ACT Brumbies Stun Crusaders with Last-Second Penalty Try Thriller

In a nail-biting Super Rugby Pacific match, the ACT Brumbies snatched a last-second victory over the defending champion Crusaders, with a controversial penalty try decision sealing their triumph. The match-winning moment came when Crusaders lock Quinten Strange’s desperate attempt to prevent a Brumbies try backfired, leading to a game-changing penalty.

Brumbies Stun Crusaders With Late Penalty Try in Epic Super Rugby Pacific Clash

On May 18, 2024, the ACT Brumbies secured a thrilling 31-24 victory over the defending champions, the Crusaders, in a round 13 Super Rugby Pacific match at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

The match-winning moment came in the dying seconds, when a late game decision by Crusaders lock Quinten Strange proved costly. With the scores tied at 24-24 and just 15 seconds remaining, Brumbies flyhalf Noah Lolesio attempted a penalty kick to clinch the win. The attempt struck the left post and bounced awkwardly inside the Crusaders’ in-goal area.

“In a desperate attempt to prevent a Brumbies player from scoring, Strange opted to bat the ball dead, which is illegal in rugby union.”

The foul play was reviewed, and a penalty try was awarded, handing the Brumbies a last-gasp victory.

Strange’s calamitous decision not only cost the Crusaders the match but also saw him receive a yellow card, joining the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, who had done the same thing in a Test match against France in 2017. According to the laws of the game, knocking, slapping, or throwing the ball dead constitutes foul play, and if it occurs inside the in-goal area and “prevents a probable try from being scored, or scored in a more advantageous position,” a penalty try is awarded.

While some, including New Zealand Herald’s rugby journalist Liam Napier, argued that there were “three other Crusaders players” present and that the decision to award a penalty try was debatable, the officials ultimately deemed Strange’s actions to be a clear infringement, handing the Brumbies a hard-fought victory.

This late-game mistake is the second such incident for the Crusaders this year, with a similar situation occurring against the Waratahs, where a quick conversion attempt by young first five-eighth Rivez Reihana allowed the opposition one last kick-off, resulting in a 43-40 loss for the Crusaders.

The Brumbies’ triumph over the Crusaders not only snapped a 15-year winless drought against the perennial contenders but also dealt a significant blow to the defending champions’ season, leaving them to fight for survival and avoid the wooden spoon.

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