Super Rugby : Play-off Discussion

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

  1. Nubiwan

    Nubiwan Senior Member

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    As explained above, I am independent and have no affinity to any SR team. My opinion is therefore neutral.

    Proxy shmoxy :) The Chiefs travelled 12,000 miles to play the Stormers so using that pair of results for comparison is a massive pile of cow dung.

    The second set of results means little to me either as both sides won. I have personally beaten a side by 50 points when they have had a bad day, and in the same season, had trouble beating almost the exact same 15. That's rugby. Win is a win.

    I also think the rugby world is being robbed of a decent Lions outfit not having to travel and play 2 or 3 decent matches in NZ, to see how good/bad they really are. Therefore, they have a soft fixture list in comparison to that of the Crusaders, yet will have a home advantage if they reach the final. No one disputes this.

    That's what the expletive I am talking about. How does that stack up for you?
     
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  3. Nubiwan

    Nubiwan Senior Member

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    Duplicate
     
  4. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    SA has already axed the Cheetahs and Kings who are set to join the Pro12 teams which is supposedly all but a certainty. The ARU has not yet made a move. I suppose the candidates are the Force, Rebels and Brumbies. The Brumbies are probably the least sustainable long term just because the ACT is merely a political center and a minor player in Aus BUT its hard to justify chopping your traditionally strongest rugby team particularly in a year in which they proved the front runner of Aus rugby again. The Rebels and Force are apparently threatening to milk the ARU if they get the axe. I can't split the two ITO long term sustainability (just don't know enough about the ins and outs of the two regions) which is probably the yardstick the ARU ought to use. I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
    Haha.. wait, what. Really?
     
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  5. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    You make it sound like South Africa wanted the conference system, when in fact when it was originally introduced, we were the country fighting against it. The conference system was brought in by the ARU as a proposal to have more derby games by the conferences. Because the ARU was losing money, and the only way to keep them financially healthy, was to have more derby games where Aussie teams play against each other.

    Now while we all love derby games, the problem is that in NZ and SA, these derby games are sometimes the toughest games and have a massive impact on the log. And it has in the past had an effect on log standings, and sometimes even prevented a team from not qualifying for the playoffs due to a derby loss or 2.

    When the Super 18's format was introduced and the conferences explained, Everyone in SA were up in arms. We didn't want the system to be that 3 of our teams won't play against any NZ team in the regular season, and it has had a negative impact on our teams. I think if the Bulls played against the NZ teams last year, the Bulls administration would've seen that Nollis Marais isn't up for the job, and would've made plans for a successor earlier, instead the Bulls had one of their poorest seasons ever in 10 years, even though we have the talent and the players to win a lot more matches.

    It seems to me that no matter is being said, or what format we use, the Saffas will always get the wrong end of the stick. When it wasn't the conference system, we did the most travelling of all the teams, and had 5 or 6 week tours in Australasia. while the Aussie and NZ teams only 2 or 3 week tours. Now with the conference system, people are pointing the finger at us in that we are being unfairly advantage by the system, the system we didn't want in the first place. Yet it was the ARU and NZRU who were the ones outvoting us...
     
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  6. George Ford

    George Ford Senior Member

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    Allow me to interject: There is no denying the supremacy and general higher standard the NZ teams have above the rest, but I don't think this year's play-offs we'll see the same outcome as last year. In fact - last year it was also expected to be an all out NZ affair in the semi's, but it turned out the underestimated Lions comprehensively outplayed 2 (previous champions) Kiwi sides en route to the final, albeit at home though, still a magnificent achievement on its own.

    Another thing: The Lions after not having faced any NZ teams should count as much for or against them as it should likewise count for or against any NZ team not having faced the Lions yet, no? There is just no telling how good the Lions team really is and that's the kind of respect any NZ opposition should be affording them. This won't even be a factor now that they won't have to travel.

    Brumbies v Hurricanes
    The Brumbies had a poorer league season that last year, but they were good for the contest right until the end against 'landers last year in the play-offs. Yet again up against the defending champs, although I think the Canes will have too much them. (QF4)

    Crusaders v Highlanders
    Before last week's loss, the 'landers ran the 'saders closest at home. Still - smart money should be on the home side for this one. (QF2)

    Lions v Sharks
    The Lions are outright favs. But the Sharks have proven in prior years to upset a dominant league team come play-offs (Stormers, Bulls). Hoping this won't happen though. (QF1)

    Stormers v Chiefs (QF3)
    Again - round 2 or 3? Depends how u look at it. Nevertheless, if advancing beyond this point by beating the Chiefs was the Stormers objective after last year's horror show, then they have been adequately prepared for this fixture. Otherwise, let's hope its not the same walk in the park for the visitors like last year.

    My prediction for semi's:
    Lions v Canes
    Crusaders v Chiefs

    FINAL
    Lions v Chiefs
     
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  7. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur Senior Member

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    The point system and the laws of the game disagree with that. That's why the chiefs are third and the canes are second despite the canes losing more than the chiefs.
    I used two games as benchmark, and although i understand it's use as evidence will be "precisely wrong" i have this gut feeling that tells me it is still directionally correct.


    Actually, no. Considering the Chiefs have to travel to play the Stormers, it is quite relevant and makes the proxy shmoxy more accurate (or less inaccurate).

    Just to be crystal clear, i am not saying the Stormers will win, i am just saying i think their chances of winning, given the evidence at hand, are a lot better than what most nz posters on this thread suggest.
    Cheers
     
  8. Icemn

    Icemn Senior Member

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    To the weaker conference log topper's naive supporters it does...
     
  9. Nubiwan

    Nubiwan Senior Member

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    You were initially comparing how the lions did in similar fixtures, and have now moved the goal posts. No one has denied travelling is a disadvantage. Not having to do it, nor play NZ teams is a massive advantage. That's rather the point of this exercise. Lions get to play a cushy home game against the Sharks, while the crusaders get a pretty tough exercise at home to the landers. Let's just see how many injuries come out of that game.

    Having read some of the background provided by Heineken on the matter, then it starts to make some sense as to why this all came about, so I can appreciate that.

    Still, it is arguable the lions have not improved this year because their level of opposition has, for the most part, been inferior. That their first game against decent opponents will result in a defeat. The lions don't benefit from the format at all in terms of improvement.
     
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  10. Cruz_del_Sur

    Cruz_del_Sur Senior Member

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    My bad then. Apologies

    Let's not count our chips just yet!
     
  11. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Well that is the question we all want answered, and only the Playoffs will show that to us. The Lions didn't pick their opposition, so they had to play with what's in front of them. They took a calculated risk in sending a second rank team to Argentina, to try and win, but didn't, but because they did that, they kept their star players rested and refreshed for the more tougher games ahead which, IMHO is brilliant player management.

    But for a South African team to win all their local derby games in the regular season is quite a feat. I think only the Bulls have managed that before when they won the Super 14.

    Have the Lions improved from last year? I say yes. Not many teams have it in them to qualify for the playoffs 2 years in a row, and one area where the Lions have improved a lot, is in their defence. Last year they still gave away soft tries, this year, the opposition had to work their asses off to get over their tryline.
     
  12. Big_Grumper

    Big_Grumper Senior Member

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  13. Nubiwan

    Nubiwan Senior Member

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    Will definitely be watching the cru landers match. Going for the landers.
    Next juicy contest is the stormers and Chiefs. I fancy the Chiefs don't travel well. Stormers.
    Canes v brumbies would be next most intriguing. I also fancy another potential upset, but surely not possible. Canes.
    Lions get their customary bye ;)
     
  14. Nubiwan

    Nubiwan Senior Member

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    I get all that, but now the attitude towards games is completely different anyway, to that of being in a standard league game. One thing to be prepared for play off games, but quite another to be winning regular season matches against tougher opposition at their home ground. Attitude and preparation is all different. Fact is, the league has robbed itself of the opportunity to see the best SA team against the best NZ teams during the regular season.
     
  15. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    Is everyone up to date on the revised play-off format from last year?

    Last year it was straight up based on the final log and kept checking back to that.

    This year (because there are too many people who are now up to speed with the convoluted format) we have the log determining the QF but from there the tournament is split into two sections leading to the final;

    Section 1
    Lions (1) v Sharks (8)
    winner vs winner of
    Brumbies (4) v Hurricanes (5)
    in a SF

    Section 2
    Crusaders (2) v Highlanders (7)
    winner vs winner of
    Stormers (3) v Chiefs (6)
    in the other SF

    I think its safe enough to assume the Lions and Hurricanes will get past their QF and face off in Jo'Burg so I am not going to go through a lot of scenarios. I will go through the perfect Stormers scenario (see what I did there?) though where not overly unlikely results lead to a Newlands final;

    QF;
    Lions (H) > Sharks
    Highlanders > Crusaders (H)
    Hurricanes > Brumbies (H)
    Stormers (H) > Chiefs

    SF;
    Hurricanes > Lions (H)
    Stormers (H) > Highlanders

    F;
    Stormers (H) > Hurricanes knackered from hopping from Canberra to Jo'Bur to Cape Town

    Not at all ridiculous but still very unlikely. Stormers in it with a shot. You heard it here first. I am not optimistic enough to ask for the Brumbies and Sharks to make the final 'easier'.
     
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  16. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    With all due respect, your argument is a moot point and to keep on hammering on it, won't change anything now for this tournament. When the fixtures was done for 2017, nobody knew which team would perform and who wouldn't. Hell, many of us thought that the Cheetahs would be the SA team to beat based on their unbeaten run in last year's Currie Cup, the maybe the Bulls and Stormers and the Lions being the top SA teams.

    I agree with you with regards to playoffs matches and regular season matches. And here is the thing, in Playoffs, teams revert back to a more conservative approach, to limit their own mistakes and to keep pressure on the opposition. And again here, I think both the Lions and the Stormers will have an advantage. Both teams have strong packs that can outmuscle their opposition, and if they need to, use the first phases as an attacking weapon.
     
  17. Icemn

    Icemn Senior Member

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    mmm... I forgot about the Canes traveling factor... the lions might be able to get one over them...
     
  18. Red Enigma

    Red Enigma Member

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    The 'Canes travelling factor"? Yep, they hate playing the Lions in SA!! Go read the stats!!

    If the Lions don't go out in the quarters, they certainly will in the semi's no matter who they play. For the top kiwi sides, playing them is like playing their own second fifteens.

    So the Lions are better than last year when they were out of their league home and away against the "Canes? Might be true, but so are all the kiwi teams, especially the 'Canes. Too fit, too fast, too skilfull and not a weakness I can see. Lions win a few rolling mauls and think the games won. Mauls drain strength - wink, wink, nod, nod!

    Call it dreaming, but I think the most dangerous SA side is the Stormers and, despite being a diehard Kiwi, I think the Chiefs and Crusaders are highly over-rated.

    So, my call for a final: "Canes versus any SA side but the Lions - time for a tight match!
     
  19. Caitlyn Jenner

    Caitlyn Jenner Senior Member

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    So you'd back the Brumbies to certainly beat the Lions in Jo'burg? Interesting...
     
  20. SomeOke

    SomeOke Senior Member

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    I'm very far from a Lions fan but I think you need to watch them a little more, they aren't all about the maul.

    According to all out rugby they lead the competition in meters carried/line-breaks and tackle busts.
    Now I know they play weaker opposition etc etc but they certainly aren't all about the maul.
     
  21. Caitlyn Jenner

    Caitlyn Jenner Senior Member

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    Yea I think anyone who actually follows super rugby knows that the Lions are a force to be reckoned with... especially at home. Imo they'll be our toughest game in the playoffs (assuming we go all the way).
    I honestly believe whoever wins the Lions vs Canes semi will win the whole thing.
     
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