Worst year for Australian Super Rugby

Justin Chadwick Roar Guru

By Justin Chadwick,

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60 Have your say

    The pain will finally end this weekend as Australia brings a close to its most unsuccessful Super Rugby regular season in the country’s history.

    Never before have Australian teams combined for such few wins since expanding to five franchises.

    With one round to go, the Rebels, Force, Reds, Waratahs, and Brumbies have combined for just 20 wins.

    If results go to form this weekend, Australian teams will finish with just 21 wins – giving them a win-loss record of 21-49.

    The previous lowest win total under Australia’s five-franchise format was last season (30 wins).

    The best way to illustrate how horrible this campaign has been is to look back at the years when Australia fielded just four franchises.

    From 2006-2010 – when the seasons consisted of just 13 rounds and the Rebels didn’t exist – Australian teams combined for an average of 24.6 wins each year – significantly better than what has been achieved this season.

    The sole season where the tally dipped lower than 22 was in 2007, when only the Brumbies recorded a positive win-loss record in a campaign that yielded just 20 wins for Australian franchises.

    Of course, the pain won’t completely end for Australia after this weekend – the Brumbies still have a finals campaign to contest.

    Assuming the Brumbies lose to the Chiefs in Waikato on Saturday, the Canberra-based outfit will finish ninth on the overall table with a 6-9 win-loss record.

    But because they topped the Australian conference, they’ll be among the eight teams in the playoffs – and even get to host a quarter-final.

    Despite ‘earning’ hosting rights, the Brumbies have been rated an $81 chance to win the title – highlighting just how far off the pace Australian teams have been this season.

    The Reds (21 points), Force (21), and Waratahs (19) are in a three-way battle for second spot in the Australian conference.

    The Force will farewell favourite son Matt Hodgson in Saturday night’s clash with the Waratahs in Perth, while retiring lock Dean Mumm will be playing his last game for NSW.

    No Australian side has been able to beat a NZ franchise this season.

    The Reds face an uphill battle to end that losing run when they travel to Dunedin to take on the Highlanders on Friday night.

    The Rebels sit just one point above the wooden spoon zone after posting one win from 14 games.

    They are also in the midst of a bitter fight for survival because of the ARU’s plans to axe either the Force or the Rebels.

    It means Friday night’s home clash with the Jaguares could be the Rebels’ final ever match.

    Looking elsewhere, the Crusaders will end the regular season with a perfect 15-0 record if they beat the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

    The Lions (13-1) loom as one of their main challengers for the title.

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    The Crowd Says (60)

    • July 13th 2017 @ 7:00am
      Mike said | July 13th 2017 @ 7:00am | ! Report

      Do the right thing and fall on your sword Pulver, Gibson, Stiles, and Grey. Larkham deserves one more chance due to a distinguished playing career. Cheika should wear a red nose to the ground until he achieves an acceptable win record against tier one opponent’s. The rest can ply their trade in PNG

      • July 13th 2017 @ 8:19am
        John said | July 13th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

        Agreed – and add Cameron Clyne to the list along with the ARU board of directors.

      • July 13th 2017 @ 9:28am
        Red Menace said | July 13th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        Why should Larkham escape the chop? His team has won just six games. The backline attack from both the Brumbies and Wallabies this season has been appalling. Larkham as a coach is, well just pffft.

        • July 13th 2017 @ 2:13pm
          Marty said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

          Exactly, Larkham should be front and centre in the line up for the firing squad.

      • July 15th 2017 @ 12:05am
        Boomeranga said | July 15th 2017 @ 12:05am | ! Report

        I see this administration as one that inherited a basket case and then implemented changes that rugby fans, like us on the Roar, were screaming for. I think that while staving off bankruptcy, we now have the gold cup, NRC and u20s championship. They haven’t solved the problem of beating off overseas unions or the NRL but frankly I don’t think anyone will manage that.

        Before you demand these people are actually sacked – who is replacing them? Like an election, I want to know who is going in if someone is going out. No point changing just to be stuck with worse.

      • July 15th 2017 @ 5:06am
        Gewurtz said | July 15th 2017 @ 5:06am | ! Report

        I disagree. Larkham deserves NO further chance. He has failed. Repeatedly.

    • July 13th 2017 @ 7:56am
      Oaki said | July 13th 2017 @ 7:56am | ! Report

      R.I.P ASR

    • July 13th 2017 @ 8:51am
      Rugby Tragic said | July 13th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

      The silence of the ARU directors is deafening …

      • July 13th 2017 @ 9:45am
        dontcallmeshirley said | July 13th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        I agree. It is high time the said where this is all going. At the very least they should let us know when a decision will be made.

        • July 13th 2017 @ 11:09am
          Bamboo said | July 13th 2017 @ 11:09am | ! Report

          48-72 hours

          • Roar Rookie

            July 13th 2017 @ 12:26pm
            piru said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

            heard that one before

            • July 13th 2017 @ 12:40pm
              Jacko said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

              They didnt specify which 48-72 hrs tho. It appears its 48-72 hrs in december

        • Roar Pro

          July 13th 2017 @ 3:01pm
          Crazy Horse said | July 13th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

          My tip for these gutless wonders that are the [E]ARU Board is the schedule of any announcement that adversely affects the Force is the day after the Wallabies test match in Perth. So that would be 10 September. It will be done by press release from Sydney. They won’t have the guts to front personally in WA or Victoria.

          • July 13th 2017 @ 3:12pm
            AndyS said | July 13th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

            My understanding is that the ARU have centralised all their membership systems as part of the Alliance agreements. So what are the odds that two weeks after pulling the plug on the Force, they’d send out membership renewal notices. On form, I’d pity anyone with a direct debit arrangement for their membership…

    • July 13th 2017 @ 9:10am
      puff said | July 13th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      Agree There is little to be excited about for the OZ franchisers this weekend and as this article suggests. Perhaps more painful news is yet to come. The only question still unresolved, would it be prudent to remove Pulver, Clyne and directors at the end of the season while the ARU still has some level of credibility. We all fear next season maybe another mirror image of what the code has just experienced, which basically means changes need to be tabled before the game slips into free fall.

    • Roar Guru

      July 13th 2017 @ 10:29am
      Lano said | July 13th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

      People have a natural inclination to work, to succeed. Where has this gone to amongst the players.

      I find it hard to believe that the above posters lay the culpability for this truly dismal season at the feet of the coaches and administrators, even the chair of the ARU.

      What happened to the basic player skills this year? Did the coaches remove all of that too?

      • July 13th 2017 @ 2:04pm
        Mike said | July 13th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

        Lano, on the flipside did Eddie Jones make all the catches and tries for Japan agsinst the Springboks? Nope, he just got the most out of his players.

        • July 14th 2017 @ 10:57am
          Isupport2teamstheAB'sandanyoneplayingAustralia said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          Cherry picking much? Eddie also coached the Wobblies (2003 when they were still a tier one nation) All Blacks put 50 on them in Sydney …

    • Roar Rookie

      July 13th 2017 @ 11:04am
      Hugh_96 said | July 13th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

      Well can’t believe I would ever say this but I can’t wait for the Super Rugby season to finish, it has been a mighty struggle this season. Whilst I am neither a Force or Rebels supporter I can’t believe the ARU couldn’t sort out the removal of a team before the end of the season, very unfair on both teams and their supporters.

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