Super Rugby has slightly changed the playoffs format this year where the eight quarter-finalists have been split on two sides of the draw (think tennis tournaments).

It means teams can book flights and accommodation in advance for potential semifinal trips instead of jumping on Grab A Seat minutes after the fourth quarter-final on Sunday.

Unfortunately for a victorious Hurricanes, it still means they'd have to wait until Sunday morning to see where they are travelling, almost 30 hours after their quarter-final.

So the Hurricanes can't face a New Zealand team until the final?


Yes. Last year's champions are on the same side of the draw as the Lions, Sharks and the Brumbies, their quarter-final opponents on Friday. A victory on Friday and the Hurricanes are either heading to Johannesburg to face the Lions, or heading on the much shorter flight to Wellington to prepare for the Sharks.

Can there be an all-NZ semifinal?
Yes. If the Chiefs win in Cape Town on Sunday then there will be a New Zealand team in the final.

With three New Zealand teams on the same side of the draw, the Stormers are the odd-one out. A Chiefs' victory will mean an all-New Zealand semifinal in either Christchurch or Hamilton.

So there could be two semifinals in New Zealand?
Yes. The Hurricanes could host one semifinal (with a win over the Brumbies and a Sharks upset of the Lions) while the Crusaders or the Chiefs could host the other semifinal.

But the Highlanders can't host a semifinal?
Not this year. They are the lowest seed on their side of the draw. They're either travelling to Hamilton or Cape Town if they beat the Crusaders. But the Highlanders can host the final if they face the Sharks.

Have any of these teams played each other already this year?
The Crusaders won 30-27 in Dunedin and 25-22 in Christchurch.

The Hurricanes thrashed the Brumbies 56-21 during their previous meeting in Napier in April, while the Chiefs have already travelled to Cape Town this season where they lost 34-26 to the Stormers.

The Lions beat the Sharks 34-29 in round six and again last week.

Which team has the easiest draw?
The Lions and that's what you get for finishing as the top seed. They face local rivals the Sharks at home, who they beat 27-10 last week, and if they win that will host either the Hurricanes or Brumbies with their opponents having to had to travel to Johannesburg straight from Canberra.

Which team has the hardest draw?
For the Chiefs to lift the Super Rugby title for a third time they potentially face two trips to South Africa to do it.

So what's the quarter-final schedule then?
4-Brumbies v 5-Hurricanes, Canberra, 9.35pm

2-Crusaders v 7-Highlanders, Christchurch, 7.35pm

1-Lions v 8-Sharks, Johannesburg, 12.30am
3-Stormers v 6-Chiefs, Cape Town, 3am