| PRETORIA, South Africa
PRETORIA, South Africa May 7 The Bulls grabbed
a dramatic try on the hooter to beat the Canterbury Crusaders
40-35 in the Super 14 on Friday.
Wing Francois Hougaard sealed a home semi-final for the
champions when he gathered a pass from replacement hooker
Bandise Maku and dived over in the corner.
Flyhalf Morne Steyn kicked the conversion to finish with a
personal haul of 25 points for the Bulls, who played the last
six minutes with 14 men after wing Gerhard van den Heever was
yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle on Tim Bateman.
A passionate Loftus Versfeld crowd of 32,245, including
South Africa's World Cup soccer squad, was silenced two minutes
before the hooter when flyhalf Dan Carter kicked a 52-metre
penalty to snatch a 35-33 lead for the visitors.
The Bulls, unbeaten at home for 17 matches stretching back
to April 2008, started slowly and conceded two early tries to
lock Brad Thorn and scrumhalf Andy Ellis, with Carter converting
Steyn, though, chipped away at the deficit with two
penalties and a 50-metre drop goal.
Crusaders wing Sean Maitland then scored in the right corner
after a lineout, taking the lead to 19-9.
The Bulls notched their first try in the 31st minute through
Hougaard before taking the lead with a Steyn penalty and a
superb try by lock Victor Matfield.
The Crusaders hit back with an early second-half touchdown
by hooker Ti'i Paulo but Steyn kicked an easy penalty in the
56th minute to make it 27-26 to the champions.
Carter then dropped a goal before he and Steyn traded
penalties to leave the Crusaders 32-30 up with six minutes
Steyn booted a marvellous 45-metre drop goal in the 76th
minute but that was cancelled out by another Carter penalty
which set up the grandstand finish.
(Editing by Tony Jimenez. To query or comment on this story