Super Rugby - Who's it going to be?



  • Three rounds left and month of internationals for key players to get injured and scupper their teams chances. But, leaving all that aside - how's it likely to stack up?
     
    Very tight and you can choose whichever grubby metaphor you want to go with that.
     
    Here's a set of calculations on how the table might pan out.
     
    To avoid some accusations of bias, where games between contenders are concerned I've allocated the home team 4 points for winning and the away team 1 point for getting within seven points. Other games I've used my good judgement as to whether bonus points are earned or not. It's sort of a "par" assessment, so you can work out what your team needs to do better, to do better.
     
    Overall very small changes can make a very big difference.
     
    Conference winners
     
    Lions 42+4+5+5 = 56    (Sharks (H), Kings (H), Jaguares (A))
    Crusaders 45+1+5+4 = 55  (Chiefs (A), Rebels (H), Canes (H))
    Waratahs 34+5+4+4 = 47  (Sunwolves (A), Hurricanes (H), Blues (A))
    Stormers 36+1+4+5 = 46  (Rebels (A), Force (A), Kings (H))
     
    Wildcards
     
    Highlanders 38+5+5+4 = 52  (Kings (A), Jaguares (A), Chiefs (H))
    Chiefs 42+4+5+1 = 52 (Crusaders (H), Reds (A), Highlanders (A))
    Sharks 35+1+5+5 = 46 (Lions (A), Cheetahs (H), Sunwolves (H))
    Hurricanes 40+4+1+1 = 46 (Blues (H), Waratahs (A), Crusaders (A))
     
    Others
    Brumbies 34+5+1+5 = 45 (Reds (H), Blues (A), Force (H))
    Bulls 32+4+5+4 = 45 (Jaguares (A), Sunwolves (H), Cheetahs (A))
     
    I've backed the Highlanders with two shithouse teams to play to overturn the modest points difference advantage the Chiefs presently hold over them.
     
    I've picked the Waratahs to beat the Blues, but the Brumbies to lose to the Blues, based on my assessment that the Waratahs are actually a significantly better team than the Brumbies.
     
    Play-off matchups
     
    Lions vs Hurricanes
    Crusaders vs Sharks
    Waratahs vs Chiefs
    Stormers vs Highlanders
     
    Canes might back themselves to tip over the Lions again (who have found some rich form but will be travelling back from Argentina)
    I'd be happy to see Crusaders playing an SA team at home.
    Chiefs probably won't be that pleased to go to Sydney again.
    Highlanders will have already done a lot of recent travel, but they'd be good enough to beat the shithouse Stormers.
     
    Crusaders - Canes
    Tahs - Highlanders
     
    Crusaders - Tahs
     
    CRUSADERS
     
    You Bewdy!!!!  🙂



  • Can't argue with that chris! You're a wise man



  • Waratahs 34+5+4+4 = 47  (Sunwolves (A), Hurricanes (H), Blues (A))
    ...
    Brumbies 34+5+1+5 = 45 (Reds (H), Blues (A), Force (H))

    I don't think these two things can come together, TBH. If the Tahs have the game to win at Eden Park, sure as shit the Ponies do as well.
     
    Number of wins sees the Brumbies finish ahead of the Tahs if they're equal on points. Think the Ponies will sneak the conference win, the Tahs might make it into wildcards.



  • It would be tough if a New Zealand team doesn't finish first overall. That Crusaders vs Chiefs game in Fiji is going to end up being huge.
     
    I reckon the Hurricanes could go to South Africa and knock out the ions but I think that would be our final. Winning 3 tough games in a row, all away, would be too much for us.



  • I believe any of the top 4 N.Z teams can take it out but whoever holds that top spot will have a big advantage and will be favourites. Massive month of July ahead. Looking forward to it.



  • Still very open indeed and difficult to pick a winner yet. Waratahs are looking like the most serious challenges to the top 4 NZ teams for the title, but don't write off the Lions or the Sharks yet. Lots of twist and turns to come in this one.



  • Lions must be pretty firm for top spot now (with Crusaders falling over in Suva).



  • ok so the conference system looks a bit flawed with 3 of the 4 nz teams having to play all games away in the playoffs yet the justification for this geographic based system is that it is supposed to reduce teams' travel burden?
     
    BS. take the Highlanders for example: they have to fly to South Africa this week, then next week fly across the globe to Argentina, then the following week fly back to NZ for their final regular game. Then the week after that they get to fly back to South Africa for a QF then fly back to Australasia where they would still have to win an away SF and away final to retain the title. pretty tall order methinks.
     
    i miss the simple round robin super 14. time to change this to a 2 tier comp that everyone understands with promotion-relegation. there is going to be mega travel anyway so get rid of these lopsided games and playing some teams twice and others not at all, and stopping the whole comp for a month. this needs fixing.



  • Lions are now on 47 pts so should finish at the top. The Jags in BA could be a potential banana skin game but I doubt it.
     
    The NZ conference is really tight:
    Chiefs            46
    Crusaders      45
    Hurricanes     44
    Highlanders   43



  • the Jaguares are up 15-6 over the Bulls at the break in pissing rain, maybe the Jaguares might be better off after the break from the time in camp with the Pumas?
     
    I have them 12 and under to finish my multi



  • the Jaguares are up 15-6 over the Bulls at the break in pissing rain, maybe the Jaguares might be better off after the break from the time in camp with the Pumas?
     
    I have them 12 and under to finish my multi

    ... and win 29-11 sorry TR



  • yeah I know I saw....:( 
     
    woulda got even better odds had I gone 13+, Bulls were pretty clueless, Creevy was superb



  • Lions are now on 47 pts so should finish at the top. The Jags in BA could be a potential banana skin game but I doubt it.
     
    The NZ conference is really tight:
    Chiefs            46
    Crusaders      45
    Hurricanes     44
    Highlanders   43

    It still means that the Lions will have to travel back to South Africa for their playoff game from Argentina.



  • Possibly been discussed and also not sure where to put this so this thread as good as any.
    I was looking into this "thing" that Auckland are the closest home game for the Jagulars. Couldn't see it as surely Africa is closer. Well yes it is. 6,500km to Cape Town as the crow flies as opposed to 10,000 to Auckland.
    But the planes don't fly as the crow flies. They fly via Sao Paulo which means flights are 17 hours against 13 to Auckland.
    It's probably been discussed (I recall some drama for the Chiefs getting to BA from SA) but it's the first time I've bothered to work it out.



  • But the planes don't fly as the crow flies. They fly via Sao Paulo which means flights are 17 hours against 13 to Auckland.

    But less jetlag
     
    Argentina GMT -3
    NZ GMT +12
    SA GMT +2
     
    So only 5 hours difference SA Arg, but 9 hours NZ ARG.  That's why the trip is easier - it ain't just the travel
     
    Edit; and also why the ABs don't lose as much - TRC is now set up so SA ARG is the only back to back weekend.  When we lost to Deans, we played in consecutive weekends Hamiltron, Joburg and then Melbourne.  Surprise, we lost the last game.



  • If the play-offs started next weekend and the current table determined who plays who:
     
    Lions v Sharks
    Chiefs v Highlanders
    Stormers v Hurricanes
    Brumbies v Crusaders



  • If the play-offs started next weekend and the current table determined who plays who:
     
    Lions v Sharks
    Chiefs v Highlanders
    Stormers v Hurricanes
    Brumbies v Crusaders

    A single home game for NZ teams? Absolutely ridiculous :mocking:



  • It still means that the Lions will have to travel back to South Africa for their playoff game from Argentina.

    Maybe offset by the team they would play also having to travel to Jo'burg if it isn't the Sharks.



  • Lions held serve this morning and went back top. Chiefs are locked into the playoffs along with the lions. Chiefs can finish 1, 2, 5, 6 or 7. Canes probably the biggest risk of losing amongst nz teams tonight and tomorrow but I'm not holding my breath.



  • Of course saders locked in too when ponies lost last night. Celebrated by annihilating it in that training run against the rebels.



  • And canes firming up now.



  • So a Highlanders win over the Jags will guarantee 4 NZ sides in the playoffs.



  • Stormers have guaranteed top spot of Africa 1 with the win tonight.



  • Stormers locked into the 3 seed now. So if you fancy yourself in Capetown, and most teams would given the stormers' playoff record, then finishing 6th might be okay after all. Shit of a flight though.



  • guess that Tahs are no longer looking forward to heading to Auckland which is a must win with BP if they want to have a shot at topping the Aussie standings esp with the Brumbies at home to the force...
     
    While the Blues wil be last in the NZ conference, they could finish higher than the top Aussie team (if the Force upset the Brumbies) if they beat the Tahs, and higher than everyone in the other conference bar the Lions & Stormers.....so, 7th on a combined table, although more likely going to be 9th/10th if they can pick up a win.



  • (if the Force upset the Brumbies)

    And that's all they wrote. Tahs are finished.



  • Assuming the Lions beat the Jaguares and finish 1st their opponent will be either the Sharks or Bulls.  The Sharks are at home and have an easier game.
     
    The 6th place NZ team will need to play the Stormers in Cape Town.
     
    The 2 NZ derbies decides who hosts a QF and who travels to Aust and SA. 
     
    An updated table:
     
    http://www.superxv.com/table/



  • Great stuff Bovidae. Appreciate the prompt updates



  • Tiebreaking rules below:



  • Thanks Stargazer, so it looks like a Canes thrashing of the Crusaders and a close Highlanders victory over the Chiefs next weekend will see the Hurricanes top the Conference.



  • It's great 4 NZ sides have made it through...but the quality of the SA and Australia franchises is shocking.
     
    We risk having NZ players heading overseas to get more competitive games of rugby at this rate.
     
    I seriously think Australia and SA should be stripped of a franchise each, and then if expansion must continue do it from the Pacific Islands etc.
     
    I just about never watch any games not involving NZ teams any more, and I'm on the point of purely restricting my viewing to local derbies.
     
    Super Rugby was at one stage the jewel of world club rugby in terms of quality, even if it never had the fanatical fan support of the Heineken cup.  But now it's just 4 or 5 quality NZ sides, and this season the Lions, with the Brumbies having faded woefully (but not so woefully they won't beat the Force and qualify ahead of 3 of the NZ sides).
     
    Not too happy about where Super Rugby is headed at all (a feeder comp for UK & French club rugby).



  • To be honest, I don't really care about dropping teams, as there's always going to be dirt trackers and it's still possible for them to turn things around (hell, the last four years has been won by three franchises that used to be shite). The ARU and SARU got what they wanted with their extra teams and have watered down their teams as a result, that's their problem, not ours. But I do think SANZAAR needs to be a hell of a lot more careful with any future expansion though, there were clowns suggesting US, Singapore, blah blah blah teams just a couple of months ago, which I thought was pretty cringeworthy. I think the only new team I'd like to see is a second Argie team to help them build depth and give them a bit better draw but that's it.
     
    The one change I'd most like to see is a fix to the shitty finals draw system, where some teams can end up travelling from NZ to SA to NZ and then back to SA. I think they should just adopt the American conference model we see in the NFL or NBA, where there's conference semi's and finals and then the two conference winners play each other. The only problem with that from a Super rugby stand point is that the Aus/NZ conference has 5 qualifiers vs the Africa conference's 3 but they could just make it so the lowest qualified Aus/NZ team has to go play in the Africa conference finals. Sousing the current standings then it'd look something like:
     
    Chiefs vs Hurricanes (Aus/NZ semi 1)
    Brumbies vs Crusaders (Aus/NZ semi 2)
    Lions vs Sharks (Africa semi 1)
    Stormers vs Highlanders (Africa semi 2)
     
    Then the semi's/conference finals would look something like:
    Chiefs vs Crusaders (Aus/NZ final)
    Lions vs Highlanders (Africa final)
     
    And finally, we get the final in the Tron:
    Chiefs vs Highlanders
     
    :biggrin:



  • To be honest, I don't really care about dropping teams, as there's always going to be dirt trackers and it's still possible for them to turn things around (hell, the last four years has been won by three franchises that used to be shite). The ARU and SARU got what they wanted with their extra teams and have watered down their teams as a result, that's their problem, not ours. But I do think SANZAAR needs to be a hell of a lot more careful with any future expansion though, there were clowns suggesting US, Singapore, blah blah blah teams just a couple of months ago, which I thought was pretty cringeworthy. I think the only new team I'd like to see is a second Argie team to help them build depth and give them a bit better draw but that's it.
     
    The one change I'd most like to see is a fix to the shitty finals draw system, where some teams can end up travelling from NZ to SA to NZ and then back to SA. I think they should just adopt the American conference model we see in the NFL or NBA, where there's conference semi's and finals and then the two conference winners play each other. The only problem with that from a Super rugby stand point is that the Aus/NZ conference has 5 qualifiers vs the Africa conference's 3 but they could just make it so the lowest qualified Aus/NZ team has to go play in the Africa conference finals. Sousing the current standings then it'd look something like:
     
    Chiefs vs Hurricanes (Aus/NZ semi 1)
    Brumbies vs Crusaders (Aus/NZ semi 2)
    Lions vs Sharks (Africa semi 1)
    Stormers vs Highlanders (Africa semi 2)
     
    Then the semi's/conference finals would look something like:
    Chiefs vs Crusaders (Aus/NZ final)
    Lions vs Highlanders (Africa final)
     
    And finally, we get the final in the Tron:
    Chiefs vs Highlanders
     
    :biggrin:

    Hurricanes beat the Crusaders this weekend. 
     
    Chiefs beat the Highlanders this weekend.
     
    Playoff picture will look like this:
     
     
     
    1.       LIONS VS SHARKS (1 vs 😎
    2.       CHIEFS VS HIGHLANDERS (2 vs 7)
    3.       STORMERS VS CRUSADERS 3 vs 6)
    4.       BRUMBIES VS HURRICANES (4 vs 5)
     
    1.       LIONS VS CRUSADERS
    2.       CHIEFS VS HURRICANES
     
    1.       HURRICANES VS CRUSADERS (FINAL AT THE TIN) 
     
    Result: Canes get redemption and win their first title.
     
    :good:
     
    This final week is going to be a good watch.
     
    Anything can happen!!



  • The quality of the Australian teams has been poor overall the last two years, but its mostly consistency that is lacking. A few weeks ago the Waratahs absolutely belted the Chiefs all over the park, but conceded a few soft tries doing it.
     
    Australian Rugby is implementing a better pathways system to get pro-ready teams up and running in an environment that is quite predatory in nature, with a lot of our juniors having options in league, that come with money. Without ~150 professional rugby positions available to show their wares, the overall strength of rugby here won't actually get any better.
     
    Of course its still shackled by a self-indulgent school system that needs to follow the same marker.
     
    But winning Super titles, or even getting into the finals, isn't a marker for Test rugby. Its just that NZ understood the required tweaks for its system a decade ago and have implemented them. We're a bit slow/naive/politically fucked to catch on.
     
    Go Force!



  • The quality of the Australian teams has been poor overall the last two years, but its mostly consistency that is lacking. A few weeks ago the Waratahs absolutely belted the Chiefs all over the park, but conceded a few soft tries doing it.
     
    Australian Rugby is implementing a better pathways system to get pro-ready teams up and running in an environment that is quite predatory in nature, with a lot of our juniors having options in league, that come with money. Without ~150 professional rugby positions available to show their wares, the overall strength of rugby here won't actually get any better.
     
    Of course its still shackled by a self-indulgent school system that needs to follow the same marker.
     
    But winning Super titles, or even getting into the finals, isn't a marker for Test rugby. Its just that NZ understood the required tweaks for its system a decade ago and have implemented them. We're a bit slow/naive/politically fucked to catch on.
     
    Go Force!

    It's probably a topic for a Wallabies/Aust rugby thread of it's own but what is your take on what now seems like a raft of offshore players being able to play for the Wallabies? Is this a good thing long term? I can understand for a one off tournament like the RWC bringing someone in to fill a hole/add experience but it seems to have changed from that already. Correct me if im wrong but guys like the prop looking tahs winger coming straight into the Wallabies from Scotland, Kepu/Horwill coming straight back from o/s and the continued calls for Giteau, AAC, Genia and Mitchell etc. Is it really worth it? Is this going to help build a sustainable production line?
     
    The long list of expat kiwi Journeymen/former AB fringe guys taking up spot would also be of concern to me if the roles were reversed. Although this is probably a symptom of the over expansion and need to fill rosters within Aust.
    C Rettalick, A Mathewson, Z Guildford, A Ta'avau, T Ellison, A Thompson, T Smith, S Masirewa, A Nikoro etc is hardly a list of star recruits that are going to help grow the game. I'd probably only offer NZ Super contracts to Thompson and Ellison out of that list.



  • Retallick, Mathewson and Smith would all be more than welcome at most of our franchises I'd say.



  • It's probably a topic for a Wallabies/Aust rugby thread of it's own but what is your take on what now seems like a raft of offshore players being able to play for the Wallabies? Is this a good thing long term? I can understand for a one off tournament like the RWC bringing someone in to fill a hole/add experience but it seems to have changed from that already. Correct me if im wrong but guys like the prop looking tahs winger coming straight into the Wallabies from Scotland, Kepu/Horwill coming straight back from o/s and the continued calls for Giteau, AAC, Genia and Mitchell etc. Is it really worth it? Is this going to help build a sustainable production line?
     
    The long list of expat kiwi Journeymen/former AB fringe guys taking up spot would also be of concern to me if the roles were reversed. Although this is probably a symptom of the over expansion and need to fill rosters within Aust.
    C Rettalick, A Mathewson, Z Guildford, A Ta'avau, T Ellison, A Thompson, T Smith, S Masirewa, A Nikoro etc is hardly a list of star recruits that are going to help grow the game. I'd probably only offer NZ Super contracts to Thompson and Ellison out of that list.

    Yes it probably is, but threads about Wallabies things don't tend to get a lot of legs here 🙂
     
    It is a good question, and I'm kind of conflicted about how to answer. No doubt, Australian Rugby has failed to a degree to grasp the "national jersey pride" in the same way NZ has. There are a raft of differences at lower levels that makes the two situations distinct of course (rugby league presence being a fairly significant one), and the ARU are trying to address pathways as I said.
     
    Ultimately, I think bringing back players in positions where we're light on is a good short-term goal, but ultimately we need to develop those positions ourselves. I'm cautious about the Giteau Rule overall - if it helps us win a Bledisloe then fucking awesome because that is a shot in the arm for the sport. But I didn't honestly think it would make it past RWC as a system.
     
    We can't develop players with less professional teams at the moment. We don't have a large enough domestic competition to support players coming through and maturing, and quite a lot of the time even our second tier guys are getting offers overseas, and not always for big money.
     
    Its a five- or ten-year process to get the new pathways happening so there are no easy answers. Particularly when you're involved in the pursuit of victory and that isn't always easy with the competition we've got across the ditch.
     
    The NZRFU made hard decisions years back about the NPC, and they weren't necessarily popular. That, and the right culture, has ensured the production line continues.
     
    The quality of coaching here is also not good, and has resulted in players departing because of bullshit like Richard Graham, which is down to our nepotistic, small-minded attitude to the politics of the sport. This includes club rugby which refuses to acknowledge the primacy of NRC as our chosen professional pathway. But that is a whole 'nother story...



  • Rod Kafer on Rugby 360 wanted to start a campaign #bringthemhome, targeting the rugby union trained league players and try and bring them back.



  • Ackermann is resting 15 Lions players for the trip to Argentina.  The Lions may still win the match but I'd predict the outcome is closer to 50:50 now.  In their favour they will know the results of all the other matches before they play.



  • Fuck. That move cost the Shorks a title back in 2014 when it handed the Tahs first spot.


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