This weekend saw eight teams from various corners of the earth going head to head in nail-biting, suspense-generating games as grown men were watched trying to keep possession of a ball. After many a tackle and sometimes bone crushing scrums, four teams came out on tops.
Crusaders vs Highlanders
This past Friday saw two of the four quarter-finals take place. The Crusaders and the Highlanders played a mean game of rugby in Wellington, New Zealand, home continent to both the Crusaders and the Highlanders. However, these teams are resident to the South Island while play took place on the North Island, no unfair advantages there. The Crusaders gave the Highlanders a run for their money as they beat them 38-14 securing them a spot in the much-anticipated Semi-Finals where they will battle against the Hurricanes, who are, in fact, from Wellington, however, the semi-final match will take place in Christchurch. Will home turf be beneficial to the Crusaders? Only time will tell.
Jaguares vs Chiefs
The Jaguares then met the Chiefs on the playing field. The Jaguares walked away with a five-point victory over the Chiefs, 21-16. This means that for the very first time the Argentinian Jaguares will be playing in the semi-finals on home turf, in Buenos Aires, and they can thank their great defence during the quarterfinals for that. They will be facing the Australian Brumbies this coming weekend.
Hurricanes vs Bulls
On Saturday at 08:15, Bulls’ local time, the Bulls and the Hurricanes ran out onto the green rugby field, both teams aspiring to play their best game ever. Sadly, only one team could win and show off their rugby togs in the semi-finals, and that team will be the Hurricanes. The Bulls pulled out all the stops making sure that they didn’t leave the match with too much egg on their faces and in the end were only beaten by 7 points with the game ending on 35-28 to the Hurricanes, who, as mentioned above, will be meeting the Crusaders in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Sharks vs Brumbies
It was a sad weekend indeed for South African rugby supporters as both teams representing them in the quarterfinals fell out of the tournament. The sharks were hit a little harder than the Bulls, as in the Sharks vs Brumbies match the Brumbies won 38-13, paving the way to the semis for them, where they will play against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, the Jags hometown.
The winners of each of the two semi-finals will go up against each other in the finals, this is a rather obvious statement, but what isn’t apparent is who it will be. The Jaguares have been playing a rewarding game so far, but so have the others, that’s why they are advancing to the semi-finals. Who are you rooting for, the Argentines, Aussies or the New Zealanders? It’d be interesting to see the underdogs in the finals, but then again can you imagine the drama of putting two New Zealand teams up against each other.