‘Saders plotted Bulls’ downfall

The Crusaders did their homework before bashing the Bulls at Loftus, according to Dan Carter.

The flyhalf produced one of his best performances of the season on Saturday to all but end the Bulls’ Vodacom semi-final hopes. The Crusaders simply outsmarted the Pretoria franchise, a fact confirmed by Carter.

“We put a lot of homework into this game and I think it paid off,” he said. “We’d come off a couple of average performances and the boys really had to step up against a very physical Bulls side.

“In the past the Bulls forward pack have really dominated us and got over the gain line. Our forwards really stepped up and chopped them down behind the gain line. It makes a huge difference.”

Stand-in captain Reuben Thorne said his side had stepped up another gear after drawing with the Force and losing to the Stormers.

“We’d had two games in a row that we weren’t happy with and we were determined to play better,” he said. “We wanted to play at the right end of the field and get control. We were much more intense with the ball.”

The Crusaders play the Brumbies in Christchurch on Friday in their final fixture of the regular season.