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The TRUTH
08-05-06, 10:38 AM
The road to the play-offs

Sunday May 07 2006

Sharks, Bulls live in hope

There is just one round remaining in the regular season of the inaugural Super 14 competition and now three teams have secured their places in the play-offs - the Crusaders, Waratahs and Hurricanes. The fourth-placed Brumbies are just one point away from also being in the semi-finals.


And after the previous two weeks where the race still seemed wide open, there remain only two more "hopeful" teams - the Bulls and the Sharks, also South Africa's last remaining hopes.

For both of them to make it, it would require the Brumbies not to get a single point against the Crusaders in Christchurch and then they must win their remaining matches and collect a bonus point, which would then see the organisers bring out the calculators.

The Brumbies are on a positive points difference of 85 and any margin of defeat would detract from that.

The Sharks, who have a positive points difference of 47 (38 less that the Brumbies), would have to beat the Force in Durban, collect the bonus point and ensure they have a victory margin of at least 31 (given that the Brumbies would have to lose by eight points or more not to collect a bonus point).

For the Bulls, who have a points difference of 33 (52 less that the Brumbies), it is even more difficult. They play the Stormers in Cape Town and would thus need to beat their countrymen by at least 45 points. They would say it is possible, since the last time (the corresponding match last year), they put 70 points on the Cape franchise.

It's going to be an interesting weekend, because the top three are also still playing for home ground advantage in the semi-finals and Final.

For the rest it is a case of playing for pride and trying to improve their positions on the standings ... if they are so inclined. Some will clearly just go out and have fun, others will give it a full go.

Here is what the last week promises - team by team:

Crusaders:
Current position: 1st
Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 3rd
Remaining fixture:
12 May: v Brumbies, home

Waratahs:
Current position: 2nd
Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 3rd
Remaining fixture:
13 May: v Hurricanes, home

Hurricanes:
Current position: 3rd
Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 4th
Remaining fixture:
13 May: v Waratahs, away

Brumbies:
Current position: 4th
Best possible finish: 3rd
Worst possible finish: 6th
Remaining fixture:
12 May: v Crusaders, away

Sharks:
Current position: 5th
Best possible finish: 4th
Worst possible finish: 8th
Remaining fixture:
12 May: v Force, home

Bulls:
Current position: 6th
Best possible finish: 4th
Worst possible finish: 8th
Remaining fixture:
13 May: v Stormers, away

Chiefs:
Current position: 7th
Best possible finish: 5th
Worst possible finish: 8th
Remaining fixture:
13 May: v Blues, away

Blues:
Current position: 8th
Best possible finish: 5th
Worst possible finish: 9th
Remaining fixture:
13 May: v Chiefs, home

Highlanders:
Current position: 9th
Best possible finish: 8th
Worst possible finish: 11th
Remaining fixture:
12 May: v Reds, away

Stormers:
Current position: 10th
Best possible finish: 9th
Worst possible finish: 12th
Remaining fixture:
13 May: v Bulls, home

Cheetahs:
Current position: 11th
Best possible finish: 9th
Worst possible finish: 12th
Remaining fixture:
13 May: v Cats, home

Reds:
Current position: 12th
Best possible finish: 10th
Worst possible finish: 13th
Remaining fixture:
12 May: v Highlanders, home

Cats:
Current position: 13th
Best possible finish: 12th
Worst possible finish: 14th
Remaining fixture:
13 May: v Cheetahs, away

Force:
Current position: 14th
Best possible finish: 13th
Worst possible finish: 14th
Remaining fixture:
12 May: v Sharks, away

http://www.planet-rugby.com/Tournaments/Su...ory_50957.shtml (http://www.planet-rugby.com/Tournaments/Super_12/story_50957.shtml)
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Brumbies still look like they'll finish 4th provided they dont get thrashed and the Bulls/Sharks dont have massive wins.

Rassie
08-05-06, 10:47 AM
Well, at least there is a mathematical chance for both Sharks and Bulls but let`s face it, Brumbies can`t lose the 4 place!

Somehow it`s like the previous season! Crusaders played last regular season game vs Canes who finshed 4 and then, after a week, Crusaders beat Canes again in the semis! Now it seems to be the same thing vs Brumbies!

Do you reckon Crusaders will let Brumbies get a bonus point? Yeah, because Sharks give them something to wory in the regular season ! Nevertheless Crusaders need a win to ensure their first place!

To put it in percentage, IMO Brumbies chances are around 70%, Sharks 25%, Bulls 5% (chances to get the fourth place )

The TRUTH
08-05-06, 11:12 AM
Crusaders would rather play the Sharks/Bulls than the Brumbies.

Brumbies have beaten the Crusaders the last 3 times they've played them.

esoj
08-05-06, 11:31 PM
I can't really see the top 4 changing too much unless the brumbies get smashed by the crusaders and the sharks beat the force easily.