HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 06: Kieran Read of the Crusaders dives over to score a try during the round 17 Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Crusaders at Waikato Stadium on July 6, 2012 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

Hamilton, New Zealand – The Crusaders scored three contentious tries to beat the Chiefs 28-21 win in Super 15 rugby on Friday, threatening the Chiefs' lengthy tenure atop the standings while firming their own playoffs bid.

The Chiefs entered the match four points ahead of the Cape Town-based Stormers but their third loss in 15 matches offered the South African side the move into first place if they can take a bonus-point win from their match against the Cheetahs on Saturday.

The Crusaders opened a 20-6 lead with first-half tries to back-rower Kieran Read, who appeared to lose the ball over the line, and lock Luke Romano, who may have been offside.

A bizarre second-half try to scrumhalf Andy Ellis clinched their win, lifting them to third place at the start of the 17th round. – Sapa-AP