30 Jun 2011

History doesn't favour Crusaders or Blues ahead of semi finals

7:14 am on 30 June 2011

History doesn't favour the New Zealand sides the Crusaders or the Blues ahead of this weekend's Super rugby semi finals, with it being more than a decade since any team won a playoff match outside their own country.

The Queensland Reds host the Blues in Brisbane while the Crusaders play the Stormers in Capetown.

The Stormers are the only team in the last four never to have won the title although they are the most recent side with finals experience finishing runners up to fellow South African side the Bulls last year.

The Crusaders will be buoyed by the return of All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw and assistant coach Daryl Gibson says All Black number eight Kieran Read is a near certainty to play meaning they're close to full strength for the first time this season.