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9942 Topic: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
Just_win

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6017
Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 06:26:52

What a return to Super Rugby! Last week I said I felt a bit ‘ho hum’ about getting back into the final rounds of the provincial circuit after the June internationals, but it didn’t take long for the games to consume me.

What a round it turned out to be. With the Chiefs losing to the Highlanders, and the Blues’ big win over the Force in Perth, suddenly the Auckland-based side is back in with a chance of qualifying for the finals.

I honestly thought they were gone two rounds ago, but the cards have really fallen in their favour.

Remarkably, we now have the situation where all five New Zealand sides can reach the playoffs, something that’s never happened in the three years of the conference format. The conference lead won’t be settled this week either.

With this unpredictability and re-emergence has come the train of thought that perhaps we could see an unprecedented four sides from the one conference playing finals football.

But while it is certainly mathematically possible, I don’t think it will happen.

For one, while all five are currently in contention, it’s also possible that three could miss out. In revisiting my mid-season qualifier projections, and recalculating them based on the current points tally, the Force snuck into sixth spot at the expense of the Hurricanes.

What is interesting is that likely and even possible New Zealand qualifiers are far from settled.

The Crusaders might seem best placed to take out the conference, but they could also miss the finals completely.

The Highlanders could also top the conference if they win both their remaining games, but courtesy of the four-point gap currently between the Brumbies in sixth and the Force in seventh, it’s unlikely the Highlanders would drop out of the six completely if they shelled both games. It could happen, of course, but it would take freak events to occur.

Should those freak events happen, the Hurricanes can top the New Zealand conference. It would involve the ‘Canes beating the Chiefs at home, and both the Crusaders and Highlanders losing this week coming and then drawing their final round clash in Christchurch, but it could happen. Such a set of cir[removed]stances would also result in the Blues qualifying, and Highlanders missing out if the points differentials remain in a similar state as they are now.

Confused yet? I’m not surprised; it gave me a headache just trying to crunch the numbers.

The biggest hurdle to achieving four New Zealand qualifiers is the fact they all play each other over the remaining two rounds. The Brumbies and Force sitting in the middle of them all doesn’t help the cause, either.

The Crusaders play both their remaining games (Blues and Highlanders) at home, and given well over 70 per cent of this year’s Super Rugby games have been won by the home team, this presents the biggest advantage toward finishing in top spot in the conference.

The Highlanders, by contrast, play both the Waratahs and Crusaders away.

Given the way all the relevant teams are playing currently, everything points towards a final round decider where the winner of the Crusaders versus Highlanders game tops the conference. The Crusaders currently have one more win than the Highlanders, and also enjoy a 76-point advantage in the differential column.

But while the Highlanders might be up against it playing the Waratahs in Sydney this coming Sunday, I give them a real chance to topple the Crusaders in the last round. The Crusaders only prevailed in their first outing six weeks ago by virtue of a miracle Israel Dagg tackle and an eagle-eyed TMO, who didn’t believe any blade of tryline grass touched the ball before it came into contact with the touchline.

Whatever the result in the Round 19 ‘decider’, the winner will have earned the likely New Zealand conference title.

The Hurricanes need to beat the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday night – with a bonus point, ideally – and then sit back and hope not too many teams overrun them in the final round while they put the feet up with the bye. They could still qualify if they lose this round, but bonus points for other teams could be enough to knock them out.

For the Blues and the Chiefs, they’re in the same boat as the Brumbies and Force; win all games and they can qualify, but lose one and they’re probably gone. And like the Brumbies and Force, the Blues and Chiefs also face off in the final round and, depending on how results go, we could see a scenario where both games produce a qualifier.

Realistically though, the current four-point gap back to the Blues and Chiefs will work against them, regardless of what happens in that final-round clash.

Top six prediction, with two rounds to go: Waratahs, Sharks, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes, and Brumbies.


Just_win

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6017
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 06:29:06
Unlikely that we will see four kiwi teams go through but as we need to rest some of our ABs for the RC that's a good thing.:angel:

Sharks may end up having to go on the road to win the championship as the Tahs are the likely to come out on top. 

We are counting on the "might-eh" stormers. Com'on Beeno, fire them up!:ermm:


3ku1

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1071
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 07:23:57
 Yeah that Top six prediction sounds right, sorry Just Win but I think Canes well win this Friday night :)


Just_win

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6017
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 07:29:58
3ku1: Chiefs are due to have a good game, the have been spluttering like an old engine with one spark plug running on vapors. Chiefs by 10:D


3ku1

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1071
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 08:05:31
 As a canes fan I hope canes win, as they are due for a big one too. They did put 40 on the Cheifs last time round, so that well be raw in the chiefs mind:D. Even if Canes lose if they can manage a BP, and rely on the Blues winning and Landers loosing, then Blues beating your Cheifs at Eden Park next round they well sneak in, but obviously they would prefer to go into the playoffs with a good win under the belt. Tbh though they shoulden't be in this spot, they should of beat the Tahs in Sydney, and go as far as the Stormers game in capetown, they should of wan that. I can see Top Six: Tahs, Sharks, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes, Brumbies. Only teams who could make Top six at this stage are Blues, Cheifs, and possibly Force but unlikely.


Brycy

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1320
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 11:19:34

 ..Go the Mighty Chiefs ay JW.... finals football has come early to the NZ conference with some epic battles this week...actually thought last week was sudden death for the Chiefs but this week is do or die for both Canes and the Chiefs so no pressure....


...Will be no mean feat taming a Cane side starring the likes of Beauden Barret (rumoured to be moving to the Blues next year)and Julian Savea...


TAB has the Chiefs as favourites head to head paying $1.62 to the Canes $2.20 but that's no guarantee of success...


...Interesting to see how Anscombe's benched along with Aki and Rennie has dropped Robbie Fruean and Dwayne Sweeney all together, Aaron Cruden the only back to retain his jersey from last week...


Other games ,...Blues paying $2.80 to the Crusaders $1.40...


Highlanders paying $3.10 to the Tahs $1.33...


...so it looks like the bookies are fairly confident in the results of those games but events do not always go to script anything could happen...especially with Ben Smith Sopoaga , Fekitoa, Osborne and co. running hot in the backs I wouldn't write them off completely...


...ditto with the Blues...Ihaia West, Nonu and co playing well after kicking the Aussies butts in Perth last week and we'll also see the return of Charles Piutau...


...speaking of classy players, back for the Crusaders is Israel Dagg, who will start on the wing...Dan Carter also likely to start with Colin Slade concussed last week...looking forward to some great footy...








Just_win

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6017
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 11:55:43
Brycy: the admin guys couldn't have arranged it better from the point of view of keeping all kiwi fans hooked on rugby. All fans think their teams have at lease an outside chance of qualifiying. Here's hoping the Chiefs finally put together a total game & beat the Canes. :D


Brycy

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1320
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 12:21:54

 ...JW, tis a pity as these are the two best teams in Super XV rugby and only one can go through...in theory the Canes and Crusaders with the greatest AB representation should be the two strongest teams in the NZ conference but we shall see...


Beeno1

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11993
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 13:04:30
 JW () " the admin guys couldn't have arranged it better" Many a true word spoken in jest!. kiwis are masters at "arranging" things!!!!
However it is my unfortunate duty to ward all kbbs that their teams have very little chance of winning the SUper 15. 

The Chiefs are on the skids it appears. Cloudy's Blues are improving with Sirs John and Graham having being given a few tips by master Jake!



Beeno1

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11993
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 02, 2014, 13:06:52
 Frankly I will not be too fussed if the Stormers second string  lose against the Sharks. However I know they will be going for a win so sharkies expect no favours from Big Brother.


Just_win

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6017
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 03, 2014, 22:30:10
Beeno: "not too fussed" you say. Well, let me tell you that it would ruffle a few feathers if the Might--e stormers don't win, lol


Just_win

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6017
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 03, 2014, 22:42:13
 Beeno: "not too fussed" you say. Well, let me tell you that it would ruffle a few feathers if the Might--e stormers don't win, lol
 






Sharkbok

Status: Senior player
Posts: 3706
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 03, 2014, 22:53:02
Please Just_Win, I thought you had already accepted my verdict that the New Zealand teams could not produce a real title contender this year. 

It is between the Sharks and the Tahs this year- both of whom have looked like winners from day one.

You did try to peddle the story about New Zealand having a strong conference this year, but I rescinded you about the Sharks went to New Zealand and silenced any kiwi critics. We took this as an opportunity to rest players in the Sin Bin such was our physical domination. In South Africa instead of sabbaticals we rest give players rests in the sin bin.

At one stage we were playing New Zealand's best team with 13 men in Christchurch- the supposed fortress of New Zealand. We turned this into a toddlers cresh party, and then went onto humble another pretender to the 2014 throne Aukland, who were left singing the blues again. 







Just_win

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6017
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 03, 2014, 23:14:07
 Sharkbok: I am glad you admit that the sharks played with just 13 men while the Saders had the burden of having to coordinate 15 men on the field at the same time. The sharks should have won by more it is far easier the tell 13 men what to do than it is to tell 15. Simple logic --- one might say, lol


Cloudy

Status: Senior player
Posts: 3419
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 04, 2014, 03:18:06
If it's a Sharks/Tah pah finals there is just no way I'm cheering for the Tah pahs ugh can't stand that team of ponsers sorry!  But 3 kiwi teams in the finals?  Awesome I'm happy with that especially when we were all written off at the start of the comp by some very brave people things are looking very healthy for the ABS.

Hey justwin your Chiefs have had some real bad luck this year, it happens.  At the beginning of every year I get so excited at how good my BLUES look....NEK MINNUT but at least they are finishing with a bang so onwards and upwards to next year.  All good.


Just_win

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6017
RE: Mathematically possible, but we won’t see four NZ qualifiers; the ROAR
July 04, 2014, 07:34:20
Hi Cloudy, well we will see of the Tahs finally deliver on all the hype the Ozzies have been pumping out for several seasons now.

Chiefs have been unsettled all season. Lots of changes in the starting line up & they never really seemed to find a rhythm. When Cruden got injured that added one too many challenges IMO. They still have a shot but the Canes are hot, lol My money (if I had any to spare) in on the Chiefs.

Blues finally delivered the game we have been looking for all year last week. What a beauty it was. Forwards and back looked good & they just poured in on in the first quarter. Loved it. Let's see if they can do against the saders who now have some of their big guns back. Kiwi teams are killing each other in these derbies.


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