Bulls really gave it to us, especially that second half,” Crusaders captain Kieran Read said.
Wing Akona Ndungane scored two tries for the Bulls, who were unbeaten this season until losing to Otago last weekend.
”[We scored] two tries to one but we didn’t win the game and that’s what’s important,” Bulls skipper Victor Matfield said.
”In the second half we kept the ball in hand pretty nicely but just couldn’t finish.”
The Crusaders made a bright start with Ross scoring in the fifth minute and Brett converting and adding a penalty to give the defending champions a 10-0 lead.
The Bulls cut the margin to five points at halftime when Ndungane scored six minutes before the break but a Brett drop goal gave the home side an eight-point lead.
The Bulls drew level on the hour when Ndungane scored his second try and Morne Steyn landed a penalty after missing two conversion attempts but a second penalty from Brett decided the outcome. – Reuters