Super Rugby heading in the right direction
Reds' Digby Ioane tries to bust through Waratahs defence (Steve Bell / White Devil Images)
After two seasons of Super Rugby, SANZAR can feel well-pleased with the overall improvement in standards from 2011 to 2012.
Both years featured 120 games in regulation before the play-offs:
Total points scored:
5,561 in 2011
5,879 in 2012
Total tries scored:
559 in 2011
589 in 2012
Total bonus points:
108 in 2011
121 in 2012
Total tournament points:
708 in 2011
721 in 2012
In 2011, the final six were the Reds on 66 points, Stormers 63, Crusaders 61, Blues 60, Waratahs 57, and Sharks 57.
Total tries scored in each Conference (2011):
South Africa – 194
New Zealand – 185
Total tries let in (2011):
Australia – 224
South Africa – 181
New Zealand – 167
In 2012 the final six are Stormers on 66 points, Chiefs 64, Crusaders 61, Bulls 59, Sharks 59, and Reds 58.
Total tries scored in each Conference (2012):
New Zealand – 202
South Africa – 190
Australia – 177
Total tries let in (2012):
Australia – 216
South Africa – 189
New Zealand – 184
Only the Reds, Stormers, Sharks, and Crusaders have qualified in both years. But the demise of the Waratahs and Blues has been the talk of the season, with both crumbling in 2012 to be deep in the bottom half of the table at 11th and 12th respectively.
Both franchises finished with four wins and 12 losses, to record their worst ever seasons, and have been replaced in the top six from last year by the Chiefs and Bulls.
Two standout stats:
* The five Australian franchises between them have scored the least tries, and had the most tries scored against them, in both years.
* And the Newlands-based Stormers are the only franchise to post a 100% win rate at home in either year. In 2012 the Stormers finished on top of the table without scoring one bonus point for four tries, and just two bonus points for finishing within seven points in their only two losses.
There have been 16 finals since Super rugby kicked off in 1996:
* New Zealand have won 10 – seven by the Crusaders, three by the Blues.
* Australia has won three – two by the Brumbies, one by the Reds.
* And South Africa three – every one of them by the Bulls.
Which just goes to prove being a Super rugby championship winning side is limited to the very few.
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