New Super Rugby format for 2016...We break it down to take a more simplified look from a South African Perspective.
So you’ve probably heard a few times now that Super Rugby 2016 has a new format to accommodate an 18 team format, with the introduction of 3 new teams, which will form part of the “South African Group”.The 3 new teams are:
Kings (South Africa)
Sunwolves (Japan)Super Rugby 2016 will be made up of two groups:South African Group: Argentinian, South African and Japanese sides. Australasian Group: Australian and New Zealand sides.Now for the purposes of keeping things plain and simple, we will explain this a South African supporting perspective:• 6 South African teams will play in the tournament + the 2 teams from Argentina and Japan, making up a total of 8 teams in the “South African Group”.
• The South African Group will be split into 2 conferences Africa 1 and Africa 2.AFRICA 1: Bulls, Cheetahs, Stormers and Sunwolves. AFRICA 2: Jaguars, Kings, Lions, and Sharks.
All teams will play 15 regular matches and have 2 byes which make up a total of 17 rounds.These 15 matches will be made up of: Each team will play 6 matches within its conference.
Each team will play 4 matches against the other African conference.
Each team will play 5 matches against 1 of the Australasian conferences.Home vs Away Games:For the 15 matches in total this will consist of either 8 Home- 7 Away or 7 Home - 8 Away.
To break that down further...
The 6 matches within conference… 3 Home – 3 Away.
The 4 matches against the other African Conference... 2 Home – 2 Away.
The 5 matches against one Australasian conference… 2 Home – 3 Away or 3 Home – 2 Away.
Quarter Final Stage
The top team out of each conference will each host a home quarterfinal.These are the top teams from: Africa 1
New ZealandSeeding:Overall points standings on the log will determine seedings.
The top team in each conference will be seeded 1-4.
Wildcard teams will be seeded 5-8.The 4 wildcard teams are made up of: The next 3 highest ranking teams from the “Australasian Group”.
The next highest ranking team from the “South African Group”.So that’s 3 teams from the Australasian group and 1 team from the South African Group seeded according to their overall points standings on the log.So the Top 4 teams in each conference will play against the 4 wild card teams to advance to the semis.
Semi Final Stage
Home advantage in each semi-final games will simply go to the team who has the highest overall points on the log at that time.See the infographic below to see which seeds play which seeds in the semis.The winners from each semi will then naturally advance to the Final.And that’s pretty much it, obviously, this will all change next year, but that’s all part of the complex version, but this will be all good for the 2016 season.
So now, what does this mean for South African Teams in particular?
According to SA Rugby mag;SA teams will spend less time away.
The tour to play the Australasian group will rotate between 2 and 3 matches.
There’ll be 1 other match in either Buenos Aires, Tokyo or Singapore.
Fewer local derbies scaled down from 10 to 7.
There are fewer regular matches overall, down from 18 rounds to 17 rounds.
South Africa could host 2 quarterfinal matches
(that is unless the Jaguars or Sunwolves finish at the top of the conference… part of me wants to say “Ja right” and another part of me is just thinking “jinne boet, I’m sure we’ve all learnt our lessons when it comes to being over confident haha 🙂 " ).The format hasn’t been met with smiles from all...in a recent interview with Rugby 365, Sharks Director, Gary Gold labelled the format as “absurd”.
"It is a little bit absurd, but in saying that it is what it is and there are some exciting things."
The Sharks will also face a tough travelling schedule midway through the competition which will see them travel to New Zealand to face the Blues, Highlanders and Chiefs before returning to Durban to face to face the Hurricanes. They will then get on the plane again to go to Argentina to face the Jaguares. They will also not have a bye between those five tough matches.
"I don't think you understand the toll it has on the bodies when you fly east to west, recover from jetlag, play a game and then fly east to west again for another game.
Eish, as if my boys haven’t got enough to prove already coming off the back of last season.Super Rugby starts on 26th February 2016Friday 26th Feb – Cheetahs vs Jaguars in Bloem.
Saturday 27th Feb – Sunwolves vs Lions in Tokyo.
Saturday 27th Feb – Kings vs Sharks in PE.
Saturday 27th Feb – Stormers vs Bulls at Newlands.Lekker boys… may your forces be with you 🙂Share amongst your mates 🙂
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