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Quinten Strange's late-game calamity questioned as Crusader joins Sonny Bill Williams

By Ben Smith
Quinten Strange of the Crusaders is shown a yellow card after slapping the ball dead to concede a penalty try after Noah Lolesio of the Brumbies side-line penalty struck the upright during the round 13 Super Rugby Pacific match between ACT Brumbies and Crusaders at GIO Stadium, on May 18, 2024, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

A late game calamitous decision from Crusaders lock Quinten Strange handed the Brumbies a 31-24 win in Canberra to extend the club’s season of misery.

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A penalty shot at goal by Brumbies flyhalf Noah Lolesio with 15 seconds left on the clock hit the left post and bounced awkwardly inside the Crusaders’ in-goal.

Scrambling to save the ball from reaching a Brumbies player, Strange opted to bat the ball dead in the aerial contest which is of course illegal in rugby union.

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The foul play was reviewed and a penalty try was awarded with time on the clock, with the Crusaders unable to salvage a draw.

Strange joined Sonny Bill Williams as another New Zealand player to come undone by the rule. The All Black did the same thing in a Test match against France in 2017, costing a penalty try and yellow.

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Knocking, slapping, or throwing the ball dead constitutes foul play. If foul play occurs inside the in-goal that “prevents a probable try from being scored, or scored in a more advantageous position”, a penalty try is awarded.

The closest player to the ball was Brumbies reserve halfback Harrison Goddard, who competed in the air with Strange for possession.

However, New Zealand Herald’s rugby journalist Liam Napier commented on the call by claiming that there was enough doubt involved to not award a penalty try, with “three other Crusaders” present.

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Had a penalty been awarded anyway, the kick from just about dead in front would have been a regulation conversion to claim the match 27-24.

The costly late-game mistake is the second this year by the Crusaders that has cost a more favourable result.

Against the Waratahs, young first five-eighth Rivez Reihana had the opportunity to drain all the clock left in the game on a conversion but took his kick quickly, allowing one last kick-off which resulted in NSW tying the game 40-all.

In golden point extra-time, Will Harrison kicked a long-range drop goal for a 43-40 win. The match would have ended 40-37 in the Crusaders favour if Reihana had ensured the game clock ran out.

Strange’s in-goal error adds to what has been a difficult season for the defending champions who are now left to fight to avoid the wooden spoon.

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Comments

1 Comment
J
JAMES 35 days ago

Brumbies hand, knocked a Crusaders hand. Therefore, knock on in goal. Crusaders, goal line drop out should’ve been awarded. most likely after that 24 each at full time, so extra time would’ve been the right an entertaining outcome.
Act Jim

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