Super Rugby : Play-off Discussion

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by SomeOke, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. SomeOke

    SomeOke Senior Member

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    It's probably close enough to start discussing the play-offs and the various permutations that can happen.
    As it stands the log looks like this:

    upload_2017-7-4_15-44-14.png

    and the top 8 are set in stone.

    The main permutations are:
    Lions can jump the Crusaders if the Crusaders lose to the Hurricanes (somewhat likely, I'd say 40% chance).
    Stormers and Brumbies can swap between 3 and 4 - Not very likely in my opinion as the Stormers play the Wolves and the Brumbies play the Highlanders.
    Hurricanes and Chiefs can swap 5th and 6th.

    Crusaders are favourites and Hurricanes can also win it fairly easily.
    I'd say Lions can win if they finish top OR if someone does them a favour and knocks out the Crusaders in the Semi final or Quarters, Lions are pretty monstrous at Ellis Park.
    I'd give the Chiefs and Highlanders a low but possible chance and Sharks and Stormers have a minuscule chance.

    As a Stormers fan I'm just happy we seem to be moving in the right direction as a team, and although a quarter final finish is as far as we got last year I'd be happy with that again based on our growth (and hopefully putting up more of a fight than last year in the quarter. At the very least we got a handful of NZ scalps at home and seem to be playing better rugby in general.

    I may be writing off the Sharks and it wouldn't surprise me if they manage to win a play-off or two, but history has shown that you simply cannot win three away games on the trot when it comes to play-offs.

    Should be interesting, the NZ teams are all somewhat close so it's going to be pretty dependent on who peaks at the right time.
     
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  3. unrated

    unrated Senior Member

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    When the sharks beat the Lions next weekend everyone will eat their words .


    Ps : I don't mean It in a bad way (banter kind of way)
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  4. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    I have nothing to add to the OP.

    My wishlist for next year is less injuries and a continuation of our intent and general improvement shown this year. I say general improvement because we had our ups and downs and probably started the season better than we've had it recently it has to be said even if the improvement form last year to this is remarkable. TBF we had a horror run of fixtures in the middle and were ravaged by injuries.
     
  5. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    If the table stays at it is, the QF's will look like this:

    Crusaders vs. Sharks
    Lions vs. Highlanders
    Stormers vs. Chiefs
    Brumbies vs. Hurricanes

    So there won't be any inter-conference matches. Which could mean that there is a possibility of not one single NZ team going to the semi's (Which is highly unlikely).

    But if we look at these match-ups, I can see the Sharks beating the Crusaders in Christchurch, they've done it before, even with 14 men on the field.
    The Stormers have already beaten the Chiefs this year at Newlands, so there is a chance that they can do it again.
    The Lions are always a different beast at home.
    And the Brumbies, well they better hope that a few of the Hurricanes All Black players pick up injuries or niggles to have a chance.

    Could be quite interesting.
     
  6. SomeOke

    SomeOke Senior Member

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    It would be nice to see NZ being slightly less dominant this year. To be fair though although I do think the SA teams have made some small ground (just in terms of last year the Lions were the only half-decent team, and this year the Sharks and Stormers are at least alright) the NZ teams are still clearly superior.

    I like the Sharks outfit and I absolutely believe they could pull off an upset, but it's really hard to pull off the SR win from 8th position with 3 away games in a row. In fact if the Sharks do beat the Lions in Ellis park in the quarters I believe they will probably be ruining South Africa's only chance (not that they should throw the game :p).

    As for the Stormers we do have a small chance of beating our QF opposition at home (we have already done it with the Chiefs) BUT I can't see us beating either the Lions or the Crusaders away whenever we do play them.

    I wouldn't give the Brumbies much of a chance versus the Hurricanes but they probably have a non-zero chance of beating the Chiefs.
     
  7. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    Thing is we beat the Chiefs playing at 1500% while they had a few key men out as well. Not that we shouldn't be backing our chances at home but I don't feel like our chances are that much greater than the Sharks pulling off an upset.. IE not all that great if my meaning is not clear.
     
  8. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    You guys should really be more positive. If there is ever a chance to beat the NZ teams in the playoffs, it's this year. They will be tired and battered and bruised due to the B&I Lions tour. remember that they played extra games against the Lions too. surely that will also take a toll.
     
  9. SomeOke

    SomeOke Senior Member

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    Haha that may be true, but NZ are also just going through a really strong patch, roll back the last 5 years or so and we were just more competitive in general. Last year in particular was the worst in my scrub memory at least, here's hoping that was the lowest point for a while.

    Also @Stormer, we do seem to be much harder to beat at home (I'm fairly certain we're unbeaten off the top of my head), and our injuries really aren't that severe.

    The worst is 10 (just for a change) where our best option is an unproven 19 year old (although he does have a lot of potential).

    SP Marais is also bad, but Kolbe or Leyds can easily move to 15 with Senatla slotting into the starting line-up, hardly a disaster.

    Or pack still has the stalwarts it's had all year (Eben, PstD, Kolisi, Notshe, Louw, Malherbe etc).
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  10. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur Senior Member

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    Really?
    These (meaning today) sharks against these Crusaders? Really?

    If i were a betting man i'd place a chip or two on the Lions.
     
  11. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    83% success at home this year. Not bad but my point is we were very lucky beating the Blues, just playing out of our skins beating the Chiefs and then it'd have been 4/7 at home with some of those wins against really poor opposition.

    I don't understand how you can say our injuries aren't severe?! We are without BOTH our 1st choice flyhalves. We have ha to play the entire season without THREE test centers. De Jongh is out again. De Allende is just back in if he is in. Treeby also now out for good measure. We have been without Senatla almost the entire season. If it weren't for Kitshoff we'd have only 1 loosehead standing currently. Remember the middle part of the season we had lost THREE blindside flankers in Elstadt, Wiese and that other young bloke who looks a good prospect but I can't seem to ever remember his name? We've been without Vermaak and Duvenhage on and off. The net effect is our backline has been rejigged from game to game and we are going into the play-offs with no momentum and no proven or settled combinations in the backline.

    Our last few games have been a heavy loss vs the Sharks and then games we were always expected to win handsomely in the Cheetahs and now Sunwolves. We made a hard fight of it vs the Cheetahs. Some will say the NZ teams will be knackered. I say they will be in fighting shape for the QFs.

    Am I wrong? I think I am leaning more towards realism than pessimism. I am not saying we can't. Just saying realistically speaking we are a 10 point underdog vs the Chiefs I reckon.
     
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  12. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    To me the only Kiwi side that has dipped since last year are the Highlanders, and that may due to injury. The Crusaders have improved greatly, Chiefs were hitting form and the Hurricanes are the Hurricanes (and might get Coles back and have NMS improve).

    I think the South African sides are heading in the right direction but are still a few years off their full potential. Hopefully the painful hammerings handed out by the Kiwis last time around in the playoffs won't be repeated, but with the Brumbies, Stormers, Sharks all being very inconsistent recently, and the Lions not being as scintillating as last year, I'd make the NZ favourites in every match (barring a Lions vs Highlanders matchup if Sopoaga and Ben Smith are unavailable).

    For the sake of the contest I hope I'm talking rubbish!
     
  13. John van eeden

    John van eeden Senior Member

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    The Sharks is like the french when we are suppose to be underdogs and lose they put up a massive fight and cause upsets and when they should win games they lose it , hard being a Sharks supporter sometimes !!

     
  14. unrated

    unrated Senior Member

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    Let's not fool around. Crusaders are favourites if they play the Sharks this year especially in Christchurch.

    But four points.
    1. Sharks have traveled to Christchurch before and came away with a win after playing most of the game with 14 men and at one stage 13.
    2. The B&I lions might have shown a blueprint on how to defend against the Crusaders. Rush defense and that's one Thing we can do . Defend
    3. We play better when we are underdogs as explained by @Johnvaneeden
    4. The sharks are historically the most successful South African side in Super rugby. We have the best win percentage of any of the SA teams in SR and have reached the most finals. So you can say with confidence we are better in the playoffs than any other SA side.

    In 2007 we basically won it. Habana robbed us at the last minute and we finished far ahead on the log compared to the second placed finisher. Bulls were actually **** that year. They had to beat the Reds with 80 odd points just to get in the playoffs. Which they did. But the wrong team won in final.
     
  15. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur Senior Member

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    Couple of comments.

    First, from last season, i am quoting myself here:

    That is pretty much in line with what both of you posted.

    Second, i don't think you are playing better than last season. In fact, i believe that not having played NZ teams will hurt you.
    Third, you are not playing just any NZ team, but their current best.
    Fourth, last season was last season.
    Fifth, i understand and agree you play better as underdogs. That's not enough to fully bridge the gap between the sharks and the crusaders imo
    Sixth, your away performance this season is not even remotely close to last season's: you lost to the Reds, drew with the Rebels, lost to the Kings.

    In a nutshell, i agree with most of what you both wrote, but i do not believe that (underdog, etc.) will be enough to beat the Crusaders. I'll even take it up a notch: i hope, sincerely, you guys beat the Crusaders.

    You have a very, very particular definition of success.
    I have no animosity whatsoever towards the sharks, quite the contrary. You can also look at my past posts and see i have even gone the extra mile to tease Heineken and his bulls.
    With those two things in mind i'll say the following: saying a team that hasn't won SR, ever, is more successful than a team that has won it 3 times is, well, lets just call it a tad biased.

    SR isn't necessarily about winning every game, but winning those that matter. That's the beauty of play offs. The bulls have succeeded there, the sharks have not.

    Let me put it this way: ask ANY non-sharks/bulls fan (to eliminate bias) what would they rather have, 3 SR trophies under their belts or the best win percentage? Think we both know the answer.
    Again, best of luck to the sharks in the play offs.
     
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  16. Caitlyn Jenner

    Caitlyn Jenner Senior Member

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    So, Canes off to Brisbane, Chiefs to Cape Town, and Lions likely to qualify top depending on tomorrow morning's game... though that would be unjust imo. Go the Sharks!
    But, as it stands, it looks like it'll be:
    QFs:
    Brumbies VS Canes
    Crusaders VS Highlanders
    Lions VS Sharks
    Stormers VS Chiefs

    Semis:
    Lions vs Canes
    Crusaders VS Chiefs

    Final: Who knows? Lions vs Canes is a 50/50. Saders should beat the Chiefs. I'm hoping like hell though that the Chiefs and Canes get up. A third straight home final would be epic!
     
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  17. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    Canes, Lions and Chiefs look nailed on for me I'm afraid; hopefully not as one sided as the quarter finals last year.

    I also think the Highlanders will sneak it against the Crusaders if they have Ben Smith back.
     
  18. sigesige00

    sigesige00 Senior Member

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    I think that Lions are favourite winners. By the way, the player numbers on Lions jersey are too small.
     
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  19. nzlizard

    nzlizard Senior Member

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    Lions should be favs for at least a home final.
     
  20. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    There is a report that Ben Smith will be in the squad next week but will take a break from the sport after the Rugby Championship.
     
  21. Regan

    Regan Senior Member

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    Home advantage is huge, yes but they're more than likely going to have to get through 2 NZ teams to win the thing. You'd suspect the Canes in the semis Then either the Saders, Chiefs or Landers in the final, provided they get that far.

    Basically the only result NZ rugby needs is the Chiefs to beat the Stormers and we're guaranteed an NZ team in the final.
     
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