Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson says he doesn’t believe Sevu Reece’s controversial try against the Chiefs included a knock-on in the lead-up, and says the ball went ‘backwards’. The Crusaders condemned Warren Gatland’s Chiefs to an eighth consecutive loss, but the questionable call was a major talking point.


With the match poised on a knife’s edge at 19-20 in the visiting Crusaders’ favour, the Chiefs were busy defending deep inside their half as they repelled waves of Crusaders’ attacks.

Eventually, the Crusaders found a gap in the armour and reserve lock Quinten Strange catapulted into the 22. As Strange tried to offload to the supporting Sevu Reece, the second-rower knocked the ball forward. Before the ball hit the ground, however, Strange managed to tap the ball backwards and Reece grabbed possession and waltzed into the Chiefs’ goal-area untouched.

Robertson was asked afterwards did think Reece’s try would be awarded, to which he replied bluntly, ‘Yes’, before being asked why he was so confident of the decision.

“It’s come backwards out of his hand. Are you questioning it?”

The journalist replied “My point of view is different to your point of view”, before Robertson quipped: “I’m glad you’re not reffing ei”.

Gatland saw it differently: “For me, where the contact of the body is and where the ball bounces, even though he’s run through, it’s definitely going forward.”


“Yeah it’s a big call. They see it differently… it’s definitely going forward.. but you gotta take those on the chin at the moment.”, noted Gatland, who is set to coach the British and Irish Lions next year in South Africa.

CRUSADERS 32 (Leicester Fainga’anuku, Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Tom Sanders, Codie Taylor tries Richie Mo’unga 2 cons pen) bt CHIEFS 19 (Lachlan Boshier try Damian McKenzie con 4 pens) at FMG Stadium Waikato. Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (AAP)

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now