SANZAAR tweaks Super Rugby semi-final process

    2017-01-30 13:00

    Cape Town - SANZAAR has tweaked the process by which the semi-final match-ups for this year's Super Rugby tournament will be determined.

    However, as was the case in 2016 the teams winning spots in the quarter-finals will be: the four Conference winners - who will host the quarter-final matches; and four wildcard teams - determined by the final conference positions.

    The teams will be ranked 1-8 based on the final number of competition points attained and the following order:

    Rank 1-4: Conference winners determined by final number of competition points
    Rank 5-8: Wildcards determined by final number of competition points

    The quarter-final draw will be:

    Quarter-final 1: 1 v 8
    Quarter-final 2: 2 v 7
    Quarter-final 3: 3 v 6
    Quarter-final 4: 4 v 5

    In a change from 2016, the semi-final draw will be pre-determined. The two semi-final hosts will be the highest ranked winners from the respective quarter-finals.
    Semi-final 1: Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 4
    Semi-final 2: Winner QF 2 v Winner QF 3

    In last year's tournament, although the quarter-final draw was the same, when it came to the semi-finals, the lowest seed hosted the highest seeded team to qualify, while the second-lowest seed played host to the second-highest seed.

    By way of a reminder, this is how 2016's quarter-finals played out (winners in bold):

    Hurricanes (1) v Sharks (8)
    Lions (2) v Crusaders (7)
    Stormers (3) v Chiefs (6)
    Brumbies (4) v Highlanders (5)

    As was the structure in 2016, the Hurricanes hosted the Chiefs in the first semi-final, while the Lions welcomed the Highlanders to Ellis Park.

    However, by 2017 changes, the Hurricanes would host the Highlanders, while the Lions would play the Chiefs.

    A subtle, yet potentially tournament defining change.

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    Saturday, 04 April 2020
    • Chiefs v Bulls, 05:45
    • Brumbies v Hurricanes, 10:15
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