Hertford Highlander

Twos company threes a crowd

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :Original Content, Other SA Teams, Sharks, Stormers, Super Rugby on 7 Jun 2011 at 00:20
Tagged with : , , ,

After round 16 of Superugby it is starting to look fairly obvious that only three teams can win the 2011 competition.

In a weekend which saw the hopes of the Highlanders, Blues, Reds, and Waratahs fade, we also saw the stock of the Crusaders, Stormers, Bulls and Sharks continue to rise.

Although the fans of the top seven teams still have plenty of interest in the competition, in the cold light of day really only two teams can win the competition with a third a mere fly in the ointment.

Before I reveal all, the same situation is looming in the South African conference where three teams look to be locked in a dog fight for what looks like only two available spots. The people rubbing their hands together and slapping themselves on the back the most will be the SANZAR draw committee.


Well there are some mouth-watering clashes in the final two rounds most focussed on the South African conference.

For a neutral the interest will focus on which of the seven teams in the running for the top six spots will end up seventh and ultimately miss the cut. The only other interest will be in whom finishes top of the log – with top qualifier being king.

Back to who will win, well in a weekend that saw fans either celebrate or bemoan their team’s performances. In reality there honestly looks like only three teams can win this competition and that’s being generous.

The fly in the ointment is the Reds, they are the outsiders and their only hope is if they hold onto their top log spot over the next two weeks – and that looks tight. Their matches against the Force and Chiefs away look anything but a done deal, however I’m willing to concede that they may win one – if they are lucky. If they don’t finish top they are finished.

That leaves only two teams that can win this competition and it will be dependent on who finishes higher and hosts the other in the final that will decide the 2011 season.

Those two teams are the Stormers and the Crusaders. They both look to be travelling well, coping better than any with injuries and finding some form at the right stage of the season.

Either can win! Good luck to them both.

The current front running seven after Round 16 are:

1. Reds (58) 2. Stormers (57) 3. Blues (55) 4. Crusaders (53) 5. Sharks (51) 6. Bulls (49) 7. Tahs (47)

The potential play-off contenders:

1. Reds (62) 2. Stormers (61) 3. Crusaders (61) 4. Blues (59) 5. Bulls (57) 6. Sharks (55) 7. Tahs (55)

The only interest here is the order of the top three, with a focus on the final resting spots of the Crusaders and the Stormers. Plus there is some interest in the wooden spoon. A bonus point wouldn’t go astray for all concerned!

With the top three in the South African conference battling it out over the coming weeks plus the added interest in what the finishing order is for the top three on the Super table, this season is fast panning out in many ways as ‘Twos company threes a crowd’.


  • I have a feeling we will only have 2 SA teams in there. 🙁

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.06.11 04:41:23 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : sharks and..? 😉

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.06.11 04:51:26 by RuckingFun Reply
  • in all honesty i dont see any team winning 3 away games in a row you need to finish at least top 4 so you have 1 home and 2 away which is still tough but slightly more plausible

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.06.11 04:58:07 by RuckingFun Reply
  • Morning,

    Well i think it will be the Sharks if we manage to win the snoils and the Bulls
    So in SA conferance it will be Streamers and Sharks


  • Comment 4, posted at 07.06.11 05:59:52 by chaz Reply
  • the shorks will be happy with a 6th position it will be a good improvement on their 9th spot last year and plum will keep his job bcoz he “made the playoffs” 🙄

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.06.11 06:30:27 by Megatron Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : nope, as much as I don’t wanne see the bulls having a chance they will make it too, I think, the bulls and crusaders are the threads come knockout games because of their experience winning in semi- and finals…

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.06.11 06:44:00 by franshark Reply
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 3) : I hope that we can squeeze to that 4 spot some how….
    It will be a much better situation if we could only play 2 away…

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.06.11 06:46:35 by franshark Reply
  • And HH, your team has as much chance as the warratahs to make it as well… Hope for a win for them this weekend 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.06.11 06:48:11 by franshark Reply
  • HH I like your way of thinking and find it quite interesting as well. 🙂

    The Highlanders are still in with a mathematical chance of making the top 6. They have two away games (Waratahs, Blues) though so it will be tough to win both those. Most writers would have kept their own side in there hoping that their dream would become reality. Not you though 🙂

    I also like the way you lay the probable way that things will go right out there rather then the hedged bets yoou see from most wrters. 😎

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.06.11 06:56:31 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • It is simple. The Sharks and Bulls win this weekend. They then sit and watch all the games next weekend and look at what is needed for both teams to get through. They rest their players, put in b teams and play to the best result. A four try each draw gives them 3 points each, and they don’t put eachothers chances in jeopardy, and they have fresh players for the playoffs.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.06.11 08:13:12 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 10) : Will never happen, no team would sink so low as to colude with another for a mutually agreed draw or mutually agreed outcome.

    1) They would be expelled from the tournament before you could say “do you think anybody noticed”

    2) No team would trust another enough to risk the other team no sticking to their side of the deal.

    3) If both team win this weekend we will be above the Bulls on the log, do you think they would be happy with that?

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.06.11 09:06:02 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Stormers to end on 61 points? Only 4 points from the next two matches?

    I predict they’ll get a minimum of 5 points from the last two games. 🙂

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.06.11 09:14:06 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : collude has 2 l’s BTW.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.06.11 09:16:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : Do you think the Bulls will be happy if the Sharks win? Didn’t the Bulls field a B team last year against the Stormers? Isn’t that the same thing? Yet the Bulls are still in the competition.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.06.11 09:16:31 by waje Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : Absolutely. That’s what I loved about the Brumbies match last weekend. Moore wanted Giteau to just boot the ball out and thus let the Reds have a losing bonus point. Giteau in no uncertain terms told him what to do with that idea and duly landed the penalty. Good on him. :mrgreen: 😎

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.06.11 09:18:45 by McLovin Reply

  • @waje (Comment 14) : Nowhere near the same thing. Take a moment to look back at the log at that time and have a think about it. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.06.11 09:20:31 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : But with the rivalry between the Unions in this country what they are, this won’t happen. I brought the idea up as a good scenario to say up yours to the Aussies that created this mess of a competition. This play off system is a mess and unfair. So to have three SA teams defy the odds and make the playoffs would be a great up yours to the creators.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.06.11 09:22:49 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 14) : Yeah but that was not collusion between two team and the Bulls had the top of the log sewn up so they didn’t mind if they lost. I can’t see them being happy with 6th place if there is a chance they could end 5th or maybe 4th.

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.06.11 09:22:55 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : Or totally out. But I do agree it won’t happen. It would be nice though, for SA rugby to once again rise against the tyranny of SANZAR. And that character shown in a World Cup year.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.06.11 09:27:21 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 19) : I disagree. It wouldn’t be nice at all. It would be about as low as you can go in sport. It would be cheating.

    But that’s just me. Fair play and all that. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.06.11 09:31:39 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 20) : Like a tournament that is devised to set up a team in the weakest conference to top the overall log and get the benefits of a break and a home semi and possible final. Nothing fair about this tournament, so give it the respect it deserves, by doing to it what it has done to you.

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.06.11 09:35:39 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 21) : The rules are the same for everyone. No justification for cheating whatsoever. 😐

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.06.11 09:37:46 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 22) : I don’t see player management as cheating. Both teams are rested, the new players defences are leaky, both teams just happened to score all their points under the posts. Surprise surprise, both teams scored the same amount of tries. 😆 Look it isn’t ideal, but to have the majority of the Boks in the playoffs in a World Cup year is important.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.06.11 09:55:48 by waje Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 22) : The rules aren’t the same. Teams never played all the teams in the tournament, and not all teams got to play three weak teams in their conference, twice. Only justice is the Reds are getting injured at a crucial point of the competition.

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.06.11 09:59:41 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 24) : It’s the same for everyone. 🙄

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.06.11 10:05:04 by McLovin Reply

  • Sharks to win ugly all the way to the final :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.06.11 10:25:46 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @franshark (Comment 8) :

    Yes agreed the Highlanders won’t figure in the playoffs….. however I wouldn’t be so quick to discard the Tahs, they will be thrilled with two points from their SA tour. Two wins at home and they put the heat on the Sharks.

    I have them equal on points …so it looks like a bonus point will be crucial. I think they will get one against us in the last round so that means you need one this weekend! 😯 Good luck

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.06.11 10:48:05 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) :

    Stormers and Saders have really impressed me this year, both look impossible to beat at home.

    ….that said the Bulls could easily win at Newlands this weekend. 😆

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.06.11 10:51:58 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 12) :

    Good point I haven’t really dished out bonus points.

    They are going to be crucial….to everyone 😉

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.06.11 10:56:53 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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