17 May 2009

Three New Zealand teams into the Super 14 semi-finals

12:38 pm on 17 May 2009

A hard-fought night of final round matches has put South Africa's Bulls leading three New Zealand teams into the semi-finals of rugby's Super 14.

The first semi-final will be in Hamilton on Friday when the Chiefs host the Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium.

Kick off is at 7.35.

The start time for the second semi-final between the Bulls and the Crusaders in Pretoria is still to be confirmed, but is likely to take place on Sunday morning New Zealand time.

The Bulls held off a fierce challenge from the Sharks to secure top spot and their home semi, winning 27-26 in Durban.

The Crusaders beat the Blues in Auckland last night, Leon MacDonald potting a drop goal four minutes from fulltime to get the 15-13 win, and a place in the semis on points differential over the New South Wales Waratahs.

The Hurricanes shot out to an early lead against the Queensland Reds but had to withstand the home side's fight back to win 37-28 and grab their third place table finish.

The Chiefs beat the Brumbies 10-7 on Friday night but had to wait another 36 hours to see their home semi-final deam secure.