Super Rugby rules are flawed

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Brumbies_huddle Gallo Images The Brumbies are benefitting from a flawed system.

Call it peculiar, bizarre or just silly… the fact is it’s wrong. How can a team that has seven log points less than another team be placed higher in the standings?

Well, that’s Super Rugby for you. I find it incredibly disappointing to think that the Brumbies, with just four wins from eight matches, are third in the standings, while the Bulls, with six wins, are fourth.

But that’s not all. The Highlanders and Crusaders, also with more wins and points than the Brumbies, must accept, like the Bulls, that unless they win their conference, they will have to play a “quarter-final”, an extra game that may also involve having to travel halfway around the world.

How can a much weaker team, in this case the Brumbies, be rewarded so handsomely, while other stronger teams are “punished” – for simply not being their country’s best outfit? Surely in competition sport, the best teams, those with the most wins and log points, should be the ones to advance.

The structure of Super Rugby is flawed and no one can tell me differently.

We’re at the halfway point of the competition and it’s interesting to find that not much has actually changed from one year to the next. Not only is the conference system being shown up, but what is it with teams getting four free log points every time they have a bye? I still don’t understand what the reason is behind it and someone who has not read a manual about Super Rugby would take one look at the log and be very confused.

The Lions, for example, have recorded one win (four points) and picked up two bonus points, yet they have 14 points in total. It doesn’t add up. But add eight free points for their two byes and they total 14 points. Why? What’s the point?

Other interesting points to come out of the competition are the following: The Lions, despite bagging the Currie Cup last year, are still weaklings in Super Rugby, the Crusaders are hitting their straps after another slow start, the Stormers’ defence is as strong as ever and the Bulls keep winning despite not always playing to their full potential.

The major surprise of the year are the Reds, winners in 2011, but whipping boys in 2012. They’re down in 10th position overall, but the scary thing is they’ve won the same number of games as the Brumbies and are just five points worse off than the Australian Conference leaders.

Perhaps Sanzar should revisit the current Super Rugby format, because it clearly doesn’t reward the best teams … and then the whole issue of the Southern Kings might also be resolved. Just a thought. – The Star


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