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Bulls survive late Crusaders charge to win thriller

Date

David Legge

BULLS 32 CRUSADERS 30

Crusaders winger Sean Maitland crashes into the Bulls defence.

Crusaders winger Sean Maitland crashes into the Bulls defence. Photo: AFP

PRETORIA: The Bulls survived a late Crusaders onslaught to triumph 32-30 on Saturday in a thrilling Super Rugby clash of former champions.

MATCH STATS

The home team recovered from an early 10-point deficit to lead by 16 points with 10 minutes remaining before a vocal holiday crowd at the Loftus Versfeld fortress of the three-time title holders.

But seven-time champions Crusaders hit back with winger Zac Guildford crossing for a try Dan Carter converted and replacement back Tom Taylor having another try disallowed before Tom Marshall raced in and Carter converted again.

That left just two points between the southern hemisphere provincial giants and as the hooter sounded for time, Crusaders found themselves with the ball but inside their 22-metre line.

Retaining possession under fierce pressure and receiving two penalties, the visitors forced their way to the halfway line before surrendering possession and a relieved replacement scrum-half Jano Vermaak booted the ball into touch.

Bulls ended with only 40 per cent possession in a match of three phases, but their superiority for the first 30 minutes of the second half reaped 23 points with master goal kicker Morne Steyn in top form.

The Springbok fly-half succeeded with eight of 10 shots at the posts -- two conversions and six penalties -- and his perfectly weighted chip kick set up centre Wynand Olivier for the Bulls second try.

Prop Dean Greyling scored the other four minutes into the second half as he collected a pass from flank CJ Stander, sold a dummy any back would have been proud of and dived over for only his second Super 15 touchdown.

Crusaders retained possession superbly throughout the first half and would not have been flattered by a bigger half-time lead than 13-9, but added just three points before their late scoring surge.

Star fly-half Dan Carter, making his second start after a lengthy injury lay-off that sidelined him during the triumphant All Blacks march to the 2011 Rugby World Cup title, missed four kicks out of seven at goal.

He converted tries by skipper and eighthman Kieran Read, Guildford and Marshall, kicked a penalty and a drop goal and replacement Tom Taylor succeeded with his one penalty attempt.

Crusaders, who defeated lowly Golden Lions in Johannesburg last weekend, return home for a third consecutive clash with a South African side as leaders Western Stormers visit Christchurch while Bulls are away to the Lions.

BULLS 32 (Dean Greyling, Wynand Olivier tries Morne Steyn 2 cons 6 pens) bt CRUSADERS 30 (Zac Guildford, Tom Marshall, Kieran Read tries Daniel Carter 3 cons Carter, Tom Taylor pens drop goal) at Loftus Versfeld. Referee: Jaco Peyper.

AFP

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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