Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Monday, May 10, 2010

Highlights of the Bulls vs Crusaders thriller at Loftus

The game of the weekend in the Super 14 took place at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday night as the table topping Bulls hosted the mighty Crusaders in a thrilling match that ended with controversy. To avoid the result, stop reading now and skip to the video.

It was a fast paced affair as both sides threw everything into it as home semi final places were up for grabs. Morne Steyn kicked 25 points for the home side, while Dan Carter scored 15 of his own as he showed his class once again.

The thriller produced more than a few high quality tries, but ultimately came down to a controversial call by the assistant ref as Francois Hougaard scored a late try that gave the Bulls their home semi. It ended 40-35 to the hosts.

The Crusaders were furious as there looked to be a knock-on, but replays showed that the ball was in fact knocked back by one of their own players before Hougaard gathered. Whether the pass from replacement hooker Bandise Maku was heading forward or not is another issue entirely.

Bulls lock Victor Matfield, who himself scored on the night, said he felt the decision was correct.

"Replays proved it was the correct decision and the touch judge made a great call," he said, before praising the opposition. "They are a great championship side who caught us out a few times. Crusaders are the best side this competition has seen."

Loftus Versfeld will be unavailable for the May 22 semi-final due to football World Cup preparations, so the Bulls will play in Soweto for the first time ever.

That final try - good call or bad call?

Time: 05:03
Note: Better quality highlights will replace these soon



  • The first try shown by the Crusaders was an amazing bit of play involving props and second rows.

    By Blogger Disco, at May 10, 2010 12:41 pm  

  • Crusaders were better imo, but Bulls are incredible. Mentally so strong ! Great HL, Thx from France.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 12:46 pm  

  • the last call is perfect,great work from the assistant.
    Thx from Italy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 12:49 pm  

  • Oh and I forgot, forward pass on the last try... this is unfair for the Crusaders.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 12:49 pm  

  • best forward try iv seen that first one!
    Yee in fairness was a try at the end.

    By Anonymous Matt, at May 10, 2010 12:50 pm  

  • Anon, the touch judge intervened to point out that the last pass was a fair pass that came off Crusader number 17.

    You can see in the replay that the pass was headed backwards; I think it's impossible to say if the pass would have been forward or not, had no.17 not palmed it backwards but the fact is, he did so the linesman was right to tell the ref there was no knock on. Great call.

    By Blogger Disco, at May 10, 2010 12:55 pm  

  • are there knock ons with your head?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 1:07 pm  

  • I have sympathy for the Crusaders, that try was huge in the context of the season, but it was a legit try.

    The moaning, however, from Saders supporters has been completely out of proportion. There is literally zero evidence that was not the correct call by the match officials; and in real-time, the thing that stands out is Francois Hougaard's reflexes. That "pass" pin-balled off Franks twice and Maku's head, it was pretty exceptional focus on Hougaard's part to grab the ball when it came into reach.

    By Anonymous edbok, at May 10, 2010 1:10 pm  

  • the Bulls have now won 18 in a row at Loftus and cannot lose that record this season as they're now playing their final games in Soweto.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 1:18 pm  

  • THESE HIGHLIGHTS MISSED MORNE's two long range drop goals, 50 meters out and one pressure kick with the crusaders leading with 5 to go from 40 out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 1:24 pm  

  • That is a forward pass. The ball is travelling forward when it gets knocked back by the crusaders, look at the angle of the passing players hands.

    By Anonymous t0m0, at May 10, 2010 1:42 pm  

  • I think the Bulls did pretty amazingly, especially seeing that they played 17 minutes of this game (21%) with 14 players on the field...

    If the ball hits a players hit it is known as an EAGLE an is not a knock on.

    Hougaard was not offside either.

    No idea how he managed to come through and pick that ball up in time but had the Crusaders not stopped to complain, they would have been able to tackle him, there were three defenders within tackling distance.

    Freak situation for the Crusaders and they must feel robbed, but it could have happened to anyone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 1:47 pm  

  • no try for two reasons :

    -the pass is forward, knocked back by red into blue hands : no advantage, come back to a scrum red put-in

    -secondly, it seems to me it touches blue player's shoulder last

    but it really shudnt have been a try
    but he was still an enjoyable game

    By Anonymous Luxi, at May 10, 2010 1:48 pm  

  • @ Luxi

    Mate, "knocked back by red into blue hands", where do you get this from - the reply CLEARLY shows it hit a Blue head, the hands were not part of it.

    Come on man get real, there is video proof of this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 1:51 pm  

  • Even if those of you who think this try is fair believe that the ball was not travelling forwards out of Maku's hands (I certainly dont agree with you), Hougaard was in front of Maku when it came off his head, placing him in an offside position. Another reason that the try should not have been awarded. Unfortunately the Sth African assistant was too busy smiling to have made the right call. So much for being impartial!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 1:55 pm  

  • Crusaders played a mighty strong game. Bulls were very lucky Jonker didn't like Crockett's scrummaging for some reason. That last try was no knock-on, for sure, but I think it was a pretty obvious forward pass. But that happens.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 2:07 pm  

  • Superb refereeing. To keep a cool-head in that atmosphere. Was clearly knocked back.
    In answer to anon's question, a knock-on cannot happen if the ball comes off a head.

    By Blogger whatdidyousay, at May 10, 2010 2:08 pm  

  • Can you knock on from a headbutt? Anyway, who cares. Too late now.

    By Anonymous Muzza, at May 10, 2010 2:13 pm  

  • the ball had surely touched blue player's shoulder last....it is a forward pass!

    no worries, the Crusader will come back to SA with a stronger mindset to beat the bulls in the final at Soweto.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 2:15 pm  

  • "Hougaard was in front of Maku when it came off his head, placing him in an offside position."
    That's not offside. It would only be offside if the ball was kicked or a ruck formed or maul. If you pass the ball backwards and a teammate that was in front of you gets it, it's not offside.

    By Anonymous Carlos, at May 10, 2010 2:21 pm  

  • I have watched the Super14 over the last few weeks and in all honesty I have to say that the standard compared to the Heineken Cup , Magners League and even the English Premiership is poor. OK its entertaining but the amount of missed tackles is crazy , the competition at ruck is non existant because no team commits players to the ruck . The scrum is a lottery and apart from a few noteable place kickers the penalty taking in poor.

    The Super14 looks more and more like a Union/League Hydrid game

    Sorry guys

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 2:36 pm  

  • hahahhaa at anonymous above
    youare on delusional moron

    By Anonymous rehanbb, at May 10, 2010 2:47 pm  

  • Super 14 has the best players in the World, sorry. Go watch your slow rugby up north, the reason why your players never slip tackles is because your attack is slow and predictable, when I watch magners etc. I can call the game 2-3 rucks before it actually happens, while I'm drunk, PREDICTABLE ATTACK.

    As for this match, notice how you will have a LOT of fans on here calling foul play on the Bulls and the refs (even though SA has the 3 best refs in the world)

    Strange how so many people hate South Africa, I suppose its due to the Lions tour and the World Cup and T3 title/09 Super 14 title they currently have tucked away.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 2:58 pm  

  • How can someone compare S14 with Guiness Premiership? As a french i'm happy with our Top14 which is in my opinion the best domestic competition; but from all club competitions, S14 is by far the greatest, largely before the Hcup

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 4:30 pm  

  • as a NH rugby fan
    i enjoyed to watch these highlights. even if SH defences seemed very poor, u can't forget that crusaders and bulls are 2 huge teams as toulouse or munster can be in NH.

    concerning the last try, it's very hard to judge but it seems a forward pass...

    in these cases, i would prefer to give the call to the attacking team

    By Blogger Flooz, at May 10, 2010 4:33 pm  

  • IF you had TMO in the field of play.

    Knocked backwards by red (play on)
    Hit by blue player's head (play on)
    Gathered by blue player in front of heading blue player, from an offside position. Scrum red

    But in real time, there is so little way to see it. The dominant physical act a referee could see was the red player's hand.

    The red player himself is shielding the TJ's line of sight from seeing the blue player's head make contact.

    The call was not metaphysically correct, but was the best call possible in the game we had with the Laws on the books.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at May 10, 2010 6:02 pm  

  • The last try was a a good call, but a cheeky play none the less. The Bulls worked it to their advantage. Good for them

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 6:04 pm  

  • I give full credit to the linesman for picking it up. It did hit a Crusaders player...BUT.....the ball was going forward already and was just knocked forward even more.

    It was a forward pass.

    By Blogger jphmichaud, at May 10, 2010 6:34 pm  

  • good call, knocked back by crusader and no knock ons with head

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 6:35 pm  

  • I honestly don't know if it was forward or not but I am just happy seeing a touchjudge actually make a call. That is what these guys should be doing far more often

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 6:36 pm  

  • All in all, it's a good call from TJ.
    You find the ball touched red's hand, blue head, red's hand again, blue head or shoulder only after 2 slow motion replay and a camera angle impossible to have from referee (behind deadball line)!

    What you can see in real time is red hand touch, so for me it's a great call!

    And knock on is with a part of your body between your shoulders and your knees, an unwanted touch with head it's not knock on!

    But anyway, the video does not show the scrum and the dropgoal stopped by McCaw.
    In that scrum, there were not a crusaders backrow correctly tied to the scrum.
    7, 8 and 6 were just keeping their hands on the scrum.

    Offside position! ;)

    By Blogger Madflyhalf, at May 10, 2010 7:12 pm  

  • madflyhalf,

    I know what you mean. I get that referees may "judge" binding.

    But what gets me is when a team is putting in, and the #8 engages from "channel two" (bound between the locks), but then immediately moves to "channel one" (bound between left lock and left flanker), once his ball is fed in.

    by moving channels, he's clearly unbinding his shoulders and applying them in a move advantageous location.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at May 10, 2010 7:28 pm  

  • Yeah ok, but McCaw is the one who's charged down Steyn drop and in another footage on youtube, showing that scrum, you can see McCaw not bound with the scrum...

    well... anyway, anything is done, so we're going into one of the most emotional weekend in Super rugby history.

    Now the first 6 teams are going to play each others, fighting for 3 place in semifinals!

    My prediction is Bulls - Stormers - Waratahs - Crusaders!

    By Blogger Madflyhalf, at May 10, 2010 7:41 pm  

  • Whatever, try was given which it should have been, but the final score was 40-35, no good debating it because you can't change it, Crusaders weren't robbed and if you looked at the highlights it was the perfect call, I don't think it shows in these highlights, I didn't watch them I just watched the game.

    Amazing play by both teams, Crusaders got 2 bonus points, so whatever, still in contention for the semi-final.

    By Anonymous Les Bleus, at May 10, 2010 8:43 pm  

  • amazing game

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 10, 2010 9:16 pm  

  • I watched the match live on the net and the last call was not correct from my point of view. As someone mentioned above the pass was going forward before touching any red player.
    A couple of decisions seemed dodgy during previous plays. There is a line that was called not straight on the bulls 22 and the saders getting momentum that even the commentator didnt agree with. Same with some scrumming during 1st half. Not fair during the game and the ref should have been australian.

    By Blogger Tomas, at May 10, 2010 9:38 pm  

  • Francois Hougaard is a clown.

    By Anonymous Juggernauter, at May 10, 2010 10:27 pm  

  • the red defender is probably blocking the TJ's line of sight.

    So while he can probably see the big actions like the red player's hand, the more subtle stuff is much harder to see --

    and that includes judging a forward pass that only travelled 1-3 meters before a defender hits it.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at May 11, 2010 12:22 am  

  • Francois Hougaard is a very exciting player to watch, he plays with so much passion and enthusiasm.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 11, 2010 1:25 am  

  • Carlos, it is offside - you are claiming that you can simply head-butt the ball through the line as far as you want to one of your players in front of you - ridiculous.

    People are claiming that crusaders fans are simply whining and should accept the result. That may be true but this game is evidence (and im certainly not confining it to the final call of the game) of a bigger fault in the game which can be remedied, the appointment of 'home team' reffing.The Bulls already have altitude, how many more home ground advantages do they need?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 11, 2010 1:32 am  

  • Looks like the pass would've been LATERAL if it hadn't been knocked back by the Crusaders player. Great call by the touch judge, IMO. But then again, I thought Steve Walsh's call was fair enough (harsh, for sure, but still "fair")....

    But none of that matters anyways, as the results of the game are what count.

    By Anonymous pio, at May 11, 2010 5:09 am  

  • It was a try

    By Anonymous Jon, at May 11, 2010 5:32 am  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Typical, at May 11, 2010 6:13 am  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Jamie, at May 11, 2010 6:21 am  

  • Even if the crusader player hadn't touch it would still have been a forward pass

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 11, 2010 8:49 am  

  • i'm not sure if it's a try or not, but i am wondering: how could the ball end up being knocked backwards by franks, if it had not gone forwards before? franks was clearly in front of maku, right?

    anyway, once again this clash was the highlight of the 2010 season so far!

    By Anonymous opfazonk, at May 11, 2010 9:45 am  

  • Well spoken opfazonk, i would like to see anyone deny that without bias

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 11, 2010 2:49 pm  

  • forward pass by 16 blue
    knocked backwards by 17 red
    but lands in blue winger's hands
    => no advantage from the forward pass, come back to a red scrum, no try

    and btw, that celebration was an EPIC FAIL !!!!!! if you're gonna celebrate with fancy stuff, do it well

    By Anonymous Luxi, at May 11, 2010 2:53 pm  

  • "how could the ball end up being knocked backwards by franks, if it had not gone forwards before?"

    Here's how I saw it. (1) From Maku's hands, (2) off Franks, (3) off Maku's head, (4) off Franks again, and (5) then grabbed by Hougaard.

    I will grant you that (1) could have been forward. But no way that is often called - the ball had barely travelled, very few refs would call that a forward pass. After that, there's nothing to debate.

    I feel for the Crusaders, that was a tough break, but in my books it was a try every time.

    Anyone saying it definitely was NOT a try has the blinkers on, or they don't know the rules. A ref isn't going to call that Maku pass forward, there's no way he could be certain, and play would be allowed to continue. It's how the Super 14 is reffed, and in my view its the way the game should be reffed, with the bias towards continuity.

    By Anonymous edbok, at May 11, 2010 4:55 pm  

  • Was initially a knock on (by blue) before the hand was involved or the knock back by red..... no try as player was tackled and forced the knock on.....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 11, 2010 7:07 pm  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 11, 2010 8:58 pm  

  • Who cares, the game is over, points are on the log, Bulls will end top no matter what happens this weekend. Stop whinning like little girls, except that the Bulls are the better side throughout the S14, that's why they are in 1st place.
    Oh, the person who said the NH rugby is more exciting, please, watching paint dry is more exciting, we produce real men in the SH, not little whinning girls who call our rugby players THUGS!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 12, 2010 10:46 am  

  • Crusaders should have won: forward pass (really!) on the 1st Bulls try on the vid. No?

    By Blogger Louise, at May 12, 2010 4:24 pm  

  • ^^^ the crusaders lost - fair and square - stop complaining - reminds me of the RWC and the kiwis after the french game - GET OVER IT!! For the bulls to still win with 2x guys being sent off - shows just how damn good they really are!! TRUE CHAMPIONS!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 12, 2010 10:50 pm  

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