x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Crusaders stay in hunt with bonus point

The Crusaders remain in the hunt for a Super 14 semi-final berth after a 32-12 win against the injury ravaged Queensland Reds.

The Crusaders remain in the hunt for a Super 14 semi-final berth after a 32-12 win against the injury ravaged Queensland Reds. Needing bonus-point victories from their remaining two matches, the defending champions ensured they still have a chance going into the final round of the regular season next week with tries to Thomas Waldrom, Owen Franks, Tim Bateman, Jason MacDonald and Sean Maitland earning them the crucial extra point.

The Reds were up against it from the start with at least eight first-choice players unavailable through injury. They were not helped either by their most experienced back Quade Cooper being sent to the sin bin late in the first half for a deliberate foul close to his tryline. But the visitors toiled hard in the cold, wet and windy conditions at AMI Stadium in Christchurch and they were eventually rewarded with late tries to debutant Ben Tapuai and Greg Holmes.

Japan have joined England, South Africa and Italy in the bid to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup. All four unions will travel to Dublin on May 13 to present their cases to the International Rugby Board and a decision expected on July 28. The £80million (Dh443m) tournament fee demanded by the IRB has proven a major stumbling block for the unions bidding for 2015 in such tough economic conditions. But with a report estimating total economic benefits to the host country of £2.1billion, all four unions have received central government backing.

* PA Sport