Four of the five Kiwi sides will take part in this year’s Super Rugby quarter-finals, with the play-off match-ups confirmed overnight.
The Waratahs are the only Australian team in the Super Rugby finals, after the Melbourne Rebels just missed out.
The first quarter-final will be an all-Kiwi affair, with the Hurricanes hosting the Highlanders in Wellington.
The table topping Crusaders will host the Sharks in Christchurch, before the Australian conference winning Waratahshost the Highlanders in a knockout quarter-final on Saturday night.
Both the Sharks sneak through ahead of the Rebels, who lost 43-37 to the Highlanders in Dunedin, both having finished on 36 points.
Each finished level on wins, the initial tie-breaker, but the Sharks had a -5 points differential to the Rebels -21.
The Lions, the losing finalist for the last two seasons, will host the Jaguares after clinching top spot in the South African conference with a 38-12 home win over the Bulls.
The Tahs dropped to third on the overall ladder after losing to the Brumbies last night, with the Lions later replacing them in second spot.
The match between the Tahs and the sixth-placed Highlanders, who they beat 41-12 in Sydney back in May, is expected to be played next Saturday, with the details to be confirmed later.
The Tahs conceded six tries to the Brumbies, whose own slim playoff hopes ended when the Rebels picked up a bonus-point in Dunedin.
Friday, July 20
Hurricanes v Chiefs – Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday, July 21
Crusaders v Sharks – AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Waratahs v Highlanders – Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Lions v Jaguares – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg