Carter the Bulls-fighter
Fly-half kicks Crusaders into semi-finals
Last Updated: 21/07/12 11:47am
Dan Carter kicked 23 points as the Crusaders booked their place in the Super Rugby semi-finals with a 28-13 victory over the Bulls in Christchurch.
The fly-half kicked six penalties, a drop goal and converted Zac Guildford's try, as Todd Blackadder's side dominated every facet of the game.
Morne Steyn kicked a penalty for the visitors while Dewald Potgieter and Wynand Olivier crossed for second-half tries, but it was too little, too late.
Carter set the tone when he converted a penalty to give the Crusaders a sixth-minute lead, and he soon doubled that advantage with a replica effort when Bulls prop Dean Greyling cynically entered a ruck from an offside position.
The Bulls looked to get a foothold in the game through Steyn's kicking, but the Crusaders' control of possession was such that the visitors struggled to get into the home side's half during the opening quarter.
And the Bulls awful start was summed up when Steyn's attempt at a cross-kick barely got off the ground to give the Crusaders another attacking platform, which they would exploit to the full - Carter setting up Guildford for his eighth try of the season.
And his masterful display continued as he nonchalantly dropped a goal with his right foot after 34 minutes.
Steyn did at least put the Bulls on the board with a penalty late in the first half but there was little change to the flow of traffic after the break.
Carter took his own tally to 17 with two more successful penalties before the South African side enjoyed their best spell of the game.
A well-controlled driving maul allowed flanker Potgieter to flop over the line, although Steyn could not add the testing touchline conversion.
But Carter added two further penalties, either side of a consolation score from centre Olivier, to put the seal on the victory.