Super Rugby is nearing its conclusion and the top four teams have confirmed their respective places in the semifinals. The Crusaders and Hurricanes from New Zealand, the Lions from South Africa and the Waratahs from Australia are the teams left in contention for the 2018 crown.
Crusaders v Hurricanes, Saturday 7.35pm NZT
One final New Zealand derby will take place in Christchurch on Saturday night.
With the ledger even after two meetings this season, their third battle of the year will have extra meaning.
It’s been ten years since these two last met in the playoffs, with the Crusaders taking out the 2008 semi-final 33-22 on their way to the title.
The Crusaders haven’t lost since week five of this season and haven’t lost at AMI Stadium in two years. Scott Robertson’s men will be looking to edge closer to their ninth Super Rugby title with a win.
The Hurricanes will be hoping to send departing head coach Chris Boyd and captain Brad Shields off in the best way possible. They booked their spot in the semi-final after beating the Chiefs 32-31 at home.
The Waratahs are looking to make the grand final in their first playoff appearance since their championship season in 2014.
They will have to get past the Lions, who have made the last two finals but are still searching for their elusive first title after consecutive losing efforts against the Hurricanes and Crusaders in 2016 and 2017 respectively. They will have the benefit of playing at home for this semifinal after seeing off the Argentina-based Jaguares 40-23 in their Johannesburg quarter-final.
The Waratahs had a tougher path to the semi-final, needing a big second-half comeback to defeat the Highlanders 30-23. Three quick tries saw the Waratahs erase a 23-6 halftime deficit as they scored 24 unanswered points to emerge victorious.
The Lions and Waratahs last met in round 10 of the competition, with the Lions picking up a 29-0 victory in Sydney.
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