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Saturday’s Super Rugby Trans-Tasman results were enough to secure the Highlanders a spot in the decider against the Blues this Saturday night.
That came as a result of the Crusaders falling just short of the 32 points they needed to beat the Rebels by to go past the Highlanders.
It was a close-run thing, though.
Their 52-26 win gave them a 26-point margin — which nearly became more when Leicester Fainga’anuku grounded the ball with minutes to play.
However, he was ruled to have made a double play at the line and the Crusaders came up short.
That left the Blues needing to win to reach the final, which they did as they toppled the Force 31-21 at Eden Park.
All three of the Blues, Highlanders and Crusaders finished undefeated on 23 points.
The Blues took top spot and finals hosting rights with a points differential of +119, while the Highlanders’ +103 edged the Crusaders by six.
The Chiefs claimed a 40-7 win over the Waratahs in Sydney in dead rubber to finish the round-robin.