The final round of the 2009 Super 14 regular season has been played and there will be no Australian teams in the Semi Finals for the second time in the past three years. The Waratahs and Brumbies were mathematical chances entering the weekend but despite the Waratahs doing everything they could to qualify (beating the Lions with a four try bonus point); wins by the Crusaders and Hurricanes finished their season on Saturday night. The Brumbies lost to the finals-bound Chiefs on Friday night to end their season. So with no Australian teams featuring how do the Super 14 Semi Finals shape up for 2009? The Bulls sat atop the table after 13 weeks and their 27-26 win over the Sharks (who could've made the Finals with a win) see them take the #1 seed into the Semi Finals on 46 points, coming in at #2 was the Chiefs on 45 points (beating the Brumbies 10-7), the Hurricanes at #3 on 44 points (defeated the Reds 37-28) and the #4 Crusaders on 41 points (who beat the Blues 15-13 late) round out the playoff births. The Waratahs 41 points were pipped on percentages by the Crusaders, followed by the Sharks and Brumbies on 38 points, the Western Force on 36 points, the Blues on 32 points, the Stormers on 27 points, Highlanders on 26 points, Lions on 25 points, Reds on 19 points and the poor old Cheetahs - who beat both the Sharks and Crusaders this season - on 12 points. So this coming weekend we'll see the Semi Finals feature the 'minor premier' Bulls versus the defending champion Crusaders and an all New Zealand affair with the Chiefs hosting the Hurricanes. SUPER 14 SEMI FINALS 2009 #1 Bulls v #4 Cruasaders at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa. #2 Chiefs v #3 Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The Crusaders celebrate their 2008 Super 14 Title.