Crusaders confused by TMO’s Try overruling

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has admitted that he was left confused by the match officials actions in their Super Rugby victory over the Lions.

For the third week in a row referee Stuart Berry was involved in a controversial decision that favoured the Lions.

The decison in Round 8 however did not impact on the result of the match which was won 7-28 by the Crusaders.

Match referee Marius van der Westhuizen awarded a try to the Crusaders in the in the 66th minute of the second half after Ryan Crotty had picked up a loose pass from Lions pivot Marnitz Boshoff.

The try was awarded to Crotty but just as Colin Slade was lining up for the conversion Referees Assistant Stuart Berry called Van der Westhuizen over and told him to check the grounding.

Van der Westhuizen then asked TMO Johan Greeff to check the try which left Slade and his Crusaders team-mates bemused.

Replays showed that Crotty had been held up by Lions loose forwards Warren Whiteley and Jaco Kriel and the try was disallowed.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said that he thought the ball had brushed the tryline and acknowledged it was a unique situation.

“I’m not too sure of the rules – I thought once you awarded a try you couldn’t take it back,” Blackadder said.

“That was a first for me,” the Crusaders coach told Fairfax.

The Crusaders were also unlucky not to be awarded a try by Johnny McNicholl when Referee Van der Westhuizen, who was in charge of his first Super Rugby match, ruled that McNicholl had knocked on when he stretched to score but replays showed that he had not.

On the whole Blackadder said that he was pleased with the game and hopes that they can build on the victory this week and secure their first bonus point victory of the season in Bloemfontein when they face the Cheetahs.

“I was really rapt with our game. While we kicked a lot, we scored three tries . . . and we could have scored more,” Blackadder noted.

“It came off the back of a very disciplined game plan. The ability to build pressure is the key.”

The Cheetahs conceded six tries in their match against the Cheetahs and Blackadder says that he saw some tips on how to attack in Bloemfontein.

“When you look at how the Chiefs played, they really got their impetus off their counter-attack,” Blackadder stated.

“They kicked long and they forced the Cheetahs to kick it back to them and they really counter-attacked.”

The Crusaders could be boosted by the return of Kieran Read this weekend after concussion had ruled him out of the Lions match.

Blackadder says that he is confident that his captain would be fit to play in Bloemfontein.

“He’s (Read) got a couple of tests the doctor has to take him through but he is feeling really good and back to normal,” Blackadder said.

“I’m pretty certain he will be right.”

The Crusaders don’t have the strongest record in Bloemfontein and Blackadder says that the team are aware of this and want to get a cleansweep in Africa on this trip.

“The guys brought it up in the changing room themselves,” Blackadder said.

“We have got to go to Bloemfontein, a place we haven’t played that well at in the past. We will go there with a lot of confidence and we have got to be prepared to attack.”

“I feel that, psychologically, we have turned the corner and we need to go forward.”

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