Kiwis get stuck into Super Rugby format



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    The much maligned format for the Super Rugby finals series is coming in for more criticism, especially from New Zealanders, now that the protagonists have been settled.

    The Brumbies will host a quarter-final next Friday against the Hurricanes, despite winning only half as many games as the defending champions and accumulating 24 less points.

    “Super Rugby is idiots-ville,” the New Zealand Herald fumed.

    “The champion Hurricanes have been treated with awful disrespect by the Super Rugby system.”

    One of New Zealand’s other quarter-finalists, the Chiefs, have to face the Stormers in Cape Town, despite tallying two more wins and 14 more points.

    The Brumbies and Stormers earned a home game by finishing top of their respective conferences, while the Hurricanes and Chiefs finished second and third in New Zealand.

    South Africa’s Lions, last year’s losing finalists, will conceivably enjoy home advantage throughout the playoffs, despite the fact their 14-1 season record was achieved without playing a single Kiwi team.

    They won’t face New Zealand opposition in the first week of the finals either, hosting compatriots the Sharks, who they defeated 27-10 in Durban in the final round.

    The Crusaders, who were unbeaten until a last round 31-22 away loss to the Hurricanes, also finished 14-1, but logged two less bonus points than the Lions.

    In the pick of the the quarter-finals, seven time champions the Crusaders host the Highlanders, who have gone 10-1 since a 1-3 start to the season.

    The Brumbies, Australia’s lone Super final representatives, finished their regular season campaign with successive losses after a vastly understrength side lost 28-10 to the Chiefs in Hamilton.

    However, the Canberra-based side will regain a stack of stars rested from the game.

    Among them are co-captain and lock Sam Carter and fellow Wallabies forwards Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa and Rory Arnold and Test backs Joe Powell and Tevita Kuridrani.

    The Hurricanes thrashed the Brumbies 56-21 earlier in the season.

    The Brumbies will endeavour to end a 31-match losing streak by Australian teams against New Zealand opposition, stretching almost 14 months.

    Also in the last round, Queensland Reds crashed 40-17 to the Highlanders in Dunedin.

    There was mixed fortunes for the two Australian teams in danger of being axed from the competition.

    Western Force secured second place in the Australian conference, pummelling the NSW Waratahs 40-11 in Perth

    Melbourne Rebels lost 32-29 at home to Argentina’s Jaguares despite 22 points from Reece Hodge and leading 16-3 in the first half.

    Japan’s Sunwolves upset the Blues 48-21 in Tokyo to snap an eight-match losing skid.

    The Stormers beat the Bulls 41-33 in Pretoria and the Cheetahs shaded the Kings 21-20 in Port Elizabeth in the battle between the two South African sides being culled from the competition.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (120)

    • July 16th 2017 @ 9:29pm
      Brent Horstor said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

      AYE!? We not finish top of the table? AYE!!?!?!! AYE!!?!? WOT?! But rugby all we have!!!!

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:17pm
        ebop said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:17pm | ! Report

        25-0, lol

        • July 16th 2017 @ 10:23pm
          Brent Horstor said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

          lol believe me I’m laughing at that record too… I’m not Australian, aye bro

          • July 16th 2017 @ 10:32pm
            ebop said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:32pm | ! Report

            You lucky man

      • July 18th 2017 @ 7:03am
        Kelefua said | July 18th 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

        Few other things like that little boat race they won recently;)

    • Roar Rookie

      July 16th 2017 @ 9:38pm
      Guvna said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

      To be fair I think more than just the Kiwi’s are looking a little sideways at the way the table is playing out.

      If they win the next 3 games then they win the comp, home advantage would have been nice, but as long as you’re not bouncing around the southern hemisphere the travel should be manageable.

      The Brumbies have a starters chance, same as the other 7 teams, the loss earlier this year means as much as the win last year does, bugger all.

    • Roar Guru

      July 16th 2017 @ 10:33pm
      biltongbek said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:33pm | ! Report

      How about this?

      The Kiwi teams are sitting pretty because they haven’t played the Lions.


      • Roar Rookie

        July 17th 2017 @ 5:48am
        Guvna said | July 17th 2017 @ 5:48am | ! Report

        Damn straight. The Lions would have gone through the kiwi teams like last weeks chicken curry.

        • Roar Guru

          July 17th 2017 @ 9:28am
          Fox said | July 17th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          You mean like they did the Hurricanes in the final last year?

      • Roar Rookie

        July 17th 2017 @ 2:18pm
        Paul Cleland said | July 17th 2017 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

        Well may you have a glib look on you face. BTW with Ackerman going do you think that will affect the Lions seeing as he brought them from nowhere when others (even John Mitchell) couldn’t?

        • Roar Guru

          July 17th 2017 @ 2:41pm
          biltongbek said | July 17th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

          Swys de bruin the assistant coach of the Lions for the last 5 years is taking over the head coach role, so I expect the structures and culture to remain pretty much the same.

          The major question as it is for all SA franchises is how they hold on to their players

    • July 16th 2017 @ 10:46pm
      rebel said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

      Actually BB if they had of all played and lost to the Lions, it would be exactly the same finals format. The Lions would still be top and the bottom ranked NZ finalist on more points than any side from the other conferences.
      Unless you are talking about the psychological damage done.

      • Roar Guru

        July 16th 2017 @ 10:53pm
        biltongbek said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:53pm | ! Report

        No I am just talking nonsense mate. I don’t care to be honest.

        • July 16th 2017 @ 11:03pm
          rebel said | July 16th 2017 @ 11:03pm | ! Report

          I know I just can’t do smiley faces.
          Every single winner of this comp has deserved it. You don’t fluke 16 matches.
          If the Lions go on to win it then the money I put on them at the start of March looks like a smart move. However I still hold hope my Chiefs can travel their way to victory.

          • July 16th 2017 @ 11:19pm
            taylorman said | July 16th 2017 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

            Can see the Brumbies with their players back adopting a Lions type rush defence big time and spoiling the party for the Chiefs. They’ve nothing to lose and it’s a fairly basic option.

            • July 17th 2017 @ 12:52am
              Pinetree said | July 17th 2017 @ 12:52am | ! Report

              The Brumbies will be playing the Hurricanes next week TM. No doubt the Brumbies will base their game on defence, like they did last year in the quarters playing the Highlanders. Even though the Brumbies hold a 6-9 season, 7 of those losses were within 7 points, so they have lost a lot, but make the opposition really work for it.

              The Canes are better suited to take out the Brumbies than the Chiefs would of been. The Canes defence is solid and 2nd best in comp (conceded 272 points in the season, Lions 268, Chiefs 292, Brumbies 295). The Canes have also scored more points than any other team with 596 points (next best are, Lions 590, Crusaders 544, and surprisingly the Stormers 490, although the Stormers have conceded 436 as well). Brumbies have scored 315 points this season.

              The Hurricanes should win, but I think the Brumbies will make them work hard for it, unless the Canes score points early, as the Brumbies I don’t believe can play catch up rugby. The brumbies will need to keep the score tight all game to have a chance to win, but they have only lost 2 games all year beyond 7, so that will give them hope.

              • July 17th 2017 @ 3:35am
                taylorman said | July 17th 2017 @ 3:35am | ! Report

                Sorry yep meant the Canes, point being that a Brumbies win could make the format even more farcical if it means five months of conference work doesn’t mean a lot in the end, one shot being all you need.

              • July 17th 2017 @ 7:57am
                Ash said | July 17th 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

                Isn’t that what finals is though?
                The previous conference doesn’t mean anything if you can’t back it up when it counts.

              • July 17th 2017 @ 9:04am
                Darwin Stubbie said | July 17th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

                TM … but that’s always been the case come finals … 1 game and if you don’t front you’re gone … the regular season only sorts out whether at home or away …

              • July 17th 2017 @ 9:27am
                Pinetree said | July 17th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

                The regular season should reflect the strength of the team in the home ground advantage, and the teams they play in a one off final though. A 1 off game is a lot easier to win if you have home advantage. The Brumbies are 10th in points, but get a 1 off game from a 4th seed position. The Canes have 24 more points than the Brumbies, are 3rd in total points, but will most likely have to play all playoff games away to win.

                So I agree with TM, it is a farce, because a 1 off finals game use to be based on the quality of the team to where they seeded pre-conference system. How is this the same as a 1 off were a team gets home advantage for the amazing result of 6 wins and 9 losses over another with 12 wins and 3 losses?

            • July 17th 2017 @ 9:30am
              Jacko said | July 17th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

              Is Garces the ref?

        • Roar Rookie

          July 17th 2017 @ 2:20pm
          Paul Cleland said | July 17th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

          There is one thing I know about you, you do care!!

          • Roar Guru

            July 17th 2017 @ 2:42pm
            biltongbek said | July 17th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

            It sadly has been some time since I cared much about SA sport.

            I am now merely a casual observer. Difficult to be passionate about sport in SA these days.

            • July 17th 2017 @ 8:51pm
              Rugby Tragic said | July 17th 2017 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

              and how did you enjoy the All Blacks v British and Irish Lions series biltongbek?

              • Roar Guru

                July 17th 2017 @ 10:45pm
                biltongbek said | July 17th 2017 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

                Hey RT, I was disappointed in the fact that New Zealand teams as well as the All Blacks seemed to have forgotten there is space behind a rush defence to be exploited.

                I thought the Lions defensively and at the contact areas were all over the All Blacks and showed commitment on defence.

                I really like Jonothan Davies, thought he had a great tour.

                Overall it was intruiguing

              • July 17th 2017 @ 11:12pm
                Jemainok said | July 17th 2017 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

                BB if they do win they will have to beat an NZ team or two. I like the lions, I think they have assembled a quality outfit and will be quite sorry to part ways with ackerman. I dont care too much about weather they beat this team or that they didn’t create the schedule and could only beat who ever is put in front of them. But the point system seems a farce but it has been this way for a while.

              • July 18th 2017 @ 8:59am
                Rugby Tragic said | July 18th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

                biltongbek… points taken but the AB’s will improve in those areas, of that I’m convinced. It was though a fun series to attend, I could only get to the 2nd and 3rd tests (neither of which the AB’s won) but thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie ..

                As for Davies, yes he had a great tour … I do not recall him making a single mistake in 3 tests …

    • July 16th 2017 @ 11:13pm
      Yasser Abdullah said | July 16th 2017 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

      it’s already been set on who will get home games for the quarters. How is that disrespectful to the hurricanes? Maybe if they had win more games and get more points, they could get a home game too. But they didn’t, so stop whining. Sanzaar didn’t owe the canes anything.

      South Africa’s Lions, last year’s losing finalists, will conceivably enjoy home advantage throughout the playoffs, despite the fact their 14-1 season record was achieved without playing a single Kiwi team.“.

      Now this is disrespectful. So if a team win a hundred games straight, it’s meaningless if they never played any kiwi teams?

      • July 17th 2017 @ 3:37am
        taylorman said | July 17th 2017 @ 3:37am | ! Report

        Pretty much yeah, that being the reason they would win 100’straight most likely.?

      • Roar Rookie

        July 17th 2017 @ 6:15am
        Phantom said | July 17th 2017 @ 6:15am | ! Report

        If you play no kiwi sides then it certainly is a much easier trip to the top of the ladder. No doubt about that.

      • July 17th 2017 @ 6:44am
        taylorman said | July 17th 2017 @ 6:44am | ! Report

        And last year they did play NZ sides and didn’t go 14-1, because they lost to…you guesssed it, amongst others, more than one NZ side.

        Disrespectful, or fact? Go figure.

        Who cares anyway. This was chalked up as a likely scenario as early has the first half of last season as the Lions were building their reputation.

        Fact is both the NZ sides and the Lions are in the same boat. Neither has played each other do both are equally suspect to either underestimating and/ or losing to the other.

        Not playing NZ sides and vice versa can both advantage or disadvantage them.

      • Roar Guru

        July 17th 2017 @ 4:32pm
        biltongbek said | July 17th 2017 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

        No worries Yasser, I am sure if the Lions do manage to win the trophy they will immediately give it to the NZRU with an attached note saying they don’t deserve the trophy…………………

        ……….or maybe not…..

      • Roar Rookie

        July 20th 2017 @ 1:14am
        Kirky said | July 20th 2017 @ 1:14am | ! Report

        Exactly Yasser, you know it and I know it that the New Zealanders are the ones to beat and seeing that the Lions got another organised draw this Season like last Super Season they have, by not playing any of the top teams put themselves at a distinct disadvantage apart from the Home game for them. they have never been tested yet because they haven’t played any of those top sides!
        Crusaders and the Hurricanes at the Cake Tin for the Final!!

    • July 17th 2017 @ 12:26am
      MH01 said | July 17th 2017 @ 12:26am | ! Report

      Yeah, cause the Kiwi teams did not the rules / format when this years comp started . And given how you don’t play each team, stop the whinging about how many points they finished on.

      Kiwi teams got an easy ride with the pathetic oz conference ….. now SA can complain the kiwis had it easy….. at the end of the day it’s simple, you need to finish top of your conference to hold a final.

      My preference his the old Super 12, everyone plays everyone , top 4 go through , top two hold semis.

      • Roar Guru

        July 17th 2017 @ 12:32am
        biltongbek said | July 17th 2017 @ 12:32am | ! Report

        Agree, agree, and agree.

      • July 17th 2017 @ 4:35am
        Coconut said | July 17th 2017 @ 4:35am | ! Report

        Agree with the first sentiment, but not the last two…. It’s very debatable who had the easier run in each conference… The Kiwis amongst themselves had fairly stiff competition, don’t you think?

        • July 17th 2017 @ 6:45am
          taylorman said | July 17th 2017 @ 6:45am | ! Report

          Yes, Crusaders run to only lose one was much more difficult than that of the Lions. By a distance. A conference is defined by its strong sides, not its weakest.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 17th 2017 @ 6:18am
        Phantom said | July 17th 2017 @ 6:18am | ! Report

        All the kiwi teams had to play the other kiwi teams twice. A tough ask beyond the rest of the competition.

        • Roar Guru

          July 17th 2017 @ 1:12pm
          PeterK said | July 17th 2017 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

          no they didn’t.

          They played 2 of the teams twice and 2 of the teams once.

          • July 17th 2017 @ 4:59pm
            Eeben Barlowe said | July 17th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

            And all the austfalia teams lost to the Kiwi teams.

      • July 17th 2017 @ 1:12pm
        Bfc said | July 17th 2017 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

        The current system is awful…pretty much every fan agrees (probably the only rugby topic that has almost universal agreement…!).
        Agree 100% that a true “home-and-away” season would be ideal…and none of this ‘made for TV revenue’ nonsense of a 6-team playoff series…a top-4 semi finals only (or a Top-5 if we want to reward a team for topping the season team gets a one week rest…).
        Has anyone got that DeLorean from “Back to the Future”…?

      • Roar Rookie

        July 20th 2017 @ 1:27am
        Kirky said | July 20th 2017 @ 1:27am | ! Report

        MH01,Rubbish mate, those Kiwi teams played each other twice and because the draw was contrived early on in the piece to favour the Lions as per last Season they have had the easy way through as if it was status quo Lions from last year!
        The Kiwis didn’t have it easy as the only what you may call easy games they had was the Aussie sides, the rest of the time they we’re belting he’ll out of each other!
        Did your Boys play the Sunwolves, the Jaguares and the woeful Aussie sides plus the Cheetahs and the Kings? They had it tough all right!

        • July 20th 2017 @ 7:51am
          Pinetree said | July 20th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

          Kirky – The Lions in 2016 played only 1 less NZ side than the kiwis. Each conference plays 6 games against their own conference, not 8. So when you say that the kiwi teams played each other twice, you are incorrect, which surely you MUST know if you follow SR. So last year, the Lions played 5 kiwi sides, the NZ teams played each other 6 times, or 2 teams once, 2 teams twice.

          If you want to make an argument on the fairness of the comp, then it may pay to use correct facts to support your opinion. For some bizarre reason, I have seen the “NZ teams play each other twice” in the Super 18 format a few times…