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3 more drop out of the race


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Bulls, Cheetahs, In the news, Sharks, Stormers on 31 May 2011 at 20:11
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It is a weekend that will celebrated in South Africa and bemoaned in New Zealand, while the Reds continue to fly the Australia flag.

Rugby 365 reports that the Crusaders failed to close the gap on the New Zealand conference  leaders, the Blues, who had a bye, while the Highlanders were the weekend’s biggest losers – dropping from a top six spot to eighth.

Never before did four South African teams win on the same day in Super Rugby, as the Bulls and Sharks moved up the standings, while three more teams officially dropped out of the play-off race.

The Cheetahs, the only South African team to lose (they stumbled against the vastly improved Bulls), the Western Force and Brumbies formally joined the list of ‘also-rans’.

While, mathematically, 10 teams can still make it, the Chiefs and Hurricanes require miracles.

The Bulls and Highlanders remain in the ‘must win every week’ category, while the current top six have their destiny in their own hands.

Not that they can sit back. Just five points now separate the Crusaders in fourth place and the Highlanders in eighth.

We also face the very real prospect of Australian team occupying the bottom three places at the end of the season … if the Lions continue their winning streak.

For the next few weeks we will also list the play-offs based on current standings.

The new Super Rugby format requires additional elimination matches to determine semifinal contenders. The rules governing who plays whom and where are quite complicated; suffice it to say that if the competition were to finish after this week, the Super Six play-offs (based on current table placings) would be:

Elimination rounds (June 24 and 25)
Crusaders v Sharks, Christchurch
Stormers v Waratahs, Cape Town

Semifinals (July 1 and 2)
Reds host lowest ranked qualified winners, Brisbane
Blues host highest ranked qualified winners, Auckland

Now, back to reality.

rugby365.com has attempted to paint a picture of each team’s road to the play-offs and their prospects. It is not en exact science, but a pretty good guess, we feel.

It is exciting times, so here goes!

Reds:
Current position:
Australian conference – first; global standings – first
Best possible finish: Australian conference – first; global standings – first
Worst possible finish: Australian conference – second; global standings – seventh
Remaining fixtures:
4 June: v Brumbies, home
11 June: v Force, away
18 June: v Chiefs, away

Blues:
Current position:
New Zealand conference – first; global standings – second
Best possible finish:  New Zealand conference – first; global standings – first
Worst possible finish:  New Zealand conference – third; global standings – eighth
Remaining fixtures:
4 June: v Chiefs, home
11 June: v Crusaders, away
17 June: v Highlanders, home

Stormers:
Current position:
South African conference – first; global standings – third
Best possible finish: South African conference – first; global standings – first
Worst possible finish: South African conference – third; global standings – eighth
Remaining fixtures:
3 June: v Rebels, away
11 June: v Bulls, home
18 June: v Cheetahs, away

Crusaders:
Current position:
NZ conference – second; global standings – fourth
Best possible finish: NZ conference – first; global standings – first
Worst possible finish: NZ conference – third; global standings – eighth
Remaining fixtures:
3/4 June: Bye
11 June: v Blues, home
18 June: v Hurricanes, home

Sharks:
Current position:
SA conference – second; global standings – fifth
Best possible finish:  SA conference – first; global standings – first
Worst possible finish:  SA conference – third; global standings – 11th
Remaining fixtures:
4 June: v Cheetahs, away
11 June: v Lions, away
18 June: v Bulls, away

Waratahs:
Current position:
Aus conference – second; global standings – sixth
Best possible finish: Aus conference – first; global standings – first
Worst possible finish: Aus conference – second; global standings – 11th
Remaining fixtures:
3 June: v Bulls, away
11 June: v Highlanders, home
18 June: v Brumbies, home

Bulls:
Current position:
SA conference – third; global standings – seventh
Best possible finish: SA conference – first; global standings – first
Worst possible finish: SA conference – third; global standings – 11th
Remaining fixtures:
3 June: v Waratahs, home
11 June: v Stormers, away
18 June: v Sharks, home

Highlanders:
Current position:
NZ conference – third; global standings – eighth
Best possible finish: NZ conference – third; global standings – fifth
Worst possible finish:  NZ conference – fifth; global standings – 11th
Remaining fixtures:
3 June: v Force, home
11 June: v Waratahs, away
17 June: v Blues, away

Cheetahs:
Current position:
SA conference – fourth; global standings – 9th
Best possible finish: SA conference – second; global standings – seventh
Worst possible finish: SA conference – fourth; global standings – 13th
Remaining fixtures:
4 June: v Sharks, home
10/11 June: Bye
18 June: v Stormers, home

Chiefs:
Current position:
NZ conference – fouth; global standings  – 10th
Best possible finish: NZ conference – third; global standings  – sixth
Worst possible finish: NZ conference – fifth; global standings  – 15th
Remaining fixtures:
4 June: v Blues, away
10 June: v Hurricanes, home
18 June: v Reds, home

Hurricanes:
Current position:
NZ conference – fifth; global standings – 11th
Best possible finish: NZ conference – third; global standings – fifth
Worst possible finish: NZ conference – fifth; global standings – 15th
Remaining fixtures:
4 June: v Lions, home
10 June: v Chiefs, away
18 June: v Crusaders, away

Western Force:
Current position:
Aus conference – third; global standings – 12th
Best possible finish: Aus conference – second; global standings – seventh
Worst possible finish: Aus conference – fifth; global standings – 15th
Remaining fixtures:
3 June: v Highlanders, away
11 June: v Reds, home
17 June: v Rebels, away

Brumbies:
Current position:
Aus conference – fourth; global standings – 13th
Best possible finish: Aus conference – third; global standings – ninth
Worst possible finish: Aus conference – fifth; global standings – 15th
Remaining fixtures:
4 June: v Reds, away
10 June: v Rebels, home
18 June: v Waratahs, away

Lions:
Current position:
SA conference – fifth; global standings – 14th
Best possible finish: SA conference – fifth; global standings – ninth
Worst possible finish: SA conference – fifth; global standings – 15th
Remaining fixtures:
4 June: v Hurricanes, away
11 June: v Sharks, home
17/18 June: Bye

Rebels:
Current position:
Aus conference – fifth; global standings – 15th
Best possible finish: Aus conference – third; global standings – 10th
Worst possible finish: Aus conference – fifth; global standings – 15th
Remaining fixtures:
3 June: v Stormers, home
10 June: v Brumbies, away
17 June: v Force, home



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