Brumbies secure quarter-final against Highlanders


The Brumbies became the final team to book their spot in the Super Rugby play-offs on Saturday and will now face reigning champions Highlanders in a sudden-death quarter-final.

Stephen Larkham's men needed just a point against the Western Force - who have won only twice this season - to top the Australian Conference table, after the Waratahs had gone down to the Blues in Auckland 24 hours earlier.

Touchdowns from Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani, allied to a penalty try, ensured the Brumbies triumphed 24-10 to end the Waratahs' season.

The Brumbies will host the Highlanders in Canberra next weekend, after the latter's position as runners-up in the New Zealand Conference was confirmed courtesy of a 25-15 win over the Chiefs.

Heading into the final round of regular-season fixtures, the Chiefs topped the standings, but a yellow card for Tom Sanders proved costly on Saturday.

Sanders was sin-binned in the 54th minute for a dangerous tackle on Ben Smith, and the Highlanders capitalised by adding 10 points in his absence through Dan Pryor's converted try and a Lima Sopoaga penalty.

Sopoaga then went over for a match-clinching score late on, after Lachlan Boshier had got the Chiefs back within three.

Defeat for the Chiefs, who will now face the Stormers, enabled the Hurricanes to seal top spot in the New Zealand Conference and a home quarter-final with a 35-10 victory over the Crusaders.

The Hurricanes are currently in line to host the Sharks in the last eight, with the Crusaders facing the Lions. However, that will change if the Lions beat the Jaguares later on Saturday to finish top of the overall standings.