Crusaders, Chiefs and Highlanders confirmed finalists

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SANZAR     13 Jul 2014     Getty Images

By finishing the season as the competition’s two highest-ranked conference winners, the Waratahs (58 points, 12 wins) and the Crusaders (51 points, 11 wins) have earned the week off and progress straight to the Super Rugby Semi Finals where they await the winners of the following clashes:

Super Rugby Qualifier A
Saturday 19 July 2014

Brumbies v Chiefs
GIO Stadium, Canberra, Australia
Kick-off (19:40 local, 21:40 NZST, 11:40 SAST, 09:40 GMT)

Super Rugby Qualifier B
Saturday 19 July 2014

Sharks v Highlanders
Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban, South Africa
Kick-off (17:05 local, 03:05* NZT, 01:05* AEST, 15:05 GMT)

* Sunday morning 20 July in Australia/New Zealand

The Super Rugby Finals Series gets underway with what promises to be a pulsating and hard-fought re-match of last year's season-decider between the Brumbies and the dual defending champion Chiefs.

Victory in the final round against the Force and Blues respectively has put the two familiar combatants on a post-season collision course in Canberra.

Although comprehensively winning the South African Conference, the Sharks finished as the third-ranked conference winner and are subsequently thrust into a home Qualifier against the sixth-ranked Highlanders, who go into the Finals Series on the back of successive defeats to the Waratahs and Crusaders; Super Rugby's two Semi-Finalists.

Interestingly, these match-ups also occurred on the same day of the 2014 regular season with Brumbies defeating the Chiefs 41-23 and the Highlanders upsetting the Sharks 34-18 on the road in Round 11.