25 Jul 2014

Big Super semis in store

1:40 pm on 25 July 2014

The best of New Zealand and South African rugby clash on Saturday night in a heavyweight tussle to find Super Rugby's finalists for 2014.

The Crusaders host South African side the Sharks first up, with the Christchurch-based side finding their groove and flexing their muscle after the June Test break, while the Durban-based Sharks have struggled to rediscover their early form.

But while Jake White's men only just scraped past the Highlanders last weekend, they showed they have the set-piece and forward strength to overpower any team.

And the Sharks stunned the Crusaders two months ago to be the first South African team in a decade to win in Christchurch.

However All Blacks captain Richie McCaw returns to the starting side for the hosts, albeit at No.6 with fellow international Matt Todd retained on the openside, and fellow star Dan Carter stays at No.12, with rampaging Fijian Nemani Nadolo outside him.

The bookies have the Crusaders as favourites.

Later on Saturday night, it's the top side from Sydney, the Waratahs, against Australian rivals the ACT Brumbies at Allianz Stadium, in what could be another cracking semi-final.

Last time the bitter rivals met in Sydney for a top-four play-off, the Brumbies blew the New South Welshmen out of the water, and another entertaining, yet much tighter, spectacle is promised this time.