Crusaders' Tim Bateman adamant disallowed try should have stood

Crusaders second-five Tim Bateman has questioned the TMO's decision to overturn a potentially game-changing try in their 25-17 defeat to the Highlanders on Saturday.

Flanker Jordan Taufua looked to have put the Crusaders into the lead when he went over, but after further review upstairs, they ruled Bateman had knocked-on in the build-up.

Speaking to Brendan Telfer on RadioLIVE, Bateman believes the ball was not only dislodged by Highlanders winger Tevita Li, but it went backwards.

"I haven't seen the replays so I don't know what the video ref has seen - the angles are a bit different - but for me, it was sort of pretty clear he knocked the ball backwards out of my hands," he said

"I was fending with my left hand and I didn't actually see Tevita Li come from the side - he just knocked it straight back.

"It felt like it went about a metre back actually, not even straight down."

Referee Nick Briant had initially awarded the try, which would have seen the Crusaders in front 15-14 with the conversion to come.

Batmen heard Briant tell Highlanders captain Ben Smith it was too late to ask the TMO on two occasions, and wishes they had kicked the conversion to prevent it from being investigated further.

"He said it a couple of times actually, but Ben's been around a while now," he said.

"He knew if he could hold on long enough for that video replay to come up, he might change his mind - and he did.

"It even happened to us last week against the Hurricanes on one of their tries; I heard TJ [Perenara] straight away saying "Beaudie [Barrett], kick it, Beaudie, kick it" - and he took the shot really quickly and they didn't have a chance to go back.

"I was surprised they went back - just the nature of the last few games have been where referees have been really decisive with their calling and not wanting to go upstairs.

"I was sort of thinking Hunty [Hunt] might just kick into Bender [Smith] and it might have been an early charge down or something."

Listen to Brendan Telfer every Saturday on RadioLIVE.
Listen to Brendan Telfer every Saturday on RadioLIVE.

Bateman isn't holding any grudges over the decision however, and concedes they had plenty of opportunities to win the game elsewhere.

"I'm not actually too fussed; there's other areas of the game that I was more frustrated with," he said.

"That's the nature of the game - you hope games aren't defined by that, and I think we still had opportunities to win it in other areas."

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