The exact make-up of the 2017 Super Rugby quarter-finals may not be known until the completion of the very last match of the regular season. Match 135 sees the Sharks host the Lions who currently lead the South Africa 2 Conference and who could finish as the top seed for the finals if they win and the Crusaders lose.
Indeed with all 18 teams in action in Round 17, the final positions of the eight quarter-finalists will be determined by the outcome of several games. The four Conference winners will be ranked 1-4 based on their final number of tournament points and the wild card teams will be ranked 5-8 based on their final number of tournament points.
Click HERE for full Conference Table Standings (after Round 16)
So it is still all to play for with some intriguing matches to be played. The Crusaders (currently ranked first) are away to the Hurricanes (currently ranked fifth) with the reigning champions keen to maintain their ranking. A Crusader win will put them first for the quarter-finals regardless of the outcome between the Sharks and Lions. The Chiefs (currently ranked six) host the Australian Conference winners, the Brumbies, but could finish fifth if they win and Hurricanes stumble.
The Highlanders lie in the seventh spot and play the Reds and the South Island side will be eager to hold on to their ranking for the finals. If they stumble, and the Sharks beat the Lions with a bonus point, they could finish seventh and the Highlanders eighth.
South Africa 1 Conference leaders the Stormers are away to the Bulls but have already secured the third ranking ahead of the Australian Conference winners the Brumbies – based on the fact they have won more matches should they lose to the Bulls and Brumbies win with a bonus point against the Chiefs.
Current Finals Standings (after Round 16)
“SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said, “We are in for another great weekend of rugby as we head towards the quarter-finals. Results this weekend will determine who plays who in the quarter-finals, who travels where and who potentially would get semi-final home advantage should they win their quarter-final.”
“While we know the eight quarter-finalists it is fantastic that the final rankings will be determined by the results of the last regular round of matches and indeed may be determined by the very last match. So it is all to play for this weekend as the finalists from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa do battle to improve their rankings and finals positions.”
Click HERE for Super Rugby Fixtures and Match Centre
SUPER RUGBY COMPETITION DETAILS:
QF1: 1 v 8
QF2: 2 v 7
QF3: 3 v 6
QF4: 4 v 5
Pre-determined draw as follows (highest ranked team to host):
SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF4
SF2: Winner QF2 v Winner QF3
(highest ranked team to host):
Final: Winner SF1 v Winner SF 2
Click HERE for full competition format details including tie-breaking rules (for teams on the same number of points)