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Super Rugby Review: Round 17

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Saturday, July 15, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

The only way the Crusaders could host the final is if the Lions fall short in their quarter final against the Sharks at the weekend or in the semi-final a week later.

QUICK TAP: BLUES STUNNED BY SUNWOLVES IN TOKYO HEAT

But the Crusaders were not the only ones to fall at the final hurdle in what became one of the toughest tests of favouritism in any round during the season.

The quarterfinals draw is:
Friday: 
Brumbies v Hurricanes, 9.45pm (NZT)

Saturday: 
Crusaders v Highlanders, 7.35pm

Sunday: 
Lions v Sharks, 12.30am
Stormers v Chiefs, 3am

New Zealand Conference
The Highlanders made an assured start to the New Zealand round with a 40-17 win over the Reds in Dunedin on Friday. However, the Blues were not so lucky in Tokyo and suffered a humiliating 21-48 loss to the Sunwolves, a result which threatened to undo much of the progress the Blues had made during the season. The Chiefs were too slick in a frustrating 28-10 win over the Brumbies in Hamilton. Having made all the play, the Chiefs just couldn't put the Brumbies away. The Crusaders, for once, were not able to mount a late response to a determined third quarter from the Hurricanes who overcame some late forced changes to the side to earn a quarter final in Canberra. Final points were: Crusaders 63, Hurricanes 58, Chiefs 57, Highlanders 51 and Blues 37.



Australia Conference
After the Reds succumbed to the Highlanders on Friday night the Force provided the highlight of the Australia Conference with a stunning 40-11 win over the Waratahs, outscoring the under-performing New South Wales side by scoring five tries to one. The Force finished a clear second in the Australian Conference on 26 points behind the Brumbies on 34 and ahead of the Reds on 21, the Waratahs on 19 and the Rebels on nine. The Rebels were beaten 32-29 by the Jaguares in Melbourne.

Africa 1 Conference
The Stormers finished 22 points clear of the Cheetahs in their Conference with the Bulls third on 20 points and the Sunwolves, after their triumph over the Blues on 12 points. The Stormers enjoyed a running game to beat the Bulls 41-33 at Pretoria and set up a repeat of last season's quarter final with the Chiefs. The Cheetahs got home 21-20 over the Kings courtesy of a 74th minute penalty goal to Niel Marais.

Africa 2 Conference
By beating the Sharks 27-10, the Lions ended on 65 points with the Sharks on 42. The Jaguares ended on 33 after their 32-29 come-from-behind win in Melbourne and the Kings were fourth on 28 points. It wasn't an impressive dress rehearsal for the quarter final against the same opposition for the Lions who were lacklustre in their win.