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Home advantage a factor in Super Rugby semifinals

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Super Rugby semifinals between the Hurricanes and Chiefs and the Lions against the Highlanders this week will measure the current value of home advantage in the southern hemisphere tournament.

Over the course of its 21-year history, around 61 percent of Super Rugby's regular-season matches have been won by home teams and some statisticians have calculated the value of home advantage at 10 to 12 points.

In 2014, when the New South Wales Waratahs won the title in Sydney, 71 percent of matches were won by home teams. That fell to 57 percent in the regular season last year. However, three of five playoffs matches in 2015 were won by away teams, including the Highlanders' semifinal over the ACT Brumbies and the final in which they beat the Hurricanes to claim their first Super Rugby title.