The Sharks beat the defending champion Reds 30-17 and the Crusaders defeated the Bulls 28-13 to advance to next week’s Super Rugby semifinals.
JP Pietersen, Paul Jordaan and Charl McLeod scored tries in the sixth-seeded Sharks’ qualifying playoff win in Brisbane. Frederic Michalak kicked 15 points for the visiting Sharks, who face the top-seeded Stormers in an all-South African semifinal in Cape Town on July 28.
Dan Carter kicked 23 points and Zac Guilford scored a try to lead the Crusaders to the home win in Christchurch, New Zealand. The fourth-seeded Crusaders, who are seeking a record-extending eighth title in rugby union’s southern hemisphere provincial championship, will visit the Chiefs, the No. 2 seed, July 27 in Hamilton.
The Stormers earned the top seeding for the six-team playoffs by finishing first in the regular-season standings ahead of New Zealand’s Chiefs. The top two, who are both seeking their first southern hemisphere provincial championship, had a bye this week.