Super XV: Round 17 Preview

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Super XV: Round 17 Preview Empty Super XV: Round 17 Preview

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Sun 05 Jun 2011, 10:31 pm

This is just a quick look at the coming weekend's Super XV matches. I'll add in team selections, bookmaker odds etc as they become available.

The penultimate round of play includes 3 matches that should decide the makeup of the playoffs - as the Dominion says, the season is coming to the crunch.

Matches of the round for me will be the Crusaders vs the Blues battling for top spot in the NZ conference, the Stormers seeking to sew up the South African conference and the Waratahs hosting the Highlanders in a match neither can afford to lose.

Top 8
1. Reds Australian Conference Leader 58 (played 14)
2. Stormers South African Conference Leader 57 (played 14)
3. Blues New Zealand Conference Leader 55 (played 14)
4. Crusaders Wildcard 53 (played 14)
5. Sharks 51 Wildcard (played 14)
6. Bulls 49 Wildcard (played 14)
7. Waratahs 47 (played 14)
8. Highlanders 45 (played 14)


Draw
Friday 10 June Venue WST AEST NZ RSA
Chiefs v Hurricanes Waikato Stadium 1535 1735 1935 0935
ACT Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels Canberra Stadium 1740 1940 2140 1140
Saturday 11 June Venue WST AEST NZ RSA
Crusaders v Blues Alpine Energy Stadium, Timaru 1535 1735 1935 0935
Waratahs v Highlanders Sydney Football Stadium 1740 1940 2140 1140
Western Force v Queensland Reds nib Stadium 2005 2205 2405 1405
Lions v Sharks Coca-Cola Park 2205 0005* 0205* 1605
Stormers v Bulls Newlands Stadium 0010* 0210* 0410* 1810
*Sunday 12 June
BYE: Cheetahs

Competition Background and links
Full points table
Last week's preview and discussion
All Blacks selection barometer
NZ Herald's Week 16 Stats review
Betting odds summary

Bookies' odds (as at 9/6/11)
Chiefs (8/15) Draw (22) Hurricanes (15/8)
Brumbies (2/9) Draw (28) Rebels (9/2)
Crusaders (4/11) Draw (25) Blues (11/4)
Waratahs (2/5) Draw (25) Highlanders (11/4)
Western Force (15/8) Draw (22) Reds (1/2)
Lions (7/2) Draw (28) Sharks (2/7)
Stormers (4/6) Draw (20) Bulls (17/10)


Matches info

Chiefs v Hurricanes
This match is effectively a playoff for the NZ conference wooden spoon, though plenty of players will be wanting to make statements to the All Blacks selectors. Rumours of disharmony swirl around the Hurricanes camp as a result of coach Mark Hammet's attempt to impose some more structure on the team. Skipper Andrew Hore is looking for a new team for next season (he has an NZRU offer on the table and interest from Agen), while question marks also hang over Hammet's relationship with Nonu and Weepu. Nonu is being courted by the Chiefs, Highlanders and Montpelier, while the Highlanders are also interested in Weepu.

The Chiefs lead by their resurgent veterans Mils Muliaina and Tana Umaga will be favourites, but the Hurricanes often win when least expected to.

Result: 18-18 Draw

Hurricanes:
Cory Jane, Julian Savea, Alapati Leiua, Ma'a Nonu, Hosea Gear, Aaron Cruden, Piri Weepu, Victor Vito, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, James Broadhurst, Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Andrew Hore (c), John Schwalger. Reserves: Dane Coles, Jacob Ellison, Jason Eaton, Mark Reddish / Karl Lowe, Tyson keats, Jayden Hayward, Richard Buckman.

Tialata starts his 100th Super match for the 'Canes

Chiefs:
Mils Muliaina, Lelia Masaga, Richard Kahui, Dwayne Sweeney, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Stephen Donald, Brendon Leonard, Fritz Lee, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam , Isaac Ross, Craig Clarke, Nathan White, Hika Elliot, Ben May. Reserves: Aled de Malmanche, Toby Smith, Matt Vant Leven, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tim Nanai-Williams, Jackson Willison.

ACT Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels
Another wooden spooner matchup, though with the Rebels currently 5 points behind the Brumbies they need wins this week and next to move out of the cellar. Home ground advantage will favour the men from Canberra, who managed to topple the high-flying Reds last week. Brumbies lock Mark Chisholm is out for the rest of the year with a knee injury, while Danny Cipriani is available for Rebels selection.

Result: 32-17 Win to the Brumbies

ACT Brumbies :
Christian Lealiifano, Henry Speight, Tyrone Smith, Pat McCabe, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau (captain), Patrick Phibbs, Mitchell Chapman, Julian Salvi, Henry Vanderglas, Peter Kimlin, Ben Hand, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Jerry Yanuyanutawa. Reserves: Anthony Hegarty, Jono Owen, Sam Carter, Tom Boidin, Nic White, Robbie Coleman, Andrew Smith

Melbourne Rebels:
Mark Gerrard, Richard Kingi, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Julian Huxley, Cooper Vuna, Danny Cipriani, Nick Phipps, Gareth Delve, Michael Lipman, Jarrod Saffy, Kevin O'Neill, Alister Campbell, Greg Somerville, Ged Robinson, Rodney Blake. Res: Adam Freier, Laurie Weeks, Adam Byrnes, Tim Davidson, Lachlan Mitchell, Peter Betham, Afusipa Taumoepeau.

Crusaders v Blues
The McCawless Crusaders come off the bye to "host" (at least Timaru is only 90 minutes drive from Christchurch) to face the Blues who've now lost 3 in a row. Luke McAllister was poor starting at 10 last week so Dan Carter will face his former apprentice Stephen Brett. Keven Mealamu is fit, but Isaia Toeava, Daniel Braid and Tony Woodcock are all on the injured list for the Blues, as are Israel Dagg and Sean Maitland for the Crusaders. The Crusaders will go in as favourites, but remember the Blues managed a scorching second half to beat the Red and Blacks in round 1.

Result: 23-16 Win CRUSADERS

Crusaders:
Tom Marshall, Brent Ward, Robbie Fruean, Sonny Bill Williams, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Wyatt Crockett, Luke Romano, Jonathan Poff, Willi Heinz, Matt Berquist, Ryan Crotty

Blues:
Jared Payne, Joe Rokocoko, Benson Stanley, Luke McAlister, Rene Ranger, Stephen Brett, Alby Mathewson, Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Anthony Boric, Charlie Faumuina, Keven Mealamu (c), John Afoa. Reserves: Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau, Chris Lowrey, Sean Polwart, Chris Smylie, Lachie Munro, Sherwin Stowers


Waratahs v Highlanders
The loser of this match can pretty much kiss the playoffs goodbye, while the winner will be relying on losses for the Bulls or Sharks to edge back into the top 6. The Highlanders have narrowly lost their last 2 home games while the 'Tahs picked up a couple of losing bonus points on their tour to South Africa. The Waratahs have severe injury worries in their front row, and if Paddy Ryan isn't fit then they will be forced to start academy player Jeremy Tilse and then be forced to scour the club rugby ranks for a reserve prop. Phil Waugh, Lachie Turner and Ben Mowan are all doubtful starters. Expect the Highlanders to be dominant at scrumtime, though their patched up backline will need to find the tryline to get the win. Veteran Tony Brown returns at 10 for the Southern Men as Lima Sopoaga heads off to Italy for the U20 RWC, while Jimmy Cowan gets a rest on the bench. UPDATE, the Waratahs are now expecting several players off their casualty list to make the match.

Waratahs: Kurtley Beale, Lachie Turner, Tom Carter, Berrick Barnes, Sosene Anesi, Daniel Halangahu, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh, Dave Dennis, Sitaleki Timani, Dean Mumm, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Reserves: John Ulugia, Jeremy Tilse, Pat O’Connor, Chris Alcock, Hugh Perrett, Josh Holmes, Atieli Pakalani.

Highlanders:
Ben Smith, Kade Poki, Kendrick Lynn, Shaun Treeby, Siale Piutau, Tony Brown, Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu, Alando Soakai, Adam Thomson, Josh Bekhuis, Jarrad Hoeata, Bronson Murray, Jason Rutledge, Jamie Mackintosh (captain). Reserves: Mo Schwalger, Chris King, Nick Crosswell, John Hardie, Jimmy Cowan, Robbie Robinson, Telusa Veainu

Western Force v Queensland Reds
The Reds will have been stung by their loss to the Brumbies last week, and need a win to hold onto top spot on the overall table - securing home semis and finals are crucial. The Force won't be pushovers at home though, and are coming off a good away win in Dunedin last week.

Western Force:
James O’Connor, Nick Cummins, Patrick Dellit, Rory Sidey, David Smith, James Stannard, Brett Sheehan, Richard Brown, David Pocock, Matt Hodgson, Nathan Sharpe (captain), Sam Wykes, Matt Dunning, Nathan Charles, Kieran Longbottom. Reserves: Ben Whittaker, Tim Fairbrother, Tom Hockings, Ben McCalman, Mark Swanepoel, Mitch Inman, Alfie Mafi

Queensland Reds:
Jono Lance, Rod Davies, Will Chambers, Ben Tapuai, Luke Morahan, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Radike Samo, Liam Gill, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (c), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Ben Daley. Res: J Hanson, G Holmes, A Wallace-Harrison, J Schatz, B Coridas, I Prior, D Shipperley.

Lions v Sharks
The cellar-dweller Lions's last game of the season (they have the bye next week) sees them facing off against a Sharks side needing a win to stay in the top 6. Hard to see the Lions adding to their 3 wins this season, though the 4 bye points next week may be enough to edge the Rebels for the overall wooden spoon.

Lions: TBC


Sharks: TBC


Stormers v Bulls
A grand finale (and repeat of last year's final) to the weekend could decide the South African conference. A win for the Stormers will seal the conference for them, while a loss for the Bulls will leave them vulnerable to missing out on the playoffs altogether. Andries Bekker comes off a rest to battle Victor Matfield, while Danie Roussow moves to lock in place of the injured Bakkies Botha

Stormers:
Conrad Jantjes, Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Kurt Coleman, Ricky Januarie, Duane Vermeulen, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger (captain), Andries Bekker, Rynhardt Elstadt, Brok Harris, Deon Fourie, Wicus Blaauw. Reserves: Tiaan Liebenberg, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Anton van Zyl, Nick Koster, Dewaldt Duvenage, Juan de Jongh


Bulls
Zane Kirchner, Gerhard van den Heever, Jaco Pretorius, Wynand Olivier, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Deon Stegmann, Victor Matfield (captain), Danie Rossouw, Werner Kruger, Gary Botha, Dean Greyling. Reserves: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Rossouw de Klerk, Flip van der Merwe, Derick Kuun, Dustin Jinka, Francois Brummer, Stephan Dippenaar

Match Officials (cheers Hobo)

Chiefs vs Hurricanes in Hamilton
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant referees: Bryce Lawrence, Nick Briant
Television match official: Ben Skeen

Brumbies vs Rebels in Canberra
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Ian Smith, Steve Hardy
Television match official: Matt Goddard

Crusaders vs Blues in Timaru
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Vinny Munro, Kane McBride
Television match official: Keith Brown

Waratahs vs Highlanders in Sydney
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant referees: James Leckie, Andrew Lees
Television match official: Matt Goddard

Force vs Reds in Perth
Referee: Stuart Dickinson
Assistant referees: Nathan Pearce, Julian Pritchard
Television match official: George Ayoub

Lions vs Sharks in Johannesburg
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant referees: Jason Jafta, Johan Greeff
Television match official: Gerrie Coetzee

Stormers vs Bulls at Newlands
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Mark Lawrence, Phillip Bosch
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen



Last edited by Kiwireddevil on Sat 11 Jun 2011, 10:17 am; edited 18 times in total (Reason for editing : Added some team selections)
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Post by emack2 on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 1:42 am

It does`nt really matter for Stormers and Reds a couple of points each from there last two matches,Both have a least one relatively easy match,and will top the log.That means a bye and a Home semi,which usually means a home final.No matter what other 4 sides qualify can`t see other than a Stormers v Reds Final .Then who ever has home advantage will win the log.Crusaders at full strength if they drew Stormers in Cape town maybe away win.Thats been a happy hunting ground for NZ sides fairly recently.But the Reds in Sydney with 3 or 4 top choice players missing could`nt see it.Crusaders winning there last two is very possible.McCaw out for at least 3 weeks means two round plus a qtr final.Thats asking to much

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Super XV: Round 17 Preview Empty SuperXV possibilities and logs

Post by Biltong on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 7:20 am

Although I have said many times that I do not like the new format of SuperXV, be it due to the unevenness of not playing all the teams in the competition and playing local derbies twice, it still does make for interesting reading going into the final two rounds of competition.

I still don’t believe the format is fair or well thought out for a number of reasons. Two of the conferences are most definitely more competitive and tight than the Australian conference, where the Reds have taken an insurmountable lead. Also the fact that the teams do not play all the other nation’s teams is nonsense.

Take a look at where the conferences stand.

Australian Conference
Pos Team P W D L B PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Reds 14 11 0 3 2 386 277 109 41 28 6 58
2 Waratahs 14 8 0 6 2 324 238 86 38 19 7 47
3 Western Force 14 4 2 8 2 285 368 -83 20 37 4 32
4 Brumbies 14 3 1 10 2 275 379 -104 26 35 6 28
5 Melbourne Rebels 14 3 0 11 2 240 511 -271 26 67 3 23

New Zealand Conference
Pos Team P W D L B PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Blues 14 9 1 4 2 356 296 60 38 30 9 55
2 Crusaders 14 9 1 4 2 397 248 149 42 25 7 53
3 Highlanders 14 8 0 6 2 273 277 -4 28 26 5 45
4 Hurricanes 14 5 1 8 2 301 364 -63 30 38 9 39
5 Chiefs 14 6 0 8 2 303 311 -8 30 27 6 38

South African Conference
Pos Team P W D L B PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 DHL Stormers 14 11 0 3 2 340 204 136 28 13 5 57
2 Sharks 14 9 0 5 2 351 286 65 36 23 7 51
3 Vodacom Bulls 14 9 0 5 2 374 328 46 37 34 5 49
4 Toyota Cheetahs 15 5 0 10 1 401 393 8 40 45 11 35
5 MTN Lions 15 3 0 12 1 321 447 -126 33 46 7 23

Combined Log
Pos Team P W D L B PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Reds 14 11 0 3 2 386 277 109 41 28 6 58
2 DHL Stormers 14 11 0 3 2 340 204 136 28 13 5 57
3 Blues 14 9 1 4 2 356 296 60 38 30 9 55
4 Crusaders 14 9 1 4 2 397 248 149 42 25 7 53
5 Sharks 14 9 0 5 2 351 286 65 36 23 7 51
6 Vodacom Bulls 14 9 0 5 2 374 328 46 37 34 5 49
7 Waratahs 14 8 0 6 2 324 238 86 38 19 7 47
8 Highlanders 14 8 0 6 2 273 277 -4 28 26 5 45
9 Hurricanes 14 5 1 8 2 301 364 -63 30 38 9 39
10 Chiefs 14 6 0 8 2 303 311 -8 30 27 6 38
11 Toyota Cheetahs 15 5 0 10 1 401 393 8 40 45 11 35
12 Western Force 14 4 2 8 2 285 368 -83 20 37 4 32
13 Brumbies 14 3 1 10 2 275 379 -104 26 35 6 28
14 MTN Lions 15 3 0 12 1 321 447 -126 33 46 7 23
15 Melbourne Rebels 14 3 0 11 2 240 511 -271 26 67 3 23

This is how I see the Final log would pan out.

The Reds to play Western Force and Chiefs away from home, they should win both, but as seen this weekend local derbies do throw some surprises. Another 8 log points for them ending on 66 points.

The Stormers to play the Bulls at home and the Cheetahs away from home. The Bulls could win their match, but with the recent form shown by the Stormers and the goal of ending in the top two will motivate them enough to beat the Bulls, even though the Cheetahs are playing good rugby at the moment I doubt whether they will be strong enough to beat the Stormers at home. Should be 8 log points for the Stormers ending them on 65 points.

The Crusaders play the Blues this weekend and even though it is away from home, they are not effected negatively about that, historically they are the best away performers in the competition and should beat the Blues, there after they play the Hurricanes and should get at least 8 points for the last two matches. Thus ending them on 61 points.

Even though the Blues might lose to the Crusaders, they should be safe for a fourth spot on the log as their last match is against a Highlander team who is tailing off in form. Thus ending the Blues on 59 log points.

The last two places is where it gets very interesting, currently the Sharks and Bulls are lying 5th and 6th respectively with the Waratahs in close 7th.
The problem for the Sharks and Bulls though is that they have to play each other, so someone is not going to get two wins. The Sharks also plays the Lions away from home and the Bulls travel to Newlands. So in my humble opinion both the SA franchises should get one win each ending the Sharks on 55 points and the Bulls on 53 points.

The good news for the Waratahs is that their last two matches should be easier They host the highlanders and the Brumbies in the last two rounds, and should win both. They should therefor end on 55 points and thus removing the Bulls from the equation.


Reds 66 points
Stormers 65 points
Crusaders 61 points
Blues 59 points
Waratahs 55 points
Sharks 55 points.

Bonus point losses and 4 try bonus points is the only way the Bulls, Sharks and Waratahs can shake things up.

What is interesting from a South African perspective is that a few weeks ago, New Zealand looked to have three teams in the play offs, with Australia two and the Stormers the only candidates from SA.

After some upsets the Highlanders have fallen victim to some poor form and is effectively out, although mathematically they still have a chance. The Bulls will ahve to get every possible bonus point available or beat the Stormers to qualify.

What might also be of interesting reading is how the countries as a whole faired.
Overall here are the games played and wins for each country.

Australia played 70, won 29, drew 3, lost 38
New Zealand played 70, won 37, drew 3, lost30
SA played 72, won 37, lost 35.

Your thoughts?
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Post by Biltong on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 7:25 am

Kiwi sorry but I didn't read your article before posting mine, I mainly focused on the top 7 teams.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 7:48 am

biltongbek wrote:Kiwi sorry but I didn't read your article before posting mine, I mainly focused on the top 7 teams.

No worries Biltong, I'll merge the 2 together
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 9:11 am

Here's Biltongbek's rather good article on the permutations for this weekend. Note I've merged the 2 articles, so all comments will appear under the Review article.


Link to Biltong's original:
http://www.606v2.com/t6425-superxv-possibilities-and-logs

biltongbek wrote:
SuperXV possibilities and logs
by biltongbek Today at 7:20

Although I have said many times that I do not like the new format of SuperXV, be it due to the unevenness of not playing all the teams in the competition and playing local derbies twice, it still does make for interesting reading going into the final two rounds of competition.

I still don’t believe the format is fair or well thought out for a number of reasons. Two of the conferences are most definitely more competitive and tight than the Australian conference, where the Reds have taken an insurmountable lead. Also the fact that the teams do not play all the other nation’s teams is nonsense.

Take a look at where the conferences stand.

Australian Conference
Pos Team P W D L B PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Reds 14 11 0 3 2 386 277 109 41 28 6 58
2 Waratahs 14 8 0 6 2 324 238 86 38 19 7 47
3 Western Force 14 4 2 8 2 285 368 -83 20 37 4 32
4 Brumbies 14 3 1 10 2 275 379 -104 26 35 6 28
5 Melbourne Rebels 14 3 0 11 2 240 511 -271 26 67 3 23

New Zealand Conference
Pos Team P W D L B PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Blues 14 9 1 4 2 356 296 60 38 30 9 55
2 Crusaders 14 9 1 4 2 397 248 149 42 25 7 53
3 Highlanders 14 8 0 6 2 273 277 -4 28 26 5 45
4 Hurricanes 14 5 1 8 2 301 364 -63 30 38 9 39
5 Chiefs 14 6 0 8 2 303 311 -8 30 27 6 38

South African Conference
Pos Team P W D L B PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 DHL Stormers 14 11 0 3 2 340 204 136 28 13 5 57
2 Sharks 14 9 0 5 2 351 286 65 36 23 7 51
3 Vodacom Bulls 14 9 0 5 2 374 328 46 37 34 5 49
4 Toyota Cheetahs 15 5 0 10 1 401 393 8 40 45 11 35
5 MTN Lions 15 3 0 12 1 321 447 -126 33 46 7 23

Combined Log
Pos Team P W D L B PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Reds 14 11 0 3 2 386 277 109 41 28 6 58
2 DHL Stormers 14 11 0 3 2 340 204 136 28 13 5 57
3 Blues 14 9 1 4 2 356 296 60 38 30 9 55
4 Crusaders 14 9 1 4 2 397 248 149 42 25 7 53
5 Sharks 14 9 0 5 2 351 286 65 36 23 7 51
6 Vodacom Bulls 14 9 0 5 2 374 328 46 37 34 5 49
7 Waratahs 14 8 0 6 2 324 238 86 38 19 7 47
8 Highlanders 14 8 0 6 2 273 277 -4 28 26 5 45
9 Hurricanes 14 5 1 8 2 301 364 -63 30 38 9 39
10 Chiefs 14 6 0 8 2 303 311 -8 30 27 6 38
11 Toyota Cheetahs 15 5 0 10 1 401 393 8 40 45 11 35
12 Western Force 14 4 2 8 2 285 368 -83 20 37 4 32
13 Brumbies 14 3 1 10 2 275 379 -104 26 35 6 28
14 MTN Lions 15 3 0 12 1 321 447 -126 33 46 7 23
15 Melbourne Rebels 14 3 0 11 2 240 511 -271 26 67 3 23

This is how I see the Final log would pan out.

The Reds to play Western Force and Chiefs away from home, they should win both, but as seen this weekend local derbies do throw some surprises. Another 8 log points for them ending on 66 points.

The Stormers to play the Bulls at home and the Cheetahs away from home. The Bulls could win their match, but with the recent form shown by the Stormers and the goal of ending in the top two will motivate them enough to beat the Bulls, even though the Cheetahs are playing good rugby at the moment I doubt whether they will be strong enough to beat the Stormers at home. Should be 8 log points for the Stormers ending them on 65 points.

The Crusaders play the Blues this weekend and even though it is away from home, they are not effected negatively about that, historically they are the best away performers in the competition and should beat the Blues, there after they play the Hurricanes and should get at least 8 points for the last two matches. Thus ending them on 61 points.

Even though the Blues might lose to the Crusaders, they should be safe for a fourth spot on the log as their last match is against a Highlander team who is tailing off in form. Thus ending the Blues on 59 log points.

The last two places is where it gets very interesting, currently the Sharks and Bulls are lying 5th and 6th respectively with the Waratahs in close 7th.
The problem for the Sharks and Bulls though is that they have to play each other, so someone is not going to get two wins. The Sharks also plays the Lions away from home and the Bulls travel to Newlands. So in my humble opinion both the SA franchises should get one win each ending the Sharks on 55 points and the Bulls on 53 points.

The good news for the Waratahs is that their last two matches should be easier They host the highlanders and the Brumbies in the last two rounds, and should win both. They should therefor end on 55 points and thus removing the Bulls from the equation.


Reds 66 points
Stormers 65 points
Crusaders 61 points
Blues 59 points
Waratahs 55 points
Sharks 55 points.

Bonus point losses and 4 try bonus points is the only way the Bulls, Sharks and Waratahs can shake things up.

What is interesting from a South African perspective is that a few weeks ago, New Zealand looked to have three teams in the play offs, with Australia two and the Stormers the only candidates from SA.

After some upsets the Highlanders have fallen victim to some poor form and is effectively out, although mathematically they still have a chance. The Bulls will ahve to get every possible bonus point available or beat the Stormers to qualify.

What might also be of interesting reading is how the countries as a whole faired.
Overall here are the games played and wins for each country.

Australia played 70, won 29, drew 3, lost 38
New Zealand played 70, won 37, drew 3, lost30
SA played 72, won 37, lost 35.

Your thoughts?


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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 10:00 am

Great comments Biltong, and I mostly agree. I think the Reds could drop 1 match since they're away both matches, but they should pick up at least 1 bonus point along the way. There's every chance the Stormers will finish #1.

Given the Waratahs front row injury problems (see my article above) the Highlanders could push their scrum off the park this weekend - that'll be a very tight match. The Blues have now lost 3 in a row, so their game with the Highlanders next week could also be interesting, both teams are out of form.

All in all though I think the top 6 will be
1/2: Stormers/Reds
3: Crusaders
4: Blues
5: Sharks
6: Waratahs/Bulls

I can't see the Sharks/Tahs/Bulls winning their playoff matches in NZ, so the top 4 will probably contest the semis the following week.

By the way Biltong, do you have a link to a good Saffa rugby news site? I'm pretty well covered on the NZ and Aus media, would be good to have a Bok perspective.
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Post by emack2 on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 1:23 pm

Biltong totally agree the draw is unfair,and has been for years.How did the strongest Bok side[Bulls] avoid strongest NZ side [Crusaders] away for several years.When I pointed it out that the Bulls at Jade where the last Sa succeeded winning was in 1996.I was shouted down,BUT Bulls played Crusaders in Nz and lost,who`s to say tha would`nt have happened in 2009 or 2010.Off course they may still have won,afterall Crusaders nearly won at Loftus last year.This years format stinks,Rebels,Force,Lions at home may well have been 15points for Crusaders to mention one.Home Semi- for top 2 fine but a bye week too.Qtr -finalists should get a bye week too before semis`.Home advantage to top finalist in the season.thats too much of an advantage both should play in a neutral country.Most of the revenue comes from advertising and tv/radio rights.So don`t tell me Crusaders versus Bulls at Cardiff,Twickenham,or Sydney would`nt be a near sell out.Next year Nz Franchises have a $120,000 squad cut either smaller squads or,less for the players.Talk about killing the Golden goose.NZ Rugby since 1996 Club/World best by results no arguments then this,why not just say NH come and help yourselves.Man it`st pathetic it stinks!!!!!!

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Post by Biltong on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 1:26 pm

kiwireddevil, I frequent this site daily as well, quite good with most important news from a SA perspective.

http://www.rugby-talk.com
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 1:29 pm

biltongbek wrote:kiwireddevil, I frequent this site daily as well, quite good with most important news from a SA perspective.

http://www.rugby-talk.com

Cheers. Bookmarking that now. You may have noticed my comments for the SA games got shorter in my OP - that's partly because there was less in the Antipodean papers to go on, and partly because it was getting late and I wanted to go to bed Wink
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 1:40 pm

And Biltong, nice post.

And I agree the new format is too unwieldy. Perhaps next expansion it should get split into 2 pools of 8 or 9 with no home/away, with pools ceded on previous season's results.

I'm assuming that SA will look to bring in the Southern Spears, with perhaps an Argentinian side and an Auckland based PI side to make 18.

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Post by Biltong on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 2:09 pm

emack, it is a bit of a falicy that the Bulls have not travelled away to play the Crusaders.

The problem is every time some nitwit decides to change the format from Super 10 to super12 to Super14, they lose control of the continuation of alternating the home and away matches against the same opponents.

During the Super 12 teams alternated to play the same opposition at home one year and then the next away.

During the 5 years of Super 14, the Bulls played at home against the Crusaders during 2006, 2008 and 2010, and the alternative years away.

Now with the new structure they once again changed the rotation for the Bulls and Crusaders. But that is exactly why this format is unfair and illogical.

To my mind a team may win a Super rugby title and completely miss playing another top team even through the elimination rounds.

I can only see one solution for this tournament, let every team play against every other team. It would have been preferable if there could be a home and away fixture, but then the season will never end.

So maybe add one more team, make two pools, let them play home and away, have the top two qualify for semi finals and bob's your uncle.

But in essence this format is totally flawed.

Not to mention this 4 log points you recieve due to a bye. What on earth does that mean, there s absolutely no use for it, and only creates confusion.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 2:33 pm

biltongbek wrote:
...
Not to mention this 4 log points you recieve due to a bye. What on earth does that mean, there s absolutely no use for it, and only creates confusion.

Biltong, it's copied over from the NRL in Australia. Basically it means that the mathematically semi-literate can read a points table without looking cross-eyed at the "matches played" column Wink. Though it did confuse me the other day until someone pointed out that it was there, as I was making assumptions based on the byes still to be played ...
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Post by Biltong on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 4:16 pm

KIwi, what irritates me about the bye log points, halfway through the season you have no ida which teams have been allocated their bye log points.

Makes for unecessary research to figure it out.

I believe it is an absolute waste, seeing that all teams eventually recieves the 4 points, now your bookkeeping skills come into the picture just to read a table.

And I am not a bookkeeper.
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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 5:02 pm

To be honest I´m glad to see my Crusaders still in the hunt. No home stadium, shared points with the Hurricanes , no games against the Lions or Rebels and injuries to a few players. Not saying other teams haven´t had their fair share of injuries or have had similar draws. I don´t think the Crusaders have been as dominant as they would´ve wanted but have been impressed by the comeback of the Stormers on their away tour recently and the overall form of the Reds this year.

Can´t say I´m enamoured with the draw. I don´t think some of these home derbies have lived up to the intentions of the tournament organizers. Some of these games look like club games with club crowds to boot. And four points for a bye. What next? Hand out lollipops to all players who finish the game? 2 points for a loss that should´ve been a win if not for ill discipline or silly errors.

And I have no problem rewarding teams for coming first or second but this seems as close to a guarantee for a final appearance as you can possibly get. But that said, I cannot deny being curious as to how it´s all going to end.

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 5:57 pm

Kiakaha, I think that should (and beating the Stormers/Reds won't be easy) the Crusaders win the title this year it'll vie with the unbeaten season in 2002 as their greatest title run.

On a related note, if the Crusaders get a home playoff match, where do they play it? Wellington, Dunedin or Nelson I would guess are most likely. I think they've finished expanding Trafalgar Park to 20,000 seats (from 12,000) as part of the RWC preparations.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 9:14 pm

The top teams are starting to get knocked off by their lower compatriots- Chiefs blues...Reds, Brumbies etc

Main reason for that will be the lower teams have a couple more games to impress their own selectors for the 3N and WCup as they wont figure in the semi's- so these are basically 'finals' for many individuals.

And of the top 6 I'd say the Reds if they retain home advantage- after that- anyone could win it. ALL 6 have shown why they can win it and Lose it this year.

The draw will favour the top 3 with the bye factor but injuries are also playing their card.

I'm just in that wait and see mode cos its too hard to pick.


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Post by Taylorman on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 9:29 pm

Hi Biltong,
re the stats...
Australia played 70, won 29, drew 3, lost 38
New Zealand played 70, won 37, drew 3, lost30
SA played 72, won 37, lost 35.

the presence of the home matches will lead to 50/50 win loss draw ratio- every time. so the differences must be in the away matches which without looking at the raw stats (i.e.- using your figures and removing 50/50's) it reads near to:

Australia lost 9
New Zealand won 7
SA played won 2

roughly. Doesnt account for the draws or remaining games but yes, faily reflective of the 3N historically...interesting...

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Post by emack2 on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 10:11 pm

Hi Taylorman you made it across,S10/12/14/15 whatever formatt its been has had,one dominant Nz side,2 Nz good sides.2 not so good sides.SA one dominant,2,good sides,not so good sides.Aus usually 2good sides ,2 not so good.Any format that favours one conference over others is poor,Eddie Jones states there is not enough players to sustain 3 sides let alone 5.Due to no infrastructure like Currie Cup,ITM.Grant Fox suggests reverting to 12 team format.To be fair that should mean one from each conference,if implemented unlikely because officials don`t like being told there wrong.Whatever combinations you come up with,Stormers and Reds will have home semi`s.History says home advantage at Semi,and Final stage means Home side winning.Only Crusaders have defied that barrier off shore,at full strength maybe.But without McCaw,Maitland ,Dagg,Ellis,Sam Whitelock,Adam Whitelock don`t fancy there chances.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 06 Jun 2011, 10:40 pm

Hi Emack, thought I'd wait till I was officially 'homeless'...

One thing about this year is its too long and too hard for core teams.

Squads will need to be bigger to contain the injury count if this year is typical- ie play every 2 weeks almost.

And bigger squads mean more players and a lowering of quality on the average team to turn out during the week, and possibly lower crowds. (Who'd going to come and watch knowing McCaw, Carter, SBW and fruean for e.g are benched). Oz teams particularly would feel it with the lesser talent available.

Even I've got a bit tired of it and just want someone to win it so we can get on with the 3N then WCup.

The teams are not going into the semis with any momentum and are just in survival mode- so its all going to come doen to one offs where the season itself hasnt really contributed a lot to the form of the winning teams.

Agree with Biltong- its just the wrong format and yes 12 would be better.


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Post by emack2 on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 12:37 am

Alan will do fine Taylorman ,the S15 is to long,The Reds have beaten all the leading contenders so number one is probably fair do`s.But they`ve picked up a lot of cheap points too.Bigger squads?From 2012 NZ squads will either be reduced,or wages to players cut.So more cases of ITM bolters starting,goodthing long term.But a case of killing the Golden Goose.Prospect of further attrition during 3Ns and weakened squads therein stinks.RWC well you know my opinion of THAT.

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Post by nganboy on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 3:56 am

These were my predictions last week.

The Reds will win and take 5 points to stretch their lead at number 1.
The Blues will struggle but take 4 points to cement 2nd place.
The Stormers will struggle but take 4 points to stay in 3rd.
The Crusaders will get the benefit of the bye and 4 points so stay in 4th spot.
The Sharks will win and get 4 points to stay in 5th spot
The Bulls will crush the Waratahs and leap frog them with 4 points.
The Highlanders will smash the Force and take five points to lie even with the Bulls.
The Hurricanes will fxxxx it up at home while I cry in the stand because they are the Hurricanes.

and the results were

Highlanders 14 lost to Force 21
Rebels 3 lost to Stormers 40
Bulls 23 beat Waratahs 17
Hurricanes 38 beat Lions 27
Blues 11 lost to Chiefs 16
Reds 14 lost to Brumbies 22
Cheetahs 18 lost to Sharks 23
Crusaders BYE

I got the Reds and Blues and Highlanders and Hurricances result wrong.
I got the Stormers and Bulls results right but the magnitude wrong
I got the Sharks right and the points for the Crusaders right.

Clearly this shows I have no idea what I am talking about.

So I'll have another go.


Friday June 10
Chiefs v Hurricanes - Hurricanes narrowly - so now they will probably lose it
Brumbies v Rebels - Brumbies but noone cares
Saturday June 11
Crusaders v Blues - Crusaders because the Blues are in freefall
Waratahs v Highlanders - Waratahs because the Highlanders are in freefall
Sunday June 12
Force v Reds - Reds easily
Lions v Sharks - Sharks narrowly
Stormers v Bulls - Stormers narrowly because they are at home but tired
Cheetahs v BYE - 4 points (at least I know I will get this right)
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Post by Gunner on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 5:11 am

I realise i am in the minority in this forum but i actually like the new format.
Obviously its not perfect and some teams will be obviously disadvantaged by not playing some of the weaker teams (Canty v Rebels etc).
Next year there will be more of an outcry when the competition takes a break for the touring NH tests.
I enjoy the derby games because i like to see how the test guys match up against each other. This ties in with my role as an armchair selector!

I enjoy having opposing travelling fans in the stands. This is an area where the NH beat SH hands down.

Because of the international windows and the desire of NZ and SA to maintain their respective domestic competitions it becomes nigh on impossible to configure the comp as SANZAR wishes.

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Post by Biltong on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 7:08 am

Morning alan, I agree with Grant Fox, I would like the competition to reduce in the number of franchises that compete.

But I would take it a step further, I would like to see only 9 teams, the reason for that is I want home and away fixtures against all teams.

This way there is 16 weeks of seriously competitive rugby, this is after all supposed to be a SUPER RUGBY COMPETITION. It is seriously not Super when teams lose by 40 points.

Taylorman, not sure if you are aware of this fact, but the Reds played the two bottom dwelling teams in three matches, the Rebels twice and the Lions once. Whereas the Crusaders have not met any of these two this season. Makes no sense does it?

Nganboy, when it comes to predictions, I think none of us know anything.

Gunner, the problem with this long Super Rugby season and expansion from here, is that there are not enough weekends to have a full Currie Cup. A bunch of South Africans hashed out this scenario where eventually something will have to give, and if money is the main motivating factor, the possibility is that the Currie Cup will lose ground as the importance or priorities will shift. Now remember when we were in isolation, our Currie Cup was like test match rugby for us, and even though many of us really enjoy the Super Rugby competition, it should never impact the breeding ground of rugby.
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Post by Adam D on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 9:15 am

Update on the officials for you:


Super Rugby Match Officals Round 17.

Chiefs vs Hurricanes in Hamilton
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant referees: Bryce Lawrence, Nick Briant
Television match official: Ben Skeen

Brumbies vs Rebels in Canberra
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Ian Smith, Steve Hardy
Television match official: Matt Goddard

Crusaders vs Blues in Timaru
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Vinny Munro, Kane McBride
Television match official: Keith Brown

Waratahs vs Highlanders in Sydney
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant referees: James Leckie, Andrew Lees
Television match official: Matt Goddard

Force vs Reds in Perth
Referee: Stuart Dickinson
Assistant referees: Nathan Pearce, Julian Pritchard
Television match official: George Ayoub

Lions vs Sharks in Johannesburg
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant referees: Jason Jafta, Johan Greeff
Television match official: Gerrie Coetzee

Stormers vs Bulls at Newlands
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Mark Lawrence, Phillip Bosch
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 9:35 am

Cheers Hobo, will drop it into the main article Smile

Hobo wrote:Update on the officials for you:


Super Rugby Match Officals Round 17.

Chiefs vs Hurricanes in Hamilton
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant referees: Bryce Lawrence, Nick Briant
Television match official: Ben Skeen

Brumbies vs Rebels in Canberra
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Ian Smith, Steve Hardy
Television match official: Matt Goddard

Crusaders vs Blues in Timaru
Referee: Craig Joubert
Assistant referees: Vinny Munro, Kane McBride
Television match official: Keith Brown

Waratahs vs Highlanders in Sydney
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant referees: James Leckie, Andrew Lees
Television match official: Matt Goddard

Force vs Reds in Perth
Referee: Stuart Dickinson
Assistant referees: Nathan Pearce, Julian Pritchard
Television match official: George Ayoub

Lions vs Sharks in Johannesburg
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant referees: Jason Jafta, Johan Greeff
Television match official: Gerrie Coetzee

Stormers vs Bulls at Newlands
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Mark Lawrence, Phillip Bosch
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen
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Post by Gunner on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 9:38 am

Biltongbek.

I agree. Something will have to give. But what?
Without S15 Australia dont have a whole lot to offer in the way of domestic rugby. They got plenty to lose. I guess a lot depends on what the paymasters at Newscorp want.
If you reduce the teams to 9 who would you get rid of?
2 Coastal and 1 High Veld team or vice versa?
Nobody wants their team to disappear.

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Post by Biltong on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 10:11 am

Gunner wrote:Biltongbek.

I agree. Something will have to give. But what?
Without S15 Australia dont have a whole lot to offer in the way of domestic rugby. They got plenty to lose. I guess a lot depends on what the paymasters at Newscorp want.
If you reduce the teams to 9 who would you get rid of?
2 Coastal and 1 High Veld team or vice versa?
Nobody wants their team to disappear.

Yes, that makes sense, Western and Eastern cape will be strong together.

Sharks and Cheetahs(the sharks buy half their players there anyway)

Bulls and Lions together.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 10:18 am

biltongbek wrote:
Gunner wrote:Biltongbek.

I agree. Something will have to give. But what?
Without S15 Australia dont have a whole lot to offer in the way of domestic rugby. They got plenty to lose. I guess a lot depends on what the paymasters at Newscorp want.
If you reduce the teams to 9 who would you get rid of?
2 Coastal and 1 High Veld team or vice versa?
Nobody wants their team to disappear.

Yes, that makes sense, Western and Eastern cape will be strong together.

Sharks and Cheetahs(the sharks buy half their players there anyway)

Bulls and Lions together.

It'd get tricky in NZ, but would probably be:
Blues,
Rest of North Island (Chiefs and Hurricanes)
South Island (Crusaders and Highlanders)

Note, updated All Blacks selection barometer link added to the main article
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Post by Pal Joey on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 3:42 pm

In Oz - back to Qld, NSW, probably combine ACT/Rebels - and dissolve the Western Force (they are Aussie Rules fanatics mainly, mostly UK expats/eastern states people follow the rugby) They could play the odd match there in the West, however, crowd numbers would drop off significantly no doubt.
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Post by nganboy on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 2:03 am

How about get two teams from Argentina.
Then you can have a 2nd tier of 8 teams with promotion and relegation.
With two teams in Argentina it would make the travel a little more do able
Or how about a North American francise
Hell chuck in a Chinese one.
Give us something to beat them at. Whistle

Note: I'm Chinese
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Post by Gunner on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 4:57 am

Kiwireddevil wrote:
biltongbek wrote:
Gunner wrote:Biltongbek.

I agree. Something will have to give. But what?
Without S15 Australia dont have a whole lot to offer in the way of domestic rugby. They got plenty to lose. I guess a lot depends on what the paymasters at Newscorp want.
If you reduce the teams to 9 who would you get rid of?
2 Coastal and 1 High Veld team or vice versa?
Nobody wants their team to disappear.

Yes, that makes sense, Western and Eastern cape will be strong together.

Sharks and Cheetahs(the sharks buy half their players there anyway)

Bulls and Lions together.

It'd get tricky in NZ, but would probably be:
Blues,
Rest of North Island (Chiefs and Hurricanes)
South Island (Crusaders and Highlanders)

Note, updated All Blacks selection barometer link added to the main article

Kiwired

I just cant see that one goin down with the rugby public in any of the countries.
There is too much rivallry between the SA and NZ franchises.
Suddenly you have 3 "Super" franchises in each country.
Imagine how alienated those people outside those areas would become.
Do you think Waikato folk are gonna jump behind an Auckland team (Team based in Huntly!)? Or Otago Southland behind Canty? (Maybe the team could be based in Temuka!)
Theres 120 years of rivallry that just wont allow it. Suddeny 30% of the poulation has turned off their tv sets and have taken up cross stich as there major winter activity. Same goes for SA. Durban and Capetown.
Joburg and Pretoria linking arms?
This would also have a marked effect on the national sides too. The player base would obvously be trimmed significantly with those players not receiving contracts moving abroad. (Unless of course each super team will have a playing roster of 50 players)

Biltongbek

Can you see the SARFU breaking away from Sanzar at any point and aligning themselves with the NH.
It is a mooted every time the S15 comp comes up for renewal.
If that occured there could possibly be some sort of ANZAC comp replacing S!5.
Too many comps. Not enough weekends! Doh

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Post by Biltong on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 6:51 am

Gunner, firstly I doubt the Super Competition will get smaller. So it isreally a moot point.

But, if it were to be discussed, the only way this will retain popularity is to break away from traditional franchises. Create three new franchises per country.

Do I think we will break away?

No I doubt that, in the past I think between John O'Neil and his cohorts, our SARU representatives were often outwitted and steamrolled due to incompetency from their side.

The new guy Roux, seems to be more capable, so I am hopeful that he will have the best interest at heart for SA rugby.

Do I want us to join NH.

Most definitely not. The SANZAR countries remain the three strongest nations because of what they can do together to sustain competitive teams and sustainable progress, without one of them, it will be less effective.

We are already criticised for the way we play, we will become even more conservitave in the conditions over in Europe.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 7:30 am

Rebels side for the Brumbies is out, Cipriani to start at 10.

Rebels: Mark Gerrard, Richard Kingi, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Julian Huxley, Cooper Vuna, Danny Cipriani, Nick Phipps, Gareth Delve, Michael Lipman, Jarrod Saffy, Kevin O'Neill, Alister Campbell, Greg Somerville, Ged Robinson, Rodney Blake. Res: Adam Freier, Laurie Weeks, Adam Byrnes, Tim Davidson, Lachlan Mitchell, Peter Betham, Afusipa Taumoepeau.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/cipriani-to-start-at-fiveeighth-for-rebels-20110608-1fsbh.html#ixzz1OfCIBlTW
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Post by Gunner on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 9:11 am

Biltonbek,

For better or worse i believe we will be forever joined.
The problem SA and NZ have is that we still treasure our
domestic comps and we dont wish to see them further marginalised.
As i said previously it will be interesting to see what fans think
next year when the S15 takes a break for the touring teams from the NH.
The ARFU and O'Neill would love to have this problem of to much rugby.
Whilst all other codes in Aust are running around midwinter the Aussies are at some coastal resort for 6 weeks training with no rugger on tv!

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 9:50 am

Highlanders team named to face the Waratahs. Jimmy Cowan is on the bench:
Ben Smith, Kade Poki, Kendrick Lynn, Shaun Treeby, Siale Piutau, Tony Brown, Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu, Alando Soakai, Adam Thomson, Josh Bekhuis, Jarrad Hoeata, Bronson Murray, Jason Rutledge, Jamie Mackintosh (captain). Reserves: Mo Schwalger, Chris King, Nick Crosswell, John Hardie, Jimmy Cowan, Robbie Robinson, Telusa Veainu

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 11:15 am

Hurricanes and Chiefs sides for the weekend:

'Canes:
Cory Jane, Julian Savea, Alapati Leiua, Ma'a Nonu, Hosea Gear, Aaron Cruden, Piri Weepu, Victor Vito, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, James Broadhurst, Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Andrew Hore (c), John Schwalger. Reserves: Dane Coles, Jacob Ellison, Jason Eaton, Mark Reddish / Karl Lowe, Tyson keats, Jayden Hayward, Richard Buckman.

Tialata starts his 100th Super match for the 'Canes

Chiefs:
Mils Muliaina, Lelia Masaga, Richard Kahui, Dwayne Sweeney, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Stephen Donald, Brendon Leonard, Fritz Lee, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam , Isaac Ross, Craig Clarke, Nathan White, Hika Elliot, Ben May. Reserves: Aled de Malmanche, Toby Smith, Matt Vant Leven, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tim Nanai-Williams, Jackson Willison.

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 11:35 am

Sam Whitelock and Andy Ellis return for the Crusaders
Crusaders: Tom Marshall, Brent Ward, Robbie Fruean, Sonny Bill Williams, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read (c), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Ben Franks. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Wyatt Crockett, Luke Romano, Jonathan Poff, Willi Heinz, Matt Berquist, Ryan Crotty.

Biltong, Gunner, I agree with you, dropping teams is not going to happen. Otago and Southland have enough issues with each other without adding Canterbury to the mix. Whilst a combined Chiefs/Canes side is an awful lot of geography.

Here's another idea, a 2 division Super comp, with promotion/relegation. Presumably you'd have to guarantee at least 2 teams from each country a shot at the top division but would streamline the comp.

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Post by Biltong on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 11:57 am

Kiwireddevil wrote:
Here's another idea, a 2 division Super comp, with promotion/relegation. Presumably you'd have to guarantee at least 2 teams from each country a shot at the top division but would streamline the comp.


That is probably the most likely scenario.

Let each country add as many teams within reason of course, to a 2 division Super competition. This will provide an opportunity for teams such as THe Southern Kings to be part, as long as they can provide proof of financials and sustainability.

Have 9 teams in the premier league, which if we take this years log as an example, it will be a very competitive home and away series, 16 round robin matches plus semi and final. 18 weeks of intense rugby.

During the semis and final, there is a promotion relegation home and away match for the bottom two teams against the log leaders and runners up of the B competition.

Next year would look like this then.

Super Duper without Quade Cooper Rugby Tournament League
Reds
Stormers
Crusaders
Blues
Sharks
Bulls
Waratahs
Highlanders
Hurricanes

The B league Super Rugby tournament
Chiefs
Cheetahs
Brumbies
Lions
Western force
Rebels
Southern Kings
Plus one more team from each country if they so wish.

The problem with this I see straight away, is that O'Neil and his cohorts will not be happy that Australia only has two teams in the A League. But then again it should benefit all three countries and especially Australia as they will then have the makings of a sustainable comprtition with 6 teams.

You could perhaps even look at salary caps for the second tier teams, which could free up more money for the teams who qualify for the A tier, and keep the B tier teams sustainable.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 12:01 pm

Good summary Biltong.

Then down the track there's potential for adding Argentine or Japanese sides to the B tier.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 12:03 pm

BTW Biltong, is it "Southern Kings" or "Southern Spears"?
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Post by Biltong on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 12:03 pm

Thinking about this makes sense to me. In the past the 5 Super Franchises from SA plus Eastern Province made up a very competitive Curry Cup( I am thinking back to the isolation years.

The Super rugby Log of the two competitions can be combined, and then fixtures added for those 1st and 2nd tier teams who have not played against each other in the Super Rugby, to complete a Currie Cup. This way we can have our currie Cup shortened, have a semi and final, over a maximum of 8 weeks(assuming 3 teams play in each of the two Super tournaments, thereby reducing the amount of rugby.

So in summary, our top players will then have played a maximum number of 18 super matches, plus 8 Currie Cup fixtures, plus 10-12 tests.

This will reduce player fatigue, and injuries.
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Post by Biltong on Wed 08 Jun 2011, 12:04 pm

Kiwireddevil wrote:BTW Biltong, is it "Southern Kings" or "Southern Spears"?

They started out as the Southern Spears but subsequently changed their name.
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Post by nganboy on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 2:17 am

Hey everyones jumping on my 2 tier comp suggestion.
As I said use the 2nd tier as a way to grow the game into the two Americas and Asia
Would have to have 3 teams from each country in the top tier otherwise one country would pack a sad. At least for the first two years. No way would O'Neill agree to only two teams.

I'm sure NZ wouldn't want more than 3 Super teams and 2 Very Good but not Super teams. (though Hawkes Bay might argue that). Unless there was enough money in the 2nd tier coming from Americas to keep players in NZ instead of heading off overseas.
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Post by Taylorman on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 2:36 am

Hi Biltong re the domestic comps I'm not really one who treasures it a lot. Its been mucked around with over the years and the identities of the super teams have kind of made the ITM teams a kind of smaller sisters competition. Canterbury are really all but the Crusaders, Auks all but the blues, Waikato all but the Chiefs, Otago are all but the highlanders and Wellington al but the Canes.

The ITM (aka NPC, Air NZ champ's and on and on...) is stuck at the end between the internationals and the IA's and I don't know about other Kiwi fans but it doesnt have the aura it used to.

I know you mentioned the Currie cup having some history and I recall it from the 70's at least so as far as I'm concerned I'm ok with the ITM being shunted off the page a bit. That might grate with other Kiwi's- I'm not sure- but its just got that- 'lets have some more games to fill up the season' feel.

The Ranfurly shield has also lost its former glory- I dont even recall who holds it when at one time everyone knew that.

Interested to see what other Kiwis think about these two. I'm probably at one end of the spectrum as I know some will disagree..


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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 11:18 am

Blues team for the Crusaders, Brett to start at 10:
15 Jared Payne, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (captain), 1 John Afoa. Reserves: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Chris Lowrey, 19 Sean Polwart, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Lachie Munro, 22 Sherwin Stowers
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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 11:21 am

Pete, any more chat aout where Benson Stanley might be headed next year? OK

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Thu 09 Jun 2011, 11:46 am

As, no mention of anything beyond his hopes of making the RWC squad here. I'm guessing that he wasn't worrying too much about next year while concussed ...
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Post by nganboy on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 3:16 am

I think Taylorman you may be in a large minority.
I think that a lot of fans want to support a local team. The Super Teams used to be made up of players from its strongest province but now its sort of the other way round.

eg Fruen and SBW don't come from Cantebury and don't particularly want to play for them. They want to win something playing for the Crusaders so they can be All Blacks.

There was quite a bit of support for the ITM cup last year and definitely the year before that. Especially for those smaller unions.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Fri 10 Jun 2011, 4:43 pm

Reds team for Saturday:
Jono Lance, Rod Davies, Will Chambers, Ben Tapuai, Luke Morahan, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Radike Samo, Liam Gill, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (c), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Ben Daley. Res: J Hanson, G Holmes, A Wallace-Harrison, J Schatz, B Coridas, I Prior,
D Shipperley.

20 year old Jono Lance debuts after a good season in the IRB 7s, while 19yo Gill has been recalled from the Wallabies JWC squad and faces up against David Pocock.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/reds-call-up-young-guns-to-face-force-20110610-1fwuv.html#ixzz1Ot821K4f
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