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Super Rugby Round 18 Review – 10 Interesting Thing 67 views 0 Comments
14 June 2015 by The Swede Eaters
 

Super Rugby Round 18 analysis raises some interesting points. Thoughts?

Super Rugby Round 18 was a round like no other. While the Top Six was already decided going into this round, there was still plenty of drama.

Here are 10 things we learnt in Super Rugby Round 18;

1) We have largely been opposed to the Super Rugby standings system which requires a team from each conference to be in the top three, but now the finger must be pointed at the playoff system which if it goes according to rankings, would see the winner of the all New Zealand playoff game between the Highlanders and Chiefs (these teams finished second and fourth on points) playing the top of the table Hurricanes in the semi-finals. This would mean that only one New Zealand team can make the final. The only way around this is if the Brumbies win in Cape Town against the Stormers, which is relatively possible. Hopefully with the inclusion of more teams in future Super Rugby tournaments, these strange anomalies can be avoided.

2) Speaking of anomalies, how much can we read into Rugby World Cup form, based on Super Rugby form? South Africa look to be in trouble. We know the Stormers rested their players against the Sharks in Super Rugby Round 18, but it is crazy when the Stormers will host a playoff game for finishing third, despite having the seventh highest number of points. They even finished behind the Brumbies, who they host next week and the Crusaders who have ironically been one of the form teams in the last few rounds. Given the number of players that will exit Southern Hemisphere teams after the Rugby World Cup, the South African teams stand to be even more depleted in future seasons, yet they have an extra team entering Super Rugby.

3) Which conference was the strongest in Super Rugby 2015? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that it was New Zealand that were the strongest, with the Hurricanes, Highlanders and Chiefs making the Top Six and the Crusaders sitting just outside. The Blues finished second last. The New Zealand teams won 47/80 and it must be remembered that each New Zealand team played each other twice. The New Zealand teams got a combined total of 233 competition points. The South African teams won 38/80 with 185 competition points and Australia struggled with 34/80 with 176 competition points.

4) Statistically speaking it was a strange old round with the highest average winning margin of 17.3 points and only one bonus point for a team losing by within seven points. This makes it the most one sided round of Super Rugby Round 15.

5) Only two teams won playing at home, with the Waratahs and Sharks being the only ones to defend their fortresses. Some of the other away wins were major upsets in Super Rugby Round 18 with only two percent of SuperBru tipsters picking the Force to beat the Rebels and seven percent picking the Cheetahs to topple the Bulls. Teams being out of the running can often thrive without pressure and this seemed to be the case with the likes of the Force, Sharks, Crusaders and Cheetahs winning when many people thought that they wouldn't.

6) The Stormers rested most of their top team for their game against the Sharks and it backfired. They have really struggled without Duane Vermeulen recently and if he is still injured, they may not advance past the Super Rugby Qualifiers. I thought that Super Rugby was all about building momentum, well the Stormers definitely haven't done that!

7) Why did the Crusaders only finally start playing well once it was too late? The late move of Dan Carter to the Number 10 jersey worked a treat for the Crusaders, and of course, being largely out of contention which took the pressure off them. It will be sad not seeing them in the finals, given their recent form.

8) It will be sad seeing the last of so many international stars with all of the post Rugby World Cup cleanout which will see stars like Kevin Mealamu, Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Duane Vermeulen, Adam Ashley-Cooper etc. not returning to Super Rugby next season. It will be interesting to see what the depth of talent is like in 2016, especially since South Africa will be getting another team soon.

9) Why did everyone seem so surprised that the Chiefs didn't beat the Hurricanes by 37 points to rob the Highlanders of a home playoff game? From the media both before and after the game, it seemed that they were expected to host a Super Rugby Qualifier. It is funny how one win over the Reds seemed to make people talk them up ahead of their game against the Hurricanes. There is a reason that the Hurricanes are the top dogs. The Chiefs found this out in Super Rugby Round 18.

10) On the lighter side of things, was this the best individual try of Super Rugby 2015? Nemani Nadolo from the Crusaders scored a beauty against the Brumbies.

What are your thoughts on Super Rugby Round 18 and the findings above?

http://www.superrugbytips.com/2015/06/super-rugby-round-18-review-10-amazing.html

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