The Bull scored two tries to one but were no match for the dominant Crusaders, who produced a 28-13 victory in the Super Rugby Semi Finals qualifier in Christchurch yesterday. They will travel to Hamilton to take on the Chiefs for a place in the Final.
While the final score, and the try count, may be a bit deceiving, this match was anything but close as the Crusaders fired out of the blocks at a pace the Bulls simply couldn’t match.
“We just couldn’t get in the game in that first half and the Crusaders put us under pressure by putting some points on the board,” said Bulls captain Pierre Spies.
“We just couldn’t get our game on the go from the start and that made it very difficult as we had to play catch-up rugby and when you play the Crusaders here things can get really tough.
“When you play finals rugby you have got to be spot on, you have got to be disciplined, and that is what the Crusaders were tonight, they put us under pressure and they got the points.” he added.
Dan Carter had a great game that included 23 points with the boot, and a scoring pass for the home side’s solitary try, scored by winger Zac Guildford. Carter also kicked a right footed dropgoal.
“I think in the first 20 minutes we kept them down the field and didn’t give them any momentum and while our attacking play was good we couldn’t finish, but we kept up at it until we eventually did,” said captain Richie McCaw.
To add to the misery for the Bulls, Bjorn Basson is in a New Zealand hospital after suffering a torn intestine in the first half. He will stay there for another five days, and be out of rugby for 6 weeks.