BRISBANE - Following the Wallabies meltdown in the 2007 World Cup pressure-cooker, Robbie Deans couldn't be happier to see the Brumbies and NSW Waratahs experience extra sudden-death encounters on Friday.

The Brumbies-Crusaders and Waratahs-Hurricanes Super 14 "quarterfinals" gives the bulk of Deans' Australian squad rare do-or-die matches a year out from the 2011 World Cup.

Unlike European teams, whose leading players encounter regular knockout matches, including the Heineken Cup, sudden-death matches are foreign to most Wallabies players.

No Australian teams made last year's Super 14 finals, while the Wallabies went to water in their most recent World Cup quarterfinal when overpowered 12-10 by underdogs England.

That day in Marseille, several Australian players had games they'd rather forget, most notably Stephen Moore and Adam Ashley-Cooper who entered the match in good form but without any big-stage finals experience.

Deans on Wednesday said such must-win games were an asset for his test team.

"It's great experience and it's good background and it's distinct from round-robin play so the more players that can have this experience it's better for us and it's something we haven't had a lot of recent times," Deans said.

"The players have to face their maker a lot more so because there is no next week.

"It's do-or-die on the day, so seeing how players respond to that reality is interesting, sometimes it makes players.

"Players will emerge from that context, and that's where the business end is really important because it's a lot closer to a test match context.

"It's also important to the players because I guess it is in all reality their last chance and the longer they can stay in the competition and closer they can get to the point of selection the fresher they are in (the selectors) minds."

While the Waratahs and Brumbies have the chance for one or two more knockout clashes, Deans denied Queensland's players had harmed their Wallabies hopes with their late-season fade.

Despite the Crusaders' fine record at home, Deans felt the Brumbies were able to win in Christchurch but warned that his old side appeared to have overcome their form blip with their "exceptional performance" in an unlucky 40-35 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria.

"(The Brumbies) left their run late but they've started running, as have the Crusaders," he said.

"They return to their bastion and there's no doubt they will present themselves really well - there is no way you will get an average performance out of that group this weekend."

Deans has the benefit of picking players from four distinct styles of play and he felt NSW's no-nonsense forward-oriented game suited semi-final rugby perfectly.

He said it would also limit the opportunities of a dangerous Hurricanes backline.

"Not only do they like to squeeze the life out of their opponents but they also have a habit of getting up in the close ones," he said.

- AAP