In a rematch between last year’s Super XV final combatants, the ACT Brumbies will host two-time defending champs the Waikato Chiefs in the opening qualifying final at GIO Stadium on Saturday night.
The Chiefs scored a 27-22 victory over the Brumbies in Hamilton last year to take out their second consecutive title, but the Brumbies gained some retribution with a convincing 41-23 result against the Chiefs in Canberra in April.
The Chiefs have been patchy throughout the 2014 campaign, only securing fifth spot via an 11-8 final-round eclipse of the Blues, while the Brumbies landed in fourth after thrashing the Force 47-25.
Boasting 10 wins and six losses in the regular season – compared to the Chiefs’ 8-6-2 record – the home side will start as pronounced favourites to book a semi-final date with the Waratahs or Crusaders; the victor’s opponent will depend on the result in the Sharks-Highlanders qualifying final.
Hear what the Rugby HQ team had to say in their preview of the sudden-death blockbuster:
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