The Super Rugby run home: top 8 all but sorted

run homeFollowing on from the Report Card last week on The Roar, it seems as good a time as any to map out the run home for the teams definitely and theoretically still in contention for the Super Rugby playoffs.

The short of it is that I think we’ll see minimal change to the current top eight from here on. By my loose predictions, seven of the current top eight will hold on, and five of those are in the positions I think they’ll finish.

My run home predictions for the current top twelve teams. I'm expecting minimal change from here on..

My run home predictions for the current top twelve teams. I’m expecting minimal change from here on..

Five wobbly scrum-feeds for #SuperRugby Round 11

Crusaders, Leinster, Waratahs, Cardiff, Stormers. Could the Celts be in Super Rugby's future?

Crusaders, Leinster, Waratahs, Cardiff, Stormers. Could the Celts be in Super Rugby’s future?

The Roar: This shapes as a really interesting weekend of rugby. I reckon Round 11 has a bit of a ‘moving weekend’ feel about it.

There are two groups of teams that this applies to: the Crusaders we already know are going to be there or thereabouts, but the three teams immediately behind them on the table – the Hurricanes, Bulls and Highlanders – have a really good chance to put one over teams in and on the fringe of the top eight.

Below them, the Sharks, Brumbies, Waratahs, and the Blues all have a chance to remind the top eight teams the they need to keep an eye over their shoulder. So here’s some Round 11 talking points:

  • Is Super Rugby’s future Celtic?
  • Rise of the third bananas?
  • Make or break week for the Blues;
  • Will Steven Bradbury top the Australian conference? And..
  • Neutral referees: I reckon it’s happening.

Five curly questions for #SuperRugby Round 4

The Melbourne Rebels have travelled the best part of thirty thousand kilometres, and spent upwards of forty hours in transit in just the first four weeks of the competition. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Melbourne Rebels have travelled the best part of thirty thousand kilometres, and spent upwards of forty hours in transit in just the first four weeks of the competition. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: We’re a month in already, a coach has been sacked, and already, some teams have racked up frequent flyer miles in the tens of thousands.

Super Rugby Round 4 provides us with a full bracket of nine games, among them the first sighting of an Australian side in Tokyo, as well as the first sighting of an Argentinean side in Buenos Aires.

But it also presents as good a time as any to start passing judgements and ask a few tricky questions heading into what will be a weekend chock-full of rugby, namely:

  1. Can Peter Grant really carry on with the Western Force’s expansive desires?
  2. Surely the Highlanders couldn’t play the same card twice?
  3. Tokyo: will limited fitness or an already heavy travel schedule win out?
  4. Rebuild Rumble: stability of the Reds or variation of the Blues? and..
  5. Do the Brumbies just need to procreate in Cape Town?

#ThreePoints: Beware the Super spoilers in run to playoffs

Nothing went right for the Chiefs against the Hurricanes last weekend, and now they face a chronic Lock shortage..

Nothing went right for the Chiefs against the Hurricanes last weekend, and now they face a chronic Lock shortage..

ESPNscrum.com: Round 14 of Super Rugby was dominated by discussion and debate of officialdom, and colleague Greg Growden was bang on the money on Monday, saying the referees have a hard time of it while ever the Laws and the interpretations have made everything the complicated mess the game now is.

Keep it simple, stupid. Certainly, there are more than a few items in the rugby bible that could easily be ‘kissed’ goodbye.

Regardless, here were a few things to stand out in Round 14:

  • Chiefs open trial week?
  • Nuisance value, and
  • TMO clarity required.