23 May 2010

Bulls beat Crusaders to book home final against Stormers

8:11 am on 23 May 2010

For just the third time in the history of Super Rugby, New Zealand won't be represented in the final after the Crusaders lost to the Bulls at Soweto.

And it'll be an all-South African Super 14 decider next weekend after the defending champions' 39-24 victory, with the Stormers also beating the New South Wales Waratahs.

The Bulls led the semi-final 23-10 at half-time despite the Crusaders dominating possession.

The Crusaders closed to within six points at 23-17 after the break, but that was as close as the game got with the Bulls pulling away to win by 15 points after turning the possession statistics around.

Both sides scored three converted tries. The difference was the boot of Springbok first five eighth Morne Steyn, his six penalties and three conversions shading the All Black Dan Carter's three conversions and one penalty, leaving his captain Richie McCaw ruing their third semi-final exit to the Bulls.

In a warning ahead of the Tri-Nations, McCaw says too many mistakes handed Steyn too many chances to kick points.

Kicking was also crucial in the Stormers' 25-6 thrashing of the Waratahs in Cape Town, with Peter Grant landing 20 points for the home side.

The Bulls will play the winner of the other semi-final between the Stormers and the New South Wales Waratahs in Cape Town.