SuperRugby play-offs explained

Jun 19 • General News, National, Super Rugby, Super Rugby News • 1767 Views • Comments Off on SuperRugby play-offs explained

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There seems to be some confusion regarding the play-offs of the inaugural SuperRugby season’s new format. And we cannot blame you as we also had to take a few looks at it.

Most people believe that the Reds will play against the winner of the Blues vs Waratahs match and the Stormers will play against the winner of the Crusaders vs Sharks match. This is in fact far from the real scenario. We will try and explain it as easily as possible below:

 

As it stands now the teams are ranked in a Top 6 log after finishing the round-robin stages of the tournament.

1. Reds

2. DHL Stormers

3. Crusaders

4. Blues

5. Waratahs

6. Sharks

Because the Reds and Stormers ended top off the log they automatically get Byes for the coming weekend and earn the right to host Home Semi-Finals. The other four teams will however battle it out in what can be seen as “Quarter-Finals” to see who will go on to the semi-finals. We’ll rather call it qualifiers to avoid confusion.

In “Qualifier 1” the Blues(4th) face the Waratahs(5th) in New Zealand and in “Qualifier 2” the Crusaders(3rd) face the Sharks(6th), also in New Zealand.

This is where it gets confusing because the Reds and Stormers will have to wait for the results of the “Qualifiers” to see who they will face off against. The winner of QF2 does not necessarily go through to play in Semi-Final 1 against the Reds, the same way as the winner of QF1 does not necessarily go through to play in Semi-Final 2 against the Stormers. This is because they are only Qualifiers to determine the Top 4 ranked teams and not traditional quarter-finals.

So, after the “Qualifiers” are finished the teams will again be ranked into a Top 4 Log to determine the Semi-finals. Obviously the Reds and Stormers will remain 1st and 2nd, but the “Qualifiers” will determine 3rd and 4th places. From here the semi-finals are determined, where 1st ranked will play against 4th ranked, and 2nd ranked will play against 3rd ranked.
These are the possible scenarios that can play out:

1. Blues beat Waratahs and Crusaders beat Sharks. So Crusaders are still ranked 3rd and Blues are still ranked 4th.

Semi-Final 1: Stormers(2) vs Crusaders(3)

Semi-Final 2: Reds(1) vs Blues(4)

 

2: Waratahs beat the Blues and Crusaders beat the Sharks. Crusaders are still ranked 3rd and the Waratahs are now ranked 4th.

Semi-Final 1: Stormers(2) vs Crusaders(3)

Semi-Final 2: Reds(1) vs Waratahs(4)
3. Blues beat the Waratahs and Sharks beat the Crusaders. Blues are now ranked 3rd and Sharks ranked 4th.

Semi-Final 1: Stormers(2) vs Blues(3)

Semi-Final 2: Reds(1) vs Sharks(4)
4. Waratahs beat Blues and Sharks beat Crusaders. Waratahs are now ranked 3rd and Sharks ranked 4th.

Semi-Final 1: Stormers(2) vs Waratahs(3)

Semi-Final 2: Reds(1) vs Sharks(4)

 

Final will simply be contested between the two winners from the two semi-finals with the highest ranked team earning the chance to host it at home.

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