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Crusaders move on from tough loss, Focus on the Blues

Crusaders move on from tough loss, Focus on the Blues

All BlacksMay 20, 2024

Having given themselves every opportunity, the Crusaders got within an ace of beating the Brumbies in Canberra but were denied at least the chance to go to golden point when a last-minute penalty try was awarded against them.

Lock Quinten Strange was ruled to have deliberately batted a rebound from an attempted penalty goal that hit a goalpost over the deadball line, allowing the Brumbies a 31-24 win.

Coach Rob Penney said the feeling was bittersweet after the loss because he was proud of the effort and performance.

"We did enough to win that, but we're shattered that we couldn't get the result.

"The boys have put a lot of effort in and worked well and built for this. They proved how capable they are and to finish on the result like that is hard to take."

It would be back to work on Monday to prepare to host the Blues in Christchurch.

"We made a lot of opportunities so there's a lot for us to be proud of. It's happened a bit all year where we've got into positions where we get a semblance of control but for one reason or another it doesn't work out that way."

Captain Codie Taylor said they have had opportunities in the last couple of games.

"It's funny; you find a way to win, and then it feels like we find ways not to win.

"As Penns has said, we created so many opportunities tonight that we could have won that game. We dominated in many areas, but when we made errors, we paid for them, and that was it.

"The 12 points they scored in the first half kept them just in front and we were chasing."

Taylor said the Crusaders scrum had been a big part of their game for a long time. They had world-class front rowers. Prop Joe Moody, Fletcher Newell, and the substitutes all did well.

"We knew it was an area that we could have a good crack at and it felt like we got some really good pay out of it."

It had been heart-breaking to lose with a penalty try. They would get around Quinten Strange, who conceded the penalty try.

"He'll be feeling it but we love the guy, he puts his body on the line every week. He'll get on with his week, he's been pretty awesome this season and we're going to need more of that next week."

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