Android TV Yes, via app for version 7. The Crusaders represent the north side of the island and the Highlanders the south, but further to this the two teams are a professional representation of the amateur rivalry between Otago University in Dunedin, and Canterbury University in Christchurch. Last season, the Highlanders were on of the few teams able to get the better of the Crusaders throughout the year, winning the first match-up — the second time around, however, they were comprehensively beaten. All sides in South Africa have a healthy combination of respect and hatred for one another, but the animosity between these two sides is on another level.
Main article: Super 10 Rugby In , the Super Six competition was revamped and expanded into the Super 10 tournament. With South Africa being readmitted into international sport following the dismantling of apartheid, there was an opportunity to launch an expanded competition which would also feature South Africa's top provincial teams.
SANZAR era[ edit ] Super 12 — [ edit ] The official declaration of professionalism in rugby union in August led to a restructuring of the Super 10 competition. In addition it was decided to hold an annual Tri-Nations Test Series between the three countries.
A significant reason for the development of the Super 12 was the threat to rugby union from rival football code rugby league : part of the business model for the Foxtel pay TV network in Australia was to attract subscribers by offering an exclusive product such as rugby union which could not be seen on free-to-air broadcast television.
With significant sponsorship, and rugby turning a professional sport in August , the Super 12 competition successfully kicked off in with five New Zealand franchises, four South African provinces and three domestic Australian teams competing.
New Zealand's dominance of the competition began in the first year when the Auckland Blues won the inaugural competition defeating South African side the Sharks 45 — 21 in a home final. The Blues then reached their third successive final in but went down to fellow countrymen the Canterbury Crusaders 13 — This would mark the beginning of the Crusaders' three-year dominance as they went on to win the and finals over the Otago Highlanders and ACT Brumbies respectively.
The season was the first in which no New Zealand franchise reached the final, being contested between the ACT Brumbies and Sharks with the Brumbies convincing winners, with a 36 — 6 scoreline.
The Crusaders won their 4th final in winning all 11 matches and missed out on their 5th in with a four-point loss to fellow countrymen the Blues. In the Brumbies took revenge on their final loss to the Crusaders defeating them 47 — 38 in front of a home crowd.
The Crusaders would bounce back to win the final 35 — 25 against the Australian side the New South Wales Waratahs who reached their first ever final. This was the last year of the 12 team format. From the early s Australia had started to push for the inclusion of a fourth Australian team, and South Africa for another team from its country.
Argentina was also pushing for inclusion in the Super In the early s the provincial names from the New Zealand franchises were dropped, so, for example, the Canterbury Crusaders became The Crusaders.
Also South Africa followed the New Zealand franchise model, where previously South African participation was decided by the previous year's Currie Cup placings.
The Super 14 logo used from to The new Australian team in the competition was based in Perth and was named the Western Force. The addition of the new South African team led to considerable controversy, including government involvement. Finally, the five teams for were confirmed to be the country's existing four teams plus the Cheetahs , which draws its players from the Free State and Northern Cape Provinces.
For the season, the Southern Spears , based in Port Elizabeth , were originally intended to replace the lowest-finishing South African team from the competition.
However, the existing South African Super 14 franchises opposed the plan, which was pushed through by controversial president of the South African Rugby Union , Brian van Rooyen.
However, because of the organisation's financial and administrative troubles, in November a settlement was reached.
The Spears abandoned their legal case, and will continue to exist, but not compete in the Super Argentina and the Pacific Islands remained shut out of the competition.
The two new teams didn't perform all that well, the South African franchise the Cheetahs did the better of the two teams finishing 10th on the ladder notching up 5 season wins.
The Australian franchise the Western Force only managed one victory and ended winning the wooden spoon as last placed 14th.
The highlight for the Force was a all draw against eventual champions the Crusaders, who defeated first-time finalists the Hurricanes 19— The Cats now the Lions playing the Sharks. During the season, 22 All Blacks missed the competition's first seven rounds as part of an All Black "conditioning programme" that was a part of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup preparations, and every New Zealand franchise was without players for the first seven rounds.
Although the Brumbies were strong and the Western Force experienced vast improvement, it was a poor season for the Queensland Reds and Waratahs who finished last and second last respectively.
Also, the competition featured the first all-South African final as the Sharks and Bulls , who finished 1—2 on the season ladder, both won their respective semi-finals.
The final, held in Durban , saw the visiting Bulls win 20— During the time the competition was branded as the Super 14, only two teams won the tournament.
The Crusaders winning the and tournaments; while the Bulls ended victorious in , , and respectively. This model was based around the original ARU proposal for three national conferences: each side were to have played the other four teams from their own country twice and the other ten teams once each; the season has to end with a six team finals series.
There were four major compromises, however, designed to accommodate certain wishes of each country, that somewhat complicated the model: Each team would only play four, instead of all five, teams in each of the other two national conferences, making sixteen regular season games for each team instead of eighteen, and allowing for a late February start, somewhat placating the ARU and NZRU who wanted a March start.
The season would finish in early August so as not to overlap new streamlined versions of New Zealand's and South Africa's domestic competitions.
The three conference winners and the three best performers of the remaining teams would qualify for a three-week finals series, with seedings deciding the match-ups.
The licence was awarded to Victoria , Australia, and the team's name announced as the Melbourne Rebels.
This was also the year that rugby sevens entered the Olympics , which contributed towards increased interest in the sport in many countries, including Japan and the US.
Specifically, he stated, "You could have a deal comparable to the other major sports in Australia. The last proposal, made by the SARU , was reportedly driven by internal union politics. Australia and New Zealand warmed to the SARU proposal, as a trans-Tasman competition would potentially allow for more regional derbies, fewer time zone complications and less player travel.