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Brumbies win the Australian Rugby Championship

Paddy Ryan is sold for the Tahs but is he a Test player? Photo: Paul Barkley/LookPro
Roar Rookie
20th June, 2013
18

What’s this you say? ‘The ARC. No one’s playing for the ARC!’ No, not officially – but I think they should be.

For the last three years the ARC has been competed for, but nobody seems to notice or care.

The five Australian Super Rugby teams, each representing their State or Territory union, have played each other on a home and away basis.

Whatever you want to call it (and I will happily take recommendations for a name change – I did toy with ‘Premiership’ – but only briefly), the winner of these contests should be recognised as the leading Australian rugby province for that year and the ARU should reward them with a trophy – submit your suggestions for a name to the Pulveriser!

It will cost them nothing and will provide added spice to the rugby year (maybe they could even raise a sponsor for this comp).

Here are the overall ARC 2013 standings with one round to be completed.

The 2013 Australian Rugby Championship

P

W

D

L

F

A

+/-

BP

PTS

Brumbies

7

5

1

1

210

96

114

6

28

Reds

7

3

2

2

129

123

6

2

18

Waratahs

7

4

0

3

155

164

-9

2

18

Rebels

8

3

0

5

173

224

-51

1

13

Force

7

1

1

5

115

175

-60

3

9

Yes, the Brumbies have won the Australian Super Rugby Conference.

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Yes, they are the Lion tamers.

And yes, they are the Australian Rugby Champions – easily sewn up with one round to go, no matter how the table is compiled.

I have given two totals columns – one with and one without bonus points. For the ARC my own preference would be to exclude bonus points, but I won’t fight anyone who prefers them counted.

Either way the Brumbies have romped home and cannot be overtaken.

Their domination (with one hiccup against the Tahs) is evident not just in competition points and bonus points but their for and against versus the others is outstanding.

It is the same with tries. They have scored 26 to date with 10 against.

The next highest try scorers are the Rebels with 17 (26 against) with both the Reds and the Waratahs on 13 scored and 10 and 16 against respectively.

The Brumbies’ success in Super Rugby this year has been well and truly founded on their success against their conference rivals – particularly in bonus points earned. (And the reverse is true for the Reds).

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That’s three trophies (OK two trophies and one scalped main) locked up. That has to give them the confidence to go after the fourth, the Super Rugby Championship, even if they do have to go to Pretoria or Hamilton for the semis.

Who is going to be second? Unlike the Super Rugby conference this is still in doubt and will come down to the outcome of the game between the Waratahs and the Reds on July 12.

The Tahs must win as a draw will ensure that the Reds are second with a 15-point for and against buffer (unless they also score a four-try bonus point and the Reds don’t).

At least this gives the Tahs something to play for in addition to just beating anything in Red.

Who will ‘win’ the wooden spoon? If bonus points are excluded, the Force has that honour sewn up.

If bonus points count, my team the Rebels have completed their games, so it is up to the Force to determine their own fate.

A win against the Brumbies by ten or more points or with a bonus point will raise them above the Rebels but that seems unlikely. Is that just wishful thinking on my part?

I have not crunched the numbers for the first two years of this illustrious Championship but the Reds would have had an equally clear win in 2011.

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But 2012 would have been tight between the Reds and the Brumbies. The [insert preferred name and sponsor’s logo here] trophies should be retrospectively awarded anyway.

Roll on July 13 for the final games and let’s hope that Mr Pulver is in Perth to award the Brumbies their richly deserved trophy (and the Force their spoon).