The farcical Super Rugby competition has reached an all-time low with the two protagonists now decided for the final, the Lions and the Crusaders.
Now what doesn’t sit right at all here, which is indicative that the whole competition is totally flawed, is that the Lions never had to play any of the New Zealand teams, thereby giving them a huge advantage over the rest of the comp.
Could somebody please explain to me how the current format can be deemed as a level playing field when the Jaguares, Kings, Lions and Sharks didn’t have to play any of the New Zealand teams through 17 rounds of the Super Rugby season?
And how a team which has played in a far inferior conference (just take a look at the final standings on the table) should be allowed to have a home quarter-final, semi-final and final?
For the Crusaders to now have to travel 11,500 kilometres to Johannesburg to play the Super Rugby final at high altitude because they finished on equal points with the Lions (65) after the home-and-away season but had only seven bonus points compared to the Lions’ nine, even though they played in a far superior conference, seems like a travesty of justice.
It’s little wonder then that the credibility of Super Rugby as an even competition has been brought into question for a while now.
As a proud and passionate All Blacks supporter, I hope the Crusaders can draw on all of their resolve, self-belief, superb skills, athleticism and will to win to defeat the Lions, if they do it will be a truly remarkable and memorable achievement with the odds stacked heavily against them.
SANZAAR has updated the conference format for 2018, and while it’s a step in the right direction, teams will still only play 85 per cent of the other sides in the competition.
Until SANZAAR changes the format of the Super Rugby competition to allow every team play each other at least once through the home-and-away season, then the merit of the Super Rugby champions will continue to be brought in to question.