2024 Super Rugby Semi-Finals Preview

The 2024 Super Rugby Pacific Grand Final will be decided this weekend with the Blues, Brumbies, Chiefs and Hurricanes all vying for a spot in next weekend’s decider.

Australia’s lone remaining hope, the Brumbies, will have to do it the hard way with a six-day turnaround for their trip to Auckland to take on the Blues.

Whichever team wins that will be hoping that the Hurricanes get rolled in Saturday’s Semi Final by the Chiefs, which would send the 2012 and 2013 champions to Auckland or Canberra next weekend.

It’s all to play for so read on and see who we are backing.

BluesvsBrumbies
Friday 14 June, 5:00pm, Eden Park
Blues 34 – Brumbies 20

Beaten Semi Finalists in each of the last three full Super Rugby competitions, the Brumbies will be hoping that this is the time for them to get back to the Grand Final.

Their last Semi Final victory came in 2013 and since then, they have lost five straight games at this point of the season.

It does not get any easier this weekend with the Blues playing in their fortress of Eden Park where they have won and covered in all eight games this season.

Not only that, their only loss dating back to March 16 was in Christchurch against a desperate Crusaders team by a 29-27 scoreline.

While finals rugby is a bit of a different prospect both in terms of intensity and game management, it is hard to ignore the Blues ruthless streak.

It is even tougher to ignore the 46-7 demolition they inflicted on the Brumbies back on April 20 and as much as every remaining Aussie rugby fan would love to see the local team get up, it just seems like they are going to be battling.

Blues to Cover -11.5 @ $1.87

HurricanesvsChiefs
Saturday 15 June, 2:35pm, Sky Stadium
Hurricanes 19 – Chiefs 30

It was just two weeks ago that the Chiefs dropped a hard fought game against the Hurricanes in Waikato 20-17.

Both recorded comfortable 20+ point wins in the Quarter Finals but the Chiefs were the far more impressive side based on those performances with a near perfect first half setting the platform for that victory.

They will need to replicate that effort once again to have any hope of knocking off the Hurricanes who are unbeaten as the home team in 2024.

I am expecting a close game however, far more akin to the one two weeks ago than the Canes 36-23 win at Sky Stadium back in April.

The Chiefs are less than 12 months removed from making the Super Rugby Grand Final and I’ll back them to keep it close but ultimately fall short against the minor premiers.

Hurricanes to Win by 1-12 (Inc. ET) @ $2.65


2023

It’s the penultimate weekend of the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season and we’ve got a pair of excellent Semi Finals on the cards.

Both will take place across the Tasman in New Zealand with the minor premiers Chiefs hosting Australia’s lone hope in the Brumbies while the Crusaders face the Blues for a spot in next week’s Grand Final.

We’ve got you covered with our best bets and match previews for both Super Rugby Semi Finals so read on and see who we are backing.

CrusadersvsBlues
Friday 16 June, 5:05pm, Orangetheory Stadium

After meeting in last year’s Super Rugby Pacific Grand Final, the Crusaders and Blues will meet again with a spot in the 2023 decider on the line.

The Crusaders remain specialists in playing winning rugby this time of year and the Blues only have to go back 12 months for a reminder of how good this team can be in the crunch moments.

Neither side was pushed to the limit in their Quarter Finals with the Blues belting the Waratahs last Friday while the Crusaders ended the Drua’s impressive season with a 41 point win.

When they met in Christchurch last May, the Crusaders managed to grind out a 12 point win in a low scoring affair and we’re looking at a similar style of contest infolding.

14 of the last 15 head to head games have been won by the Crusaders and while the Blues do have the confidence of that lone win coming at this venue in April 2022, you just don’t back against the Crusaders at home in the finals.

Crusaders to Cover -4.5 @ $1.91

ChiefsvsBrumbies
Saturday 17 June, 5:05pm, FMG Stadium

This might be a game between the minor premiers and the fourth placed team, but if last weekend is anything to go by we’re going to see this one go right down to the wire.

The Chiefs were given all they could handle by the Reds before sealing their nine point win late on, and the Brumbies quite literally held on for dear life in an epic back and forth encounter against the Hurricanes.

One major question hanging over both of these teams, especially the Brumbies is how much energy and focus they will have after that last gasp victory, but if there is one thing we have learned about them this year, it’s that they are a competitive team at full strength.

Despite coming away with a win, the Chiefs were very much out of sorts against the Reds and they will need to find a way to cut those down if they are to play in another Super Rugby Grand Final.

When these sides met in Canberra three weeks ago it was a 10 point win for the Chiefs but this is going to be a tight encounter and the Brumbies are a better chance than this line suggests.

Brumbies to Cover +8.5 @ $1.91


2023

It’s down to the final four in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season ahead of Semi Final weekend.

Every home team won their quarter final so the top four sides on the ladder will now face off for a spot in next weekend’s decider.

All that we know so far is that it will be in New Zealand with the Blues able to lock up a home Grand Final with a win over the Brumbies.

However a slip up would open the door for the winner of the Crusaders and Chiefs Semi Final to host this version of Super Rugby’s inaugural Grand Final.

Read on for our Super Rugby best bets for the Semi Finals below.

CrusadersvsChiefs
Friday 10 June, 5:05pm, Orangetheory Stadium
Crusaders 20 – Chiefs 7

It’s an all-New Zealand battle in the first Semi Final and both sides are coming off convincing wins over Australian opponents in the Quarter Finals.

Thanks to a six game winning streak with every victory coming by a double digit margin, the Crusaders will head into this one as favourites.

However it won’t be smooth sailing for the home side with the Chiefs winning seven of their last eight.

When they faced off in the regular season, the Chiefs won at Orangetheory Stadium in February 24-21, before the Crusaders got their revenge in late March with a 34-19 win in Waikato.

All signs are pointing towards an arm wrestle with the intensity of a test match and this is a game that should go down to the wire.

I give the Crusaders a slight edge but not enough to take them with a converted try handicap, it could very easily be a single digit margin of victory.

Back the Crusaders by 1-12 @ $2.90

BluesvsBrumbies
Saturday 11 June, 5:05pm, Eden Park
Blues 20 – Brumbies 19

The lone remaining Australian side left in the competition will face an uphill task to defeat a Blues side that seems unstoppable at the moment.

Such is the ruthless edge the Blues are playing with at the moment, they fell into a 6-0 hole after half an hour against the Highlanders, then rattled off 35 unanswered points to cruise home quite comfortably in the end.

Conversely the Brumbies had to battle for 80 minutes against a gallant Hurricanes outfit and will head into this one without Len Ikitau after his red card in the Quarter Final.

Even if they had him at their disposal, it probably wouldn’t have been enough to slow down this Blues attack.

When they faced off in Canberra last month, the Blues only just scraped home on a drop goal after the siren but at home, with the crowd at their back, they should run away with it here.

Back the Blues to Cover -11.5 @ $1.90


2021

COMPETITION ALTERED DUE TO COVID


2020

COMPETITION ALTERED DUE TO COVID


2019

It’s the penultimate weekend of the Super Rugby season and we are gearing up for two heavyweight bouts.

The Jaguares are hosting their first semi final in the team’s short history and the Brumbies will have to overcome a raucous crowd and travel to pull off an upset.

Saturday evening sees the Crusaders looking for yet another appearance in the Super Rugby Grand Final and they take on the Hurricanes who produced the second highest points tally on the season.

After a profitable couple of weeks, it’s going to be tougher than ever to find winning plays with just two games on but we confident in with our selections here.

JaguaresvsBrumbies
Saturday 29 June, 9:05am, Estadio Jose Amalftiani

When it comes to form lines, these are the two strongest sides in the competition, with the Brumbies winning seven in a row while the Jaguares extended their streak to six last weekend.

Back in late April the Brumbies travelled to Buenos Aires and went down to the Jaguares in a hard fought encounter 20-15.

This game will be decided by which forwards can assert there will and with the bulk of the Argentine test side wearing Jaguares jerseys that’s a huge edge towards the home side.

The Brumbies will be without one of their best players in Pete Samu who has been left at home after picking up an injury against the Sharks.

It’s fair to say the Brumbies are playing at a level greater than the sum of their parts but this trip is going to put a huge strain on the squad.

At this time of year you always have to give a huge advantage to the home side when international travel is involved so I’m going to back the Jaguares in a close one.

Back the Jaguares to Win by 1-12 @ $3.10

CrusadersvsHurricanes
Saturday 29 June, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium

Super Rugby’s two best sides over the course of the season face off for a spot in the final.

The Crusaders finished five points clear of the Hurricanes, but won one fewer game so bonus points were the difference between these two.

As it stands, the Crusaders have won the last four head to head meetings between these two sides and have had no problem pulling off some big wins at home this season.

12 of their last 13 wins at AMI Stadium have been by 13 or more points, one of which came back in February when the Crusaders won by a score of 38-22.

I have full confidence in the Crusaders winning, but the question from a punting perspective is to work out by how much.

There was a slight blip last month but the way that they cruised past the Rebels and Highlanders in the last two games has me confident they can cover any line up to 15 points.

Back the Crusaders to Cover -10.5 @ $1.90


2018

The Super Rugby Semi-Finals are set, and after a wild weekend in the Quarter-Finals, Saturday’s doubleheader of games are must-watch.

For the second straight year the Crusaders, Hurricanes and Lions all find themselves in the hunt for the trophy, while the Waratahs remain Australia’s only hope.

Who will move on to the Final?

Be sure to read all of our 2018 Super Rugby Semi-Finals Tips below!

CrusadersvsHurricanes
Saturday 28 July, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 30 – Hurricanes 12

As we thought, the Crusaders were far too good for the Sharks last week, storming away comfortably to a 40-10 victory.

The Christchurch based club is perhaps the scariest opponent to face in this years playoffs, but if there is one team that can knock off the favourites, it might just be the Hurricanes.

After falling to the Chiefs back in Round 19, the Hurricanes got one back in last weeks Quarter-Final, holding on for a nail-biting 32-31 victory.

What we’re left with now is a huge encounter between two of the top New Zealand teams, and as Round 15’s encounter suggests, this one could be close.

The Hurricanes have won three of the last five encounters between these two clubs, but come in as long $3.20 odds ahead of Saturday’s game. The Crusaders are a crazy 10-0 as the home favourites, and as we’ve seen on so many occasions, the AMI Stadium advantage is a huge factor ahead of this game.

Given their run towards the finals, punters can be forgiven for placing zero confidence in the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes lost three of their last four games prior to last week’s Quarter-Final victory, as Chris Boyd’s team struggled defensively.

With such tremendous home support and the brilliant boot of Richie Mo’unga to rely on, there’s no looking past the Crusaders.

Back the Crusaders To Beat The Line (-7.5 Points) @ $1.91

LionsvsWaratahs
Saturday 28 July, 11:05pm, Emirates Airlines Park
Lions 44 – Waratahs 26

The Lions roared home to a resounding 40-23 victory at home agains the Jaguares last week, while the Waratahs were equally impressive in their victory over the Highlanders.

If you can only watch one of these games, make sure this is it, because it promises to be entertaining.

The Lions have won three straight over the Waratahs, including a shutout 29-0 victory back in April. The South African based side were particularly dominant in the first-half last week, packing on three unanswered tries within the opening half an hour.

As far as problems go, the Waratahs will have their hands full all over the park, but it’s the Lions’ defensive efforts that normally win them games.

Swys de Bruin’s team racked up 167 tackles last week against the Jaguares, but more importantly, they won eight turnovers.

For the Waratahs to win this, they’ll need to find consistency early, land tackles and also win the scrum battle. The NSW based team are 2-1 as the away underdog over the last 12 months, but they’ll need to knuckle down and be prepared for what should be a shootout between two of the highest scoring sides in Super Rugby this year.

Is that too much to ask?

Given the Waratahs last won two straight games back in June, certainly not, but this is a huge road test for a team that hasn’t traveled in exactly a month.

Back the Lions 1-12 @ $2.90


2017

There are now only four teams left in contention for the 2017 Super Rugby title and we are set for two genuine blockbusters this weekend.

The Crusaders host the Chiefs in an all-New Zealand semi-final at AMI Stadium before the Lions take on the Hurricanes in what could be one of the most entertaining games of the season.

We have closely looked at both games this weekend and our complete 2017 Super Rugby semi-finals tips can be found below!

CrusadersvsChiefs
Saturday 29 July, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium

The rivalry between the Crusaders and the Chiefs is one of the fiercest in Super Rugby and this is set to be an absolute ripper.

The Crusaders cruised into the Super Rugby Semi-Finals with a comfortable win over the Highlanders and they will go into this clash as clear favourites.

They are a flawless 8-0 as home favourites this season, they are 6-2 against the line in this scenario and they beat the Chiefs earlier this season.

The Chiefs are on a fairly quick back-up following their win over the Stormers in South Africa last weekend and they really are up against it this weekend.

It should be noted that the Chiefs have won two of their past three games as away underdogs and before this season they had won their previous form games against the Crusaders.

The Crusaders go into this clash as deserving favourites, but there is no value at their current price and this is a clash that I am happy to stay out of.

No Bet

LionsvsHurricanes
Saturday 29 July, 10:30pm, Emirates Airline Park

There is very little between these two teams in betting and this will be another fascinating clash.

The Lions extended their impressive winning streak with a fighting win over the Sharks, but the Hurricanes will be the toughest test they have faced this season and it is the Kiwis that will go into this clash as favorites.

Winning at home has been a formality for the Lions this season – they have won all eight games at Emirates Airline Park – but they have lost two of their past three games as underdogs and their record against the Hurricanes is extremely poor.

The Hurricanes were far too good for the Brumbies last weekend – after a slow start – and they have not lost to an Australian or a South African team this season.

They have won six of their past seven games as away favourites and they have absolutely dominated the Lions in recent meetings.

The Hurricanes should win this game comfortably and they really do represent excellent value at their current price.

Back The Hurricanes To Win @ $1.85


2016

We have reached the penultimate week of the 2016 Super Rugby season and as expected it is the New Zealand-based franchises that hold a dominant hand heading into the Super Rugby semi-finals.

The Hurricanes scored a dominant victory over the Sharks last weekend, but they will face stiffer competition in the form of the Chiefs this weekend.

The Lions are the only South African-based franchise still in the competition and they will host the defending champion Highlanders in the second semi-final.

There are winners to be found in both these competitive semi-final and you can find our recommended bets below!

HurricanesvsChiefs
Saturday 30 July, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
Hurricanes 25 - Chiefs 9

The Hurricanes were at their brilliant best against the Sharks last weekend and they will go into this semi-final on the back of six victories on the trot.

A victory in this fixture would see the Hurricanes host the Super Rugby Grand Final for the second season in a row and they are clear favourites to do just that.

The Hurricanes have won six of their seven games as home favourites this season, but they have still not been a profitable betting play in this scenario and they are 3-4 against the line.

The Chiefs bounced back from their loss to the Highlanders in the final round of the regular season with a dominant performance against the Stormers and they will fancy their chances against the Hurricanes after beating them by one point in their only previous meeting this season.

The Waikato-based franchise have been one of the best betting plays in all of Super Rugby this season and they have won four of their five games as away underdogs for a sizeable profit, while they have the same record against the line.

The Chiefs have the talent to mix it with any other team in Super Rugby on their day and they have every chance to win what I expect to be a very tight affair.

Recommended Bet: Back The Chiefs To Beat The Line (+4.5 Points)

LionsvsHighlanders
Saturday 30 July, 11:00pm, Emirates Airlines Park
Lions 42 - Highlanders 30

The Lions ensured that it would not be all-New Zealand semi-finals with their impressive victory over the Crusaders last weekend and they will go into the biggest game in franchise history as narrow favourites.

The Lions have been nothing short of outstanding from a betting perspective this season and their record in front of their home fans this season has been all but flawless.

The Natal-based franchise have won all seven games as home favourites and they are a highly profitable 6-1 against the line in this scenario.

The Highlanders kept their chances of back-to-back Super Rugby titles alive with a hard-fought victory over the Brumbies last weekend and how they handle the lengthy trip to South Africa could go a long way to deciding the outcome of this contest.

The defending premiers won six of their nine games away from home this season and they were 2-0 as away underdogs, but their record against the Lions in South Africa has been fairly average and they only had to face the struggling Kings and Jaguares when they travelled under a month ago.

This is another game that could easily go either way, but the home-ground advantage does give the Lions the edge and they are more than capable of qualifying for their first-ever Super Rugby final.

Recommended Bet: Back The Lions To Win @ $1.85