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1996 Super 12
Countries Australia
South Africa
New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions New Zealand Auckland Blues (1st title)
Matches played 69
Tries scored 442 (6.41 per match)
Top point scorer(s) Australia Matthew Burke (157)
(NSW Waratahs)
Top try scorer(s) South Africa James Small (13)
(Natal Sharks)
(Next) 1997

The 1996 Super 12 season was the inaugural season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 1996, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semifinals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semifinal qualified for the final, which was contested between the Auckland Blues and Natal Sharks, with the Blues winning 45 – 21 to win the first Super 12 title.

This was the first season of professional rugby union in the Southern Hemisphere (the Northern Hemisphere had their first season a few months earlier due to the seasonal differences). The season was also the first of 10 under the deal between SANZAR and News Corporation which gave all broadcasting rights to News Limited for the Super 12, Tri-Nations, all inbound tours and test matches and in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as well as provincial competition matches. The deal was collectively worth $550,000,000 USD.[1]

The teams from Australia and New Zealand were regional teams, a system that has continued to this day. South Africa used a different system for determining its Super 12 teams. The top four sides from the previous season of the country’s domestic competition, the Currie Cup, were granted berths in the Super 12. This system would continue through the 1998 competition; only in 1999 did South Africa adopt the same system used by the other two participating countries.


1997 Super 12
Countries  Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions New Zealand Auckland Blues (2nd title)
Matches played 69
Top point scorer(s) South Africa Gavin Lawless (170)
( Sharks)
Top try scorer(s) Australia Joe Roff (16)
(ACT Brumbies)

The 1997 Super 12 season was the second season of the Super 12, contested by rugby union teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from 28 February to 31 May 1997, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Auckland Blues and the ACT Brumbies at Eden Park, Auckland. The Auckland Blues won 23 – 7 to win their second Super 12 title.

While the three Australian and five New Zealand teams remained the same as the 1996 season, the South African teams made changes. Transvaal, after the changes of the political landscape of South Africa, became known as the Gauteng Lions, while Western Province, after not making the top four of the 1996 Currie Cup, were replaced by Free State of Bloemfontein.


 

The 1998 Super 12 season was the third season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 1998, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Auckland Blues and the Canterbury Crusaders at Eden Park, Auckland. The Canterbury Crusaders won 20 – 13 to win their first Super 12 title.

1998 Super 12
Countries  Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions New Zealand Canterbury Crusaders (1st title)
Matches played 69
Top point scorer(s) New Zealand Andrew Mehrtens (206)
(Canterbury Crusaders)
Top try scorer(s) New Zealand Joeli Vidiri (10)
(Auckland Blues)

The 1999 Super 12 season was the fourth season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 1999, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Canterbury Crusaders and the Otago Highlanders at Carisbrook, Dunedin. The Crusaders won 24 – 19 to win their second Super 12 title.

1999 Super 12
Countries  Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions New Zealand Canterbury Crusaders (2nd title)
Matches played 69
Top point scorer(s) New Zealand Andrew Mehrtens (192)
(Canterbury Crusaders)
Top try scorer(s) Australia Joe Roff (8)
(ACT Brumbies)

The 2000 Super 12 season was the fifth season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 2000, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Crusaders and the Brumbies at Bruce Stadium, Canberra. The Crusaders won 20 – 19 to win their third consecutive Super 12 title.

2000 Super 12
Countries  Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions New Zealand Crusaders (3rd title)
Matches played 69
Top point scorer(s) Australia Stirling Mortlock (194)
(ACT Brumbies)
Top try scorer(s) Australia Andrew Walker (13)
(ACT Brumbies)

The 2001 Super 12 season was the sixth season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 2001, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the ACT Brumbies and the Coastal Sharks at Bruce Stadium, Canberra. The ACT Brumbies won 36 – 6 to win their first Super 12 title.

2001 Super 12
Countries  Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions Australia ACT Brumbies (1st title)
Matches played 69
Top point scorer(s) South Africa Louis Koen (157)
(Golden Cats)
Top try scorer(s) Australia Andrew Walker (8)
(ACT Brumbies)
Fiji Aisea Tuilevu (8)
(Otago Highlanders)

The 2002 Super 12 season was the seventh season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 2002, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Crusaders and the Brumbies at Jade Stadium, Christchurch. The Crusaders won 31 – 13 to win their fourth Super 12 title.

2002 Super 12
Countries  Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions New Zealand Canterbury Crusaders (4th title)
Matches played 69
Top point scorer(s) New Zealand Andrew Mehrtens (182)
(Canterbury Crusaders)
Top try scorer(s) New Zealand Roger Randle (12)
(Waikato Chiefs)

The 2003 Super 12 season was the eighth season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 2003, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Blues and the Crusaders at Eden Park, Auckland. The Blues won 21 – 17 to win their third Super 12 title.

2003 Super 12
Countries  Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions New Zealand Auckland Blues (3rd title)
Matches played 69
Top point scorer(s) New Zealand Carlos Spencer (143)
(Auckland Blues)
Top try scorer(s) New Zealand Doug Howlett (12)
(Auckland Blues)

The 2004 Super 12 season was the ninth season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 2004, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Brumbies and the Crusaders at Canberra Stadium. The Brumbies won 47 – 38 to win their second Super 12 title.

2004 Super 12
Countries  Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions Australia ACT Brumbies (2nd title)
Matches played 69
Top point scorer(s) New Zealand Dan Carter (201)
(Canterbury Crusaders)
Top try scorer(s) Australia Mark Gerrard (10)
(ACT Brumbies)
Australia Stirling Mortlock (10)
(ACT Brumbies)

The 2005 Super 12 season was the tenth season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 2005, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Canterbury Crusaders and New South Wales Waratahs at Jade Stadium, Christchurch. The Crusaders won 35 – 25 to win their fifth Super 12 title.

This was the final season of Super 12 before the expansion to Super 14 with the Western Force and Cheetahs.

2005 Super 12
Countries  Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Champions New Zealand Canterbury Crusaders (5th title)
Matches played 69
Top point scorer(s) Australia Peter Hewat (174)
(NSW Waratahs)
Top try scorer(s) New Zealand Rico Gear (15)
(Canterbury Crusaders)

 

 

 

 

 

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