Super Rugby Aotearoa: Warren Gatland, Scott Robertson disagree over controversial Crusaders try in win over Chiefs

Another week and another controversial decision has gone against the Chiefs, as they slumped to a 32-19 defeat to the Crusaders at FMG Stadium on Saturday night. 

Trailing by one point with 20 minutes remaining, referee Ben O'Keeffe awarded a try to Crusaders wing Sevu Reece, despite replays showing a knock-on from Quentin Strange. 

Commentators were adamant Strange had knocked the ball on too, but after consulting with third match official Glenn Newman, O'Keeffe awarded the try. 

Warren Gatland's men haven't won since March 6, losing a franchise-record eight straight games - seven of those in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

In the Chiefs' last two defeats, controversial calls have gon against them, with referees boss Bryce Lawrence having to apologise to Gatland's side. 

Gatland could be expecting another call from Lawrence in the coming days, but for now, he's just taking it on the chin. 

"I thought Sevu Reece's try was a knock-on, but you've got to take those calls as we've been doing," says Gatland. 

"For me, where the contact with the body is and where the ball bounces, even though he's run through, it's definitely going forward, but you've got to take that on the chin at the moment.

"They're always going to make a mistake or two."

Gatland went on to say the Crusaders deserved the win because "they played exceptionally well".

Scott Robertson and Warren Gatland.
Scott Robertson and Warren Gatland. Photo credit: Photosport

While Gatland thought there was a knock on, Crusaders coach Scott Roberston saw things differently. 

"Yes, it came backwards out of his hands," Robertson says. 

When pushed for an explanation, Robertson has replied: "Are you questioning it? I'm glad you're not reffing.

"Sorry, I'm being cheeky there. Enough about the refs anyway."

With the win, the Crusaders have one hand on the Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy and victory next weekend over the Highlanders will see them claim the title with one round remaining. 

The match is scheduled for Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch and Robertson is determined to right the wrongs, after their impressive four-year, 36-game unbeaten streak at home ended last weekend against the Hurricanes. 

"We are pretty clear on what the table looks like," he says. "It is a big week for us.

"We know how small the margins are in this competition. 

"It would mean everything, especially after last week. Our home record was really important to us, so to lose that really hurt."

The Chiefs are simply playing for pride next week, as they play their final Super Rugby Aotearoa fixture of the season against the Hurricanes in Wellington. 

Join us a 3:30pm Sunday for live updates of the Highlanders v Blues Super Rugby Aotearoa clash

Super Rugby Aotearoa: Warren Gatland, Scott Robertson disagree over controversial Crusaders try in win over Chiefs