Playing bye week politics

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 11 Apr 2011 at 08:17
Tagged with :

It’s a good week to be on holiday, I reckon, with the Sharks not gracing our screens with their particular blend of power and panache this weekend. The good news is that we’ll be getting four points completely mahala this weekend, but it’s nevertheless important to find something to keep us occupied in the interim.

I was really keen to go see the mighty Sharks XV take on the Pumas this weekend, but with the game shifted from the somewhat-easy-to-get-to Witbank to Nelspruit, which is less so, I guess that’s not going to happen. I’m going to have to content myself with playing armchair pundit and hoping for the results that I really want in the Super Rugby games that do take place.

In other words, let’s have a look at the games coming up and decide what would be the best possible outcome in each one, from a Sharks point of view.

First up is the Chiefs against the Crusaders and while there isn’t a hope in hell of it happening, it would be just lovely if the Hamilton boys could upset their famous countrymen. The mighty Cru are starting to run away with things at the top end of the log and for the Sharks to reel them in, we need them to start suffering a few defeats sooner rather than later.

The Highlanders then take on the Rebels and the plucky men from South Island actually need a loss now as well, having made great strides up the log in recent weeks. They’re level with the Sharks now, so it would be absolutely great if the Rebels could fashion another gutsy home win and give the Landers to zero points from this game.

Next up it’s Blues versus Waratahs and this is an ugly one, because both teams are currently ahead of the Sharks and we don’t really want either of them to get further away. Let’s make this one a draw, since we’re picking our ideal results here, putting the Blues on 31 and the Tahs on 29. That should leave us level with the Sydneysiders after the bye and just a few points behind the Aucklanders.

In the fourth game, the Reds take on the Bulls and it’s actually pretty simple to figure out. We need the Bulls to keep losing, because the one thing we don’t need is any more competition in the SA conference. Should the Reds win, they’re going to start running away with the Aussie conference, but that’s just too bad. We cannot have the Bulls getting close to us again – and they will if they win. Let’s hope the Reds don’t get a bonus point, though.

Lions v Stormers is the one that we really want to go a particular way, of course, but it’s the one match where the winner simply isn’t in doubt. We need the Lions to pull a rabbit out of their hat and beat the Capies… problem is, the Lions don’t even have a hat this season. We can dream, though and a zero-point defeat for the Stormers would see the Sharks draw level in the SA conference.

We finish off with two games that are of academic interest only, although I’d love the Cheetahs to thrash the Hurricanes, just because. The more damage they can inflict on the woeful Wellingtonians the better… I want them to roll into Durban next week a dejected rabble ripe for a 50-point thrashing. I’ve also been quietly impressed with the Cheetahs so far this year and reckon they’re better than their log position would suggest. Brumbies – Force really doesn’t matter, because both teams are in contention for the Aussie wooden spoon, but I’d prefer the Perth lads to win simply because I don’t like the Brumbies and never have!

So there we go, team. A few improbable results and one or two impossible ones and we could look back after this weekend and say that the bye week has been our most successful round so far! Go Sharks! Enjoy the rest.


  • The funny thing is; is that with the ridiculous idea of giving teams 4 points when they’re on a bye it distorts the table. If you look at the current table, ALL of the teams above the Sharks have had a bye and therefore have 4 points for nothing.

    Take away those 4 points to see where we are exactly and we come out at number 2 behind the Crusaders in the overall table and number 1 in the SA conference. It looks as though the Bulls are breathing down our necks with only 4 points difference but add our bugger all 4 and they’re 8 points behind.

    Interestingly, it looks as though the rest of the teams have run away from the Cheetahs and Lions but deduct the 4 for a bye off the Hurricanes and they’re equal. Deduct an extra 2 for a draw they would have never received against the Crusaders and they’re stone last.

    The problem is that we’ll only actually see where the teams really are right at the end of the tournament before the knock-outs happen.

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.04.11 08:31:50 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : That’s why the Aussie administrators love this new system… cos the Aussie public can’t work out how their team is really doing, so they keep supporting them even when they’re bottom of the log.

    Impressed with the Rebels, we all think they’re crap… and yet they’re ahead of both the Brumbies & the Force at the half way stage! Shows how bad the Aussies actually are this year, they’d be no-where without this new conference system.

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.04.11 08:43:05 by CS Reply

  • I can see the rebels beating the Highlanders. Rebels are playing some good ruggas at the moment.

    Also the Cheetahs has to beat the Canes. Canes are travelling without Cruden and Conrad Smith which really opens it up for the cheetahs. Canes are also playing horrible rugby this year…

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.04.11 08:43:21 by Viking Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : @CS (Comment 2) : The Aussies are doing better, than our teams at the moment, so we must be even crapper than them!! Not sure what diffrence the conference system makes to the over all standings. We are sucking hind tit in everything.

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.04.11 08:53:18 by Whindy Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • I don’t think the Crusaders are going to lose too many games so it’s safe to assume that they will finish 1st on the combined log. Our goal should then be to finish 1st on the SAFA and Aussie conference as this will give us a second spot finish on the combined conference unless a miracle happens and the Crusaders lose a few games. Forget about the Blues and the Highlanders..they can have more points than us but the best they can do is a 4th place finish (thanks to the format) so go Blues and Highlanders.. We are therefore competing against the Reds, Waratahs, Stormers and Bulls. We need to keep winning and celebrating when the above 4 teams lose. I’m sure Plum and the guys are aware of this. The Aussies are smart and be sure that they are also aware of this.

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.04.11 09:45:53 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • Go reds
    Go lions
    Go chiefs
    Go rebels

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.04.11 10:22:05 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 5) : nice.

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.04.11 10:35:27 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 1) : Deduct the four that the force got for their bye, and that drops them below the Lions and cheetahs as well.

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.04.11 10:40:53 by Greg Reply

  • And some teams will have had both byes before some have had any.

    brumbies and Stormers have already completed their 2nd bye before the lions have their 1st?????????????

    At least the byes are well spaced and structured. 🙄 😕

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.04.11 11:23:52 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) : JA, it was nicely thought out!!

    @Whindy (Comment 4) : The problem is that the Aussie conference is not as strong as the SA and NZ conferences. Say what you will about the Lions and Cheetahs, but they get up against their own countrymen and make it difficult for them.

    The weaker Aussie teams (and I’m including the Brumbies because of their revolt) almost roll over to their own countrymen where the SA and NZ teams fight to the death (literally).

    Maybe our administrators are a bunch of palookas because they didn’t realise this.

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.04.11 12:00:09 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 10) :


    Dude, there is no doubt that our administrators ARE palookas!! 🙄

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.04.11 12:22:04 by wpw Reply
  • Surely they will have to reassess this set-up for next year? It’s like they all sat down and said “OK, let’s create the most confusing, difficult to work out and frustrating infrastructure for a first class rugby tournament we can think off and then make it even more ridiculous by giving everyone four points for a bye.”
    I also hate this business of having to shout for NZ and Aussie teams to beat South African ones so that our team can do better in the conferences. These local derbies are crucifying us as rugby fans, and the Currie Cup is still months away… 🙄

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.04.11 12:31:29 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • Nicely summarized. We need plenty of draws actually!

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.04.11 13:41:29 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @wpw (Comment 11) : Too true, I was giving them the ‘benefit of doubt’ like a TMO giving the benefit to award a try which everyone knows isn’t a try.

    At the end of the day, this stupid 4 points for nothing evens out but that is only right at the end. Think it’s actually ridiculous.

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.04.11 13:59:37 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 14) : It does even out eventually, but creates total confusion, right up to the end.

    The Lions for example, have their second bye the last weekend. Granted, we won’t be vying for top honours, but will be slugging it out at the bottom. The other teams around us will look at the log, and think they are ahead of us, but some of them will have a tough game, we will get four points for nothing, and may well leapfrog a few teams in the that last week.

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.04.11 14:36:57 by Greg Reply

  • @Greg (Comment 15) : It is a ridiculous system.

    The whole conference thing also pretty much sucks. We have the Currie Cup for a reason. Super rugby is really about playing teams from NZ and Aus. The SA teams fly into each other full bore and it only leads to injuries for these teams when we play against the foreign teams. Wish we could scrap it altogether or maybe change the conferences around a bit and mix and match with teams from all the countries in the different pools.

    Guess we’ll have to live with the flawed system.

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.04.11 15:15:06 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 16) : I would much rather return to the old system, just with the added franchise. Sure the SA teams will always battle when they tour, but at least then everyone plays everyone, and the top four go to the playoffs. Quite simple, really 😆

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.04.11 15:27:30 by Greg Reply


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