Super Rugby playoffs: Lions and Chiefs complete semi-final lineup

The Super Rugby semi-final lineup is complete, following big wins for both the Lions and Chiefs

Super Rugby playoffs: Lions and Chiefs complete semi-final lineup
The Chiefs celebrate their penultimate try (image via: radiosportnz)

The final four teams in this season's Super Rugby season are now known following the completion of the quarter-final stages.

Following wins earlier on the weekend for the Highlanders and the Hurricanes, the Chiefs became the third Kiwi side to prevail in the qualifier round, while the Lions are South Africa's sole representatives after overcoming the Crusaders

Next week, the semi-final round will see the Hurricanes host fellow New Zealand outfit the Chiefs in Wellington, while the Highlanders travel to Johannesburg to take on the Lions. 

Chiefs run riot in Cape Town, hitting Stormers for 60

Earlier in the week, Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck bemoaned the fact that his Stormers outfit were yet to face a Kiwi side this season. 

Fleck believed that the Chiefs tougher regular season would mean they were more battle-hardened come playoff time, and that proved to be the case as they crushed their hosts 60-21. 

The Chiefs scored four tries in either half to book a semi-final spot, while the home side were left to lick their wounds on what was Schalk Burger's last outing for the province. 

Sam McNicol opened the scoring for the Chiefs (image via: getty)

The first-half was all about the Chiefs back-line who were in iresistable form, offloading at will and finding room aplenty on the flanks. 

Wingers Sam McNicol and James Lowe each scored tries before the break, as did Tom Sanders who benefited from a charge-down close to the line from Aaron Cruden.

The pick of tries though in the first period belonged to diminutive scrum-half Brad Weber. Following some stunning interplay, the ball came to Weber who hit a perfect line before speeding away from the covering defenders. 

The Stormers did their best to put up a fight, and scored two tries of their own before the break, both coming from barging runs by Vincent Koch, who will be joining Burger in the Aviva Premiership as a new Saracen next season. 

Damian McKenzie dives over for his try at Newlands (image via: sarugbymagazine.co.za)

The man to spark many of the Chiefs attacks was mercurial full-back Damian McKenzie. The smiling assassin scored 25 points in all, including the Chiefs fifth try just after the break following a fine run by Anton Leinert-Brown

Nizaam Caar then crossed for the Stormers ten minutes from time, but in hindsight he'll wish he hadn't after it sparked the Chiefs back into life.

Dave Rennie's men added three more scores in the final minutes of the fixture through Hika Elliot, Tevita Koloamatangi and Tawera Kerr-Barlow to increase their score to a stunning 60. 

Lions topple Crusaders behind fast start in Jo'burg

On their own patch the Lions are an extremely tough beast to tame. Having already bullied a number of sides at Ellis Park this campaign, Johann Ackermann's side flew out of the blocks once more in their quarter-final fixture with the Crusaders to forge a 15-0 lead after just 14 minutes. 

Tries for Courtnall Skosan and the impressive Rohan Janse van Rensburg, accompanied by a Luke Romano yellow-card had the home side in a perfect spot to completely dominate their Kiwi opponents. 

Rohan Janse van Rensburg scores for the Lions (image source: getty via nzherald)

Under Todd Blackadder however, the Crusaders were never likely to roll over, and it was only until around the 70 minute mark that the home side could well-and-truly feel they were over the line.

Scores from Crusader backs Ryan Crotty and Mitchell Drummond sandwiched a Malcolm Marx try for the Lions, which drew the visitors to within eight points just after the hour mark and put the game back in the balance. 

Behind a raucuos home support, the Lions were not about to allow a comeback to materialise and they turned the style back on in the final ten minutes crossing twice through Ruan Combrinck and Ross Cronje to wrap-up a home semi-final next weekend. 

Ben Volavola's final-minute try ensured that the Crusaders would battle until the end, but they eventually went down to a 42-25 defeat, and could not complete a Kiwi final four.