How to win a ‘legitimate’ Super Rugby title

redsfan Roar Rookie

By redsfan, redsfan is a Roar Rookie

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    Wednesday’s column by my good friend and sparring partner Paul Cully titled “The Reds and their fight for legitimacy” certainly got the crowd roaring!

    The Reds’ Super Rugby title is illegitimate they cried! No more muttering it over a cold glass of Tooheys, Steinlager or Castle. No, it now appears to be the accepted and orthodox view of southern hemisphere rugby fans.

    As a Reds supporter I was obviously peeved by these claims when I first heard them sometime near the tenth round of last year’s competition.

    The theory being espoused essentially lumped us with title winners such as Ben Johnson and Lance Armstrong (just joking cyclists!) I was outraged! However I’ve since started to think a little more about this.

    And the question I keep coming back to is this: If the Reds title is in fact illegitimate, what conditions must be met for future titles to be considered legitimate?

    Apparently it centres on the draw. I have been able to identify three facets to the theory according to those conferring ‘legitimacy’ status.

    The first is that the Reds didn’t play every team. More precisely, they didn’t play every team that mattered. So which teams need to be beaten for a title to be legitimate?

    Secondly, they played the Bulls and Crusaders at Suncorp. So to ensure a title is legitimate, the competition winner must beat these two teams away from home. Are there any other teams that are in this rarefied air?

    Thirdly, the Australian conference is the weakest. This one is easy. A legitimate title can only be won by a South African or New Zealand team.

    Are there any other conditions that must be met for a Super Rugby title to be considered legitimate? Roar away!

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    The Crowd Says (63)

    • April 6th 2012 @ 8:50am
      Justin said | April 6th 2012 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Lets not go there rf….

    • April 6th 2012 @ 9:03am
      El Gamba said | April 6th 2012 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      I like it!

      A legitimate team must beat the Crusaders at Twickenham. The Sharks had a chance last year and let it slip.

      • April 6th 2012 @ 9:14am
        Justin said | April 6th 2012 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        The sharks got beat at home by the stormers, nearly lost to the Rebels, lost both NZ matches and some claim the Reds cant lay claim to the title because they didnt play them. What a laugh…

      • Roar Guru

        April 6th 2012 @ 9:24am
        Hoy said | April 6th 2012 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        I like that rule. Tough one to fullfill. Basically nullifies everyone except the Crusaders as legitimate winners. Of course we know they were the best team to grace the Super comp since it’s inception, and really they are the true title holders from last year of course…

        • April 6th 2012 @ 9:34am
          stillmatic1 said | April 6th 2012 @ 9:34am | ! Report

          the reds won based on results, pretty simple. they had a “natural” advantage playing slightly weaker teams more often, but switched it on when needed against the other contenders, got their slice of luck ( forward passes galore, running behind refs etc) and got the trophy.

          i think its a gripe against the weakness of a conference system more than anything personal against the reds. aswell as a much beloved NZ team having to do something that hadnt been experienced before and creating a bit more angst amongst the fans. it could have been a fairy tale for the saders but instead the reds got their own fairy tale, and its been a long while coming, id say.

          no point claiming its not legitimate, its just one of those vagaries of time where so many other things were going on all at the same time. memories, oh, memories.

        • April 6th 2012 @ 10:19am
          mikeylives said | April 6th 2012 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          No, the crusaders would have to comprehensively beat the crusaders away from home to be legit. I have NEVER seen them do this, therefore can they really be considered legitimate past champs?

          • April 6th 2012 @ 4:15pm
            stillmatic1 said | April 6th 2012 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

            mikey, im as ardent a fan as a kiwi team could hope to have, but you must remember that the old format didnt have home and away fixtures each year against the same opposition. so each year, in each match, there was the adavantage to one team only of playing at home, with the other team having to wait until the next year to get that advantage.

            where does it end if we start taking away wins due to this reason?

            • April 6th 2012 @ 7:08pm
              mikeylives said | April 6th 2012 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

              I agree stillmatic. I enjoy the current format. Hopefully the underperforming Oz teams will get better with time to make everyone happy. The conference system makes sense if the game continues to grow.

          • April 7th 2012 @ 11:27am
            El Gamba said | April 7th 2012 @ 11:27am | ! Report

            Mikeylives – The Crusaders haven’t even beaten the Crusaders at home. They must be rubbish.

    • April 6th 2012 @ 10:07am
      ohtani's jacket said | April 6th 2012 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      If you want to know what a legitimate winner looks like just download a screensaver of Richard Hugh “Richie” McCaw, All Black.

      • April 6th 2012 @ 10:38am
        Justin said | April 6th 2012 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        Oh but OJ according to some they may not be because they didnt beat every team in the comp. You know it makes sense 😉

      • April 6th 2012 @ 11:02am
        Tarragon Fields said | April 6th 2012 @ 11:02am | ! Report

        Could he genuinely think himself a winner after all but losing to an inept French side AT HOME in the world cup? One point was the only thing stopping him from being remembered as the biggest loser in the world, captaining the strongest team in world rugby to an early exit, not once, but twice!

        • April 6th 2012 @ 4:17pm
          stillmatic1 said | April 6th 2012 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

          but that didnt happen, did it? if mccaw cant think of himself as a winner, then peoples gripes about the reds title last year are also valid! be careful what you write next time.

      • April 6th 2012 @ 11:06am
        Harry said | April 6th 2012 @ 11:06am | ! Report

    • April 6th 2012 @ 11:02am
      Harry said | April 6th 2012 @ 11:02am | ! Report

      Great stuff RF to get things moving on a quiet day!
      Here’s another … no Super Rugby titles won during RWC years (99, 03, 07, 11) are legitimate as everyone knows the best players are being rested for the world cup, and if only the provincial teams had their full quota from round one the Saders/Blues/Stormers/Sharks would have romped it in.
      Oh hang on, that makes a Saders title illegitimate! Not so sure now, help me out Kiwi’s …

      • April 6th 2012 @ 11:07am
        Justin said | April 6th 2012 @ 11:07am | ! Report

        LOL Harry better take off a title from Saders, Blues, Bulls and Reds!

    • April 6th 2012 @ 11:29am
      DC of nz said | April 6th 2012 @ 11:29am | ! Report

      I wish we would move on from the Reds deserved to win in 2011 story. They won the title and yes I was going for the Crusaders.

      The legitimacy test will hinge on where they finish this year – and it could be well down the ladder.

      my money is on the Stormers, Crusaders, Chiefs and Brumbies to be there at the end… Hoping the Hurricanes don’t run out of steam ..

      • April 6th 2012 @ 11:41am
        Justin said | April 6th 2012 @ 11:41am | ! Report

        This year and last year are not linked. The legitimacy is where they finished last year, end of story. Did the Crusaders get judged in 2000 on their 10th placed finish the following year?

        • April 6th 2012 @ 12:32pm
          dcnz said | April 6th 2012 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

          The Crusaders have won the title enough times, more than any other team, so they have been proven title holders time and time again. The Reds had a brilliant season in 2011 where everything clicked and they took advantage of a great draw and took easy points in Australia. If the Reds finish down the ladder, that’s how most rugby folk will view their spectacular success last year. I would say that consistency does count.

        • April 6th 2012 @ 12:42pm
          Justsaying said | April 6th 2012 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

          Crusaders were champs in 1998, 1999 AND 2000. They came 10th in 2001 and then went through 2002 undefeated to win the championship for a 4th time. In legitimacy terms I don’t think the 2011 Reds bear any comparison at all to that Crusaders side…

          • April 6th 2012 @ 1:01pm
            Harry said | April 6th 2012 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

            Intrigued by what are “legitimacy terms”. Please elaborate and define.

            • April 6th 2012 @ 1:47pm
              Justsaying said | April 6th 2012 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

              What I meant is that if you are trying to argue that the 2011 Reds were legitimate champions (and I’m not necessarily arguing that they weren’t), comparing them to the Crusaders teams of the late 90s early 2000s is not the way to do it – the Reds are not in the same universe as those teams.

              • April 6th 2012 @ 2:54pm
                Harry said | April 6th 2012 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                Actually the Reds team of 99 were in the same universe as that Saders team but choked badly in the (home, at Ballymore) semi, but yes I get your point and no one is arguing that the Reds of 2011 were the greatest team of the super rugby era.
                For what its worth my opinion is that the Saders of 2004 to 2008 were; followed by the Saders of 98 to 02. Auckland 96 and 97, Brumbies 2000 and 2001 and Bulls 09 and 21010 were also very good champion teams (and yes I know the above mentioned teams didn’t all win every years, I’m talking era’s), all ahead of the Reds 2011. Who were however the Super Rugby champions and the best team in the competition last year.

    • April 6th 2012 @ 12:21pm
      ohtani's jacket said | April 6th 2012 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

      Here’s a few more:

      A legitimate winner must pass the ball backwards.

      A legitimate winner mustn’t run deliberate obstruction.

      A legitimate winner mustn’t cheat at every ruck. (That’s what the Roar has taught me.)

      A legitimate winner mustn’t be full of overrated players who fail to win a World Cup.

      A legitimate winner mustn’t be reffed by Stuart Dickinson.

      A legitimate winner shouldn’t behave like bogans whenever they win a close match.

      A legitimate winner mustn’t have a girl play at first five.

      A legitimate winner must be coached by Robbie Deans.

      And finally, a legitimate winner must have an earthquake devastate their city, have no home ground, travel for every match, beat a South African side on the road in a semi-final and lose in the final.

      • April 6th 2012 @ 12:58pm
        Harry said | April 6th 2012 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

        Saders are ruled out at 2, let alone 3, and couldn’t even win when they bought their own ref for the final, courtesy of Paddy.

      • April 6th 2012 @ 6:08pm
        Justin said | April 6th 2012 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

        And their supporters must be poor losers 😉

        • April 8th 2012 @ 7:26pm
          mattamkII said | April 8th 2012 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

          So OJ, what you have just confirmed is you just dont like the current reds crop….

          • April 9th 2012 @ 6:32pm
            ohtani's jacket said | April 9th 2012 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

            I thought we were supposed to be having fun with this.

            • April 10th 2012 @ 1:03am
              mattamkII said | April 10th 2012 @ 1:03am | ! Report

              we are.

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