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Conference winners decided

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 13 Jun 2015 at 14:31
Tagged with : , , , ,

While the Waratahs have now sealed their spots as winners of the Australian conference, the powers that be at SANZAR will be fervently holding thumbs that the Stormers – already confirmed as the best South African side – can pick up at least one log point in Durban this evening. That’s to ensure that a truly ignominious situation is averted – and a fair few blushes among the competition’s rule makers are spared.

As things stand at the moment, the seventh-placed Stormers will progress to the knock-outs in third place, courtesy of winning the overly-weak South African conference. Never before in the history of this rather strange competition has the conference system resulted in a team not in the top six when looking at log points progressed on the basis of conference position alone. In years gone by, there have been strange results, but it has always only affected the relative position of sides within the top six, rather than the composition of the top six itself.

2012′s finish raised an eyebrow or two, when the Sharks (who finished above the Reds on log points) were forced to play the Brisbane team away in the knock-out round, by virtue of the fact that the latter was the best-placed side in a poor Australian conference. Looking at points alone, though, the Reds would still have progressed to the knock-outs that year, in sixth place rather than third had the conference system not come into play.

The Stormers, in seventh place overall on 45 log points need just a single point from today’s encounter to end level with the 6th-placed Crusaders. Win number of wins over 16 rounds the first tie-breaking criterion, that would put the Stormers (10 wins) ahead of the Crusaders on the table. Of course, thanks to the current system, the Stormers will go through in third, regardless of the performance today. It would just feel a lot better for all involved, I’m sure, if they can at least argue they deserve the spot based on a higher log position than the Crusaders.

Who the hell came up with this crazy system anyway?


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