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Super 14: Bulls defeat Crusaders 27-12

Super 14: Bulls defeat Crusaders 27-12

Springbok flyhalf Derick Hougaard converted eight penalties and a drop goal Saturday to kick the Bulls to a 27-12 victory over the Canterbury Crusaders in their Super 14 semifinal.
The victory at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium set up the competition's first all-South African final on May 19. The Bulls will travel to Durban to play the Sharks who defeated the Auckland Blues 34-18 in the other semifinal.
It was the Crusaders' first semifinal loss in the competition.
Both teams defended well which canceled out the attacking flair of the Crusaders. The Bulls were then able to take advantage of errors the opposition made in trying to break the stranglehold.
Crusaders captain Richie McCaw was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes at the start of the final quarter for repeated infringements at rucks and mauls, and Hougaard kicked the resulting penalty to stretch the lead to 24-12.
"They put us under such pressure, they forced us to give away penalties," McCaw said. "But they certainly deserved the win tonight."
Hougaard kicked five penalties in the first half, to which All Black flyhalf Daniel Carter replied with three of his own. But it was Hougaard's fifth which made it clear to the Crusaders that they could not afford to concede penalties. He kicked it from two meters inside his own half on the stroke of halftime to give the Bulls a 15-9 lead.
After the break, the Bulls kept it tight, with Hougaard enjoying good service from his forwards _ as well as from scrumhalf Heinie Adams who replaced Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez.
Carter pulled a penalty back, but then McCaw was absent for 10 minutes, during which time Hougaard kicked a drop goal which put the game beyond the reach of the Crusaders.
"It was very tough for us," said McCaw. "Whenever we got the ball, they stopped us in our tracks, and once they got some momentum in the first 10 minutes of the second half, they were difficult to counter," he said.
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Scores: Bulls 27 (Derick Hougaard 8 penalties; Hougaard drop goal) def. Crusaders 12 (Daniel Carter 4 penalties).
Halftime: 15-9.


Updated : 2021-10-28 13:29 GMT+08:00