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Super 14 Semi’s set up interesting clashes

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After several weeks of suspense and anxiety, the 2008 Super 14 semi-finalists have been confirmed with two enthralling contests in store on Saturday.

 

The first semi-final features six-times champions the Crusaders against the Hurricanes in Christchurch at 09h35 SA time and the second semi features the Waratahs against the Sharks in Sydney at 12h00.

The final three qualifiers were confirmed at the weekend with the Waratahs and Sharks getting vital wins over the Reds and Chiefs respectively and the Hurricanes sneaking home after losing to the Blues but benefiting from the fact that the Stormers could not secure a bonus point against the Auto & General Lions.


The Crusaders, who confirmed their semi-final place well in advance, are no strangers to knockout competition. Since the inception of the Super Rugby concept they have featured in the semi-finals on no less than nine occasions, losing only once ‘ to the Bulls in 2007 ‘ a win percentage of almost 90 percent!


The Hurricanes have played in three previous Super Rugby semi-finals, losing twice to the Crusaders in 2003 and 2005 and winning against the Waratahs in 2006. Their success ratio is just under 35%.


The Crusaders have come out on top in the last six meetings between the two and hold an overall advantage of ten wins to three in all previous Super Rugby matches. The last time the Hurricanes won in Christchurch was in 2001.


Previous Super Rugby meetings


Crusaders have won 10, Hurricanes have won 3, Drawn: 1


2008 Hurricanes 13 Crusaders 20 in Wellington
2007 Crusaders 23 Hurricanes 13 in Christchurch
2006 Crusaders 19 Hurricanes 12 in Christchurch
(Final)Hurricanes 11 Crusaders 20 in Wellington
2005 Crusaders 47 Hurricanes 7 in Christchurch
(Semi-final) Crusaders 40 Hurricanes 20 in Christchurch
2004 Hurricanes 37 Crusaders 15 in Wellington
2003 Crusaders 39 Hurricanes 16 in Christchurch
(Semi-final) Crusaders 37 Hurricanes 21 in Christchurch
2002 Hurricanes 20 Crusaders 48 in Wellington
2001 Crusaders 29 Hurricanes 41 in Christchurch
2000 Hurricanes 28 Crusaders 22 in Wellington
1999 Hurricanes 18 Crusaders 18 in Christchurch
1998 Hurricanes 17 Crusaders 39 in Wellington

Whilst the Sharks have a more impressive semi-finals pedigree, the Waratahs have dominated Super Rugby meetings between them, winning seven of the last 10. The Sharks have also lost on five of their last six visits to Sydney, the only victory coming in 2000 when they won 26-19.


The Sharks have made five previous semi-final appearances ‘ 1996, 1997 and 1998 as well as 2001 and 2007, winning three times for a success ratio of 60%.


The Waratahs have played in two previous semi-finals losing to the Brumbies (2002) and the Hurricanes (2006) and will thus be looking for their first-ever playoff win.


Previous Super Rugby meetings


Waratahs have won 7; Sharks have won 3, Drawn: 1


2008 Waratahs 25 Sharks 10 in Sydney
2007 Waratahs 9 Sharks 22 in Durban
2006 Waratahs 31 Sharks 16 in Sydney
2005 Waratahs 36 Sharks 13 in Durban
2004 Waratahs 48 Sharks 14 in Sydney
2003 Waratahs 49 Sharks 36 in Durban
2002 Waratahs 42 Sharks 8 in Sydney
2001 Waratahs 17 Sharks 42 in Durban
2000 Waratahs 19 Sharks 26 in Sydney
1999 Waratahs 13 Sharks 13 in Durban
1998 Waratahs 51 Sharks 18 in Sydney

 

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