Super Rugby play-offs decided
July 13, 2014
The Crusaders secured a home final after they hammered the Highlanders on Saturday © Getty Images
New Zealand conference champions the Crusaders have secured a home semi-final and a week off after South African conference champions the Sharks failed to claim a bonus point in their 34-10 win over the Stormers as the Super Rugby regular season drew to a close on Saturday.
The Sharks required a bonus-point victory to bump the Crusaders out of second place on the overall Super Rugby table. But the South African outfit fell one try and one point short, forcing them to settle for third place and a home qualifier against the Highlanders next week.
A Crusaders 34-8 demolition of the Highlanders saw the Canterbury side lock down the New Zealand conference while the Highlanders, who have lost four of their last six matches, sneaked into the playoffs in sixth place.
Two-time defending champions the Chiefs, who booked a third straight playoff berth with a scrappy 11-8 victory over the Blues on Friday, qualify as the fifth-placed team, and will head to Canberra to face the Brumbies in a rematch of the 2013 final. The Brumbies secured fourth place with a 47-25 hammering of the Western Force on Friday.
Australian conference champions the Waratahs, who had already secured the regular season title before the final round, have a bye into the semi-finals, where they will enjoy home-ground advantage. They crushed the Reds 34-3 in Brisbane to end the regular season on a seven-game winning streak.
The Super Rugby play-offs are as follows:
Saturday, July 19 2014
19:40 local, 09:40 GMT
Brumbies v Chiefs, GIO Stadium, Canberra, Australia
Saturday, July 19 2014
17:05 local, 15:05 GMT
Sharks v Highlanders, Kings Park, Durban, South Africa
Saturday, July 26 2014
Crusaders v higher ranked qualifier winner, AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Saturday, July 26 2014
Waratahs v lower ranked qualifier winner, Allianz Stadium, Sydney
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Russia's match at Montenegro was temporarily suspended shortly after kick-off when Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev appeared to be struck by a flare fired from the stands
Northampton star George North was knocked unconscious after scoring two tries during the Saints' 52-30 Aviva Premiership victory over London Wasps on Friday
George Coetzee and Tommy Fleetwood remained in contention to secure a place in the Masters as Andy Sullivan, Alexander Levy, Marcel Siem and Ross Fisher all missed out in Morocco
Andy Murray made a solid start in his quest for a third Miami Open title as he dispatched Donald Young to reach the third round in Florida
Kevin De Bruyne would consider a move back to Chelsea despite barely featuring in his time at Stamford Bridge, sources told ESPN
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
Mudslinging and an agreement on something that will never happen, it's all in a day's work for a Formula One boss, as Maurice Hamilton explains...
Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix
Tiger Woods is confident of recovering from a poor run of form to qualify for the US Ryder Cup team in 2016, according to captain Davis Love III
Jonas Gutierrez has told Canal+ he will never forgive Newcastle for the way the club treated him during his battle with cancer, but wants to stay at St James' Park beyond this summer
Lionel Messi earned more than €1 million (£740,000) a week last year to make him the world's highest-paid player and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was the best-paid coach, according to a new survey
Andy Murray has expressed fears that his game will regress without full-time coaching in a candid exchange with a fellow Twitter user as he prepares to add former world No.4 Jonas Bjorkman to his coaching team
Luis Suarez has laughed off the idea that the Barcelona players have set out to help Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo to La Liga's top scorer award
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?
Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?
How many F1 drivers have had one win, but done it at their home Grand Prix?