Super Rugby Semis Down the years
In the beginning, back in 1993 when it was Super 10, there were no semifinals. There was no need for a semifinal, as, having two pools, the finalists came naturally – each the winner of his pool.
Semifinals started in 1995 when it became Super 12 and to many people the best format Super Rugby has had. There were twelve teams, and everybody played everybody else. That produced a log and it was decided, not without financial considerations, that the semifinals would be 1 vs 4 on 1’s ground and 2 vs 3 on 2’s ground.
But television is a demanding master. It wants more matches and so in 2006 it became 14 teams, 2011 15 teams and 2016 18 teams. Then, less is more, it reduced again – 15 teams in 2018 and 2020 is scheduled to have 14.
In 2011 the conference system was introduced, which has not been universally popular. The conference system led to play-offs and then quarterfinals.
All is not lovely. There are more matches but with diminishing crowds and domestic competitions have been depowered. The great Currie Cup which nearly 130 years old is a case in point. It has been relegated to third class.
We give results of the Super Rugby semifinals from 1996 and await this year’s. It seems certain that these two matches will be high-scoring. After all, semifinals have a produced an average of just a little bit less than 50 points per match. The lowest score in a semifinal was 24 in 2009, the highest 91 in 1997. Individual teams have scored over 50 points in a semifinal twice – in 1997 and 2002. Just last year the Johannesburg semifinal produced 70 points.
*You will notice that there have been name changes. They are pretty obvious.
Super Rugby Semifinal Results 1996-2018
Natal vs Queensland, 43-25 at Ballymore, Brisbane
Auckland Blues vs Northern Transvaal, 48-11
Auckland Blues vs Natal Sharks, 55-36 at Eden Park, Auckland
ACT Brumbies vs Wellington Hurricanes, 33-20 at Bruce Stadium, Canberra
Auckland Blues vs Otago Highlanders, 37-31 at Eden Park, Auckland
Canterbury Crusaders vs Coastal Sharks, 36-32 at Lancaster Park, Christchurch
Canterbury Crusaders vs Queensland Reds, 28-22 at Ballymore, Brisbane
Otago Highlanders vs Stormers, 33-18 at Newlands
ACT Brumbies vs Golden Cats, 28-5 in Canberra
Crusaders vs Highlands, 37-15 in Christchurch
ACT Brumbies vs Queensland Reds, 30-6 at Bruce Stadium, Canberra
Coastal Sharks vs Golden Cats, 30-12 at Kings Park, Durban
Crusaders vs Highlands, 34-23 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch
ACT Brumbies vs NSW Waratah, 51-10 at Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Crusaders vs Hurricanes, 39-16 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Blues vs Brumbies, 42-21 at Eden Park, Auckland
Crusaders vs Stormers, 27-16 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Brumbies vs Chiefs, 32-17 at Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Crusaders vs Hurricanes, 47-7 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch
NSW Waratahs vs Bulls, 23-13 at Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Hurricanes vs Waratahs, 16-14 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Crusaders vs Bulls, 35-15 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch.
Sharks vs Blues, 34-18 at Kings Park, Durban
Bulls vs Crusaders, 27-12 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Crusaders vs Hurricanes, 33-22 at AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Waratahs vs Sharks, 28-13 at Sydney Football Stadium
Bulls vs Crusaders, 36-23 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Chiefs vs Hurricanes, 14-10 at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Bulls vs Crusaders, 39-24 at Orlando Stadium, Soweto
Stormers vs Waratahs, 25-6 at Newlands
Crusaders vs Stormers, 29-10 at Newlands
Reds vs Blues, 30-13 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Chiefs vs Crusaders, 20-17 at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Sharks Stormers, 26-19 at Newlands
Chiefs vs Crusaders, 20-19 at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Brumbies vs Bulls, 26-23 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Crusaders vs Sharks, 38-6 at AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Waratahs vs Brumbies, 26-8 at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Hurricanes vs Brumbies, 29-9 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Highlanders vs Waratahs, 35-17 at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Hurricanes vs Chiefs, 25-9 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Lions vs Highlanders, 42-30 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Crusaders vs Chiefs, 27-13 t AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Lions vs Hurricanes, 44-29 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Crusaders vs Hurricanes, 30-12 at AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Lions vs Waratahs, 44-26 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.
Crusaders vs Hurricanes at AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Jaguares vs Brumbies at Estadio José Amalfitani Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Semi-final appearances by team – up to 2018
17 Crusaders (12 wins, 5 losses)
9 Brumbies (6 wins, 3 losses)
9 Hurricanes (3 wins, 6 losses)
8 Sharks (4 wins, 4 losses)
7 Waratahs (3 wins, 4 losses)
7 Bulls (3 wins, 4 losses)
6 Blues (4 wins, 2 losses)
6 Chiefs (3 wins, 3 losses)
6 Highlanders (2 wins, 4 losses)
4 Lions (3 wins, 1 losses)
4 Stormers (1 win, 3 losses)
4 Reds (1 win, 3 losses)
By Paul Dobson, Rugby365