Reds can still topple the Brumbies to reach the top of the Oz Conference
It’s conceivable the defending champion Reds can still finish on top of the Australian Conference Super Rugby table and earn automatic qualification to the finals series.
Currently on 53 points, the Reds are five points adrift of the Brumbies, with one round to go.
But if the front-running Brumbies falter and don’t post a point against the Blues at Eden Park, and the Reds post the full 5 points against the Waratahs at Suncorp, both will finish on 58 points. But the Reds would be the higher placed team.
The tie-breaking law – 3.5.1 – states the team with the most wins qualifies. In that case the Reds would finish on 11 wins to top the Conference, over the Brumbies with 10.
If that happens, the Brumbies can still qualify in the top six providing one of the Crusaders, Bulls, or Sharks get beaten.
That’s a big ask with all three playing at home against lower sides.
The Crusaders (56) take on the second last placed Force (27) without their champion skipper-flanker David Pocock, who is out for the season.
The Bulls (54) meet the last-placed Lions (25) in the bull-ring where the locals are virtually unbeatable.
And the Sharks (54) clash with the Cheetahs (38). If there’s a miracle to be had, this game is the most likely.
But it’s still conceivable, just as conceivable as the Blues beating the Brumbies. We’ll get an early indication of the possibilities with the Blues-Brumbies game first cab off the rank on Saturday at 1530 AEST, 1730 Kiwi time.
Depending on that result, it could make for a fascinating Super Rugby weekend.