Ludeke questions ref's late call
Sat, 30 Mar 2013 17:15
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke questioned the late penalty that handed the Brumbies victory in their Super Rugby showdown in Canberra on Saturday.
Christian Lealiifano kicked the Brumbies to a controversial 23-20 Super Rugby victory over the Bulls, with a penalty goal after the full-time siren.
The Bulls had levelled the scores at 20-all only minutes earlier, before New Zealand referee Jonathon White penalised the Bulls for not releasing the ball in a ruck.
Television replays showed Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White lying over the ball, with most pundits agreeing that the South Africans instead should have been awarded the penalty.
Centre Lealiifano landed the 43-metre kick to snatch a thrilling late victory for the Brumbies and keep them on top of the overall tournament standings.
Ludeke questioned the last play, saying he believed the Brumbies' defensive line was offside at the time.
"Clearly offside, definitely, we just looked at it," Ludeke said in his post-match reaction.
"I've just seen those guys going before the ball is out, to charge Morné [Steyn] down, they knew Morné was going to kick.
"But you know that's the game, it would have given us another point, but that's life.
"We don't want to give it energy, the whole season is ahead of us, it was a great effort and we're going to go with that."
Captain Pierre Spies said he was proud of the way his undermanned team fought back in the second half after having loosehead prop Morné Mellett yellow carded for repeated scrum infringements in the 63rd minute.
"There's a lot of things we can take out of this tour, a lot of good experience gained, but we have to fight back when we get back home," Spies said.
The Brumbies faded in the second half after their trip back this week from their South African tour.
"It's not easy to win on the road, but the Bulls pushed it right down to the wire and I'm glad with the way our guys stuck to it," Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen said.
"We had one opportunity to train this week so trying to address attack issues when you've come off a hard loss is a challenge coming back from Africa.
"I'm really proud of the way the guys showed up this week. It wasn't an easy week to prepare, and to get a result like that is huge for us."
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