Fourteen times a Super Rugby side has crossed the Indian Ocean following a playoff win.

Only three teams managed to win the next week. It's something both the Chiefs and the Hurricanes are looking to overcome in the Super Rugby semifinals this weekend.

The Chiefs are on their way back to New Zealand following their 17-11 win over the Stormers in Cape Town on Sunday. They head to Christchurch to face the Crusaders on Saturday. The Hurricanes meanwhile have gone in the other direction - flying from Canberra to Johannesburg to clash with the Lions after Friday's 35-16 victory over the Brumbies.

The 2011 Crusaders were the first team to pull off back-to-back playoff games while crossing the Indian Ocean in between matches. With AMI Stadium unusable following the February earthquake, the Crusaders played a home qualifier in Nelson where they beat the Sharks. They then made the trip to Cape Town and were victors against the Stormers before losing the final to the Reds in Brisbane.


In 2012 the Sharks beat the Reds in Brisbane in the first round of the playoffs and had to travel back to South Africa where they were too good for the Stormers, who had the previous week off, in Cape Town.

Unfortunately for the Sharks, the semifinal win earned them a spot in the final in Hamilton. A second long haul trip proved to be too much as they went down to the Chiefs 37-6 in the final.

The same thing happened the following year. The Brumbies won their qualifier in Canberra and then travelled to Pretoria where they edged the Bulls the next week. Their reward was a trip to Hamilton and a 27-22 defeat to the Chiefs in the final.

Twice the Chiefs have been the benefactors but they also go into this Sunday's clash in Johannesburg knowing full well how hard it is to back up in the playoffs following a long trip. Last season the Chiefs lost to the Hurricanes in the semifinals after thrashing the Stormers the previous week in Cape Town.

In 2009 the Chiefs had to go in the other direction after winning a semifinal in Hamilton. Their first ever appearance in a Super Rugby final ended in a 61-17 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria.

The Hurricanes have never had to cross the Indian Ocean following a playoff win but have benefitted from it the last two seasons, beating the Chiefs last season and the Brumbies in 2015 in the semifinals after their opponents clocked up the air miles the week of the match.

Then the Hurricanes finally won their maiden title after beating the Lions who had to make the trip to Wellington after a semifinal win in Johannesburg.

This Sunday the reverse fixture happens.


Both the Hurricanes and Chiefs won't want to look ahead too far but if either side win they face the prospect of making the trip back again.

Super Rugby teams travelling across Indian Ocean following a playoff win:
Highlanders lost to Crusaders in Dunedin after winning semifinal in Cape Town

Sharks lost to Brumbies after winning semifinal in Durban

Chiefs lost to Bulls after winning semifinal in Hamilton

Crusaders beat the Stormers after winning qualifier in Nelson

Crusaders lost to Reds after winning semifinal in Cape Town

Sharks beat to Stormers in Cape Town after winning qualifier in Brisbane
Sharks lost to Chiefs in Hamilton after winning semifinal in Cape Town

Brumbies beat the Bulls after winning qualifier in Canberra.

Brumbies lost to Chiefs after winning semifinal in Pretoria

Sharks lost to Crusaders after winning quarter-final in Durban

Brumbies lost to Hurricanes after winning quarter-final in Cape Town

Chiefs lost to Hurricanes after winning quarter-final in Cape Town
Highlanders lost to Lions after winning quarter-final in Canberra
Lions lost to Hurricanes after winning semifinal in Johannesburg