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Super Rugby finals

Monday, July 14, 2014

BRISBANE - The Brumbies have the chance to avenge last season's Super Rugby final defeat when they host the Chiefs in the opening match of this year's play-offs on Saturday night.

The ACT outfit gained fourth place on the ladder and a home qualifying final after the last round of the competition was completed yesterday in South Africa.

While the Brumbies meet the defending champions from the Waikato at Canberra Stadium, South Africa's conference winners, the Sharks, will host the Dunedin-based Highlanders in Durban on Sunday morning.

The Sharks scored a confidence-boosting 34-10 victory over the Stormers in the last match of the regular season in Cape Town but failed to earn a bonus point to overhaul the Kiwi conference-winning Crusaders (51) on the table.

The seven-time champions' four-try bonus point from a 34-8 win over the Highlanders in Christchurch saw them secure second place and follow NSW Waratahs on a direct path to the semi-finals.

The Waratahs (58), who had already sealed first place, beat the Queensland Reds 34-3 to end the regular season with their seventh straight win.

If qualifying finals results go to the home sides then the Brumbies would meet the Waratahs in a mouth-watering semi-final at Sydney's Allianz Stadium on July 26.

While the Brumbies (45) smashed the Western Force 47-25 in their best display of the season, the Chiefs — champions in 2012 and 13 — sneaked into the play-offs thanks to a scrappy 11-8 win over the Blues in the wet in Auckland.

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