The Crusaders' 45-23 win over the Chiefs has thrown the laws of the game back into the spotlight following a controversial call late in the game to award the Crusaders a penalty try.

Chiefs flanker Lachlan Boshier was yellow carded last night for taking out Crusaders and All Blacks midfielder Ryan Crotty in what was deemed a dangerous tackle.

The Crusaders were leading 26-23 until the Boshier incident occurred in the 71st minute.

Crotty was attempting to score near the left hand corner flag when he was snapped up short of the line by Boshier.


Picking up the ball from the back of a ruck two metres from the line, Crotty went for a pick-and-go and dived low to the ground.

Boshier was the only Chiefs player on the scene and swung his arm around Crotty - making contact with his shoulder then his head.

Crotty came up short of the try line and was pushed into touch.

After reviewing the footage with his TMO, referee Ben O'Keeffe decided that the correct decision was to yellow card Boshier and award the Crusaders a penalty try.

Reduced to 14 men, the Chiefs struggled to keep the attacking force of the Crusaders at bay, with George Bridge and Manasa Mataele scoring late tries.

Chiefs coach Colin Cooper - along with fans and spectators - believed that Boshier's tackle deserved no more than a penalty.

But, the TMO Aaron Paterson and on-field referee O'Keeffe, along with the Crusaders home crowd believed that he deserved to be carded and the penalty try awarded.

"It is foul play, it's a high tackle and he's in the process of scoring so I've got a penalty try and yellow card," O'Keeffe said after rewatching the footage.

Grant Nisbett and Justin Marshall - a former Crusader - were calling the game for Sky Television with both commentators shocked with the decision.

"This is again a tough one, what option did the defender have?" Marshall asked before the tackle was reviewed.

Ryan Crotty of the Crusaders receives medical help after the game. Photo / Getty Images
Ryan Crotty of the Crusaders receives medical help after the game. Photo / Getty Images

Highlanders lock Joe Wheeler described the decision as 'ridiculous'.

The start of the Super Rugby season has been littered with players being sent off for dangerous tackles.

In the Blues' loss to the Highlanders replacement flanker Antonio Kiri Kiri was yellow carded for a high shot on Lima Sopoaga.

In his first game as captain of the Queensland Reds, Scott Higginbotham was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Rebels lock Matt Philip.

In the Hurricanes season opener, Bulls prop Pierre Schoeman was handed a yellow card for a swinging arm making contact with Vince Aso's head on the ground.

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