How Super Rugby Rewards Moderation

And so here we are – the final!

Shortly after it started, I posted the stupidity of having 66 percent of the competition in the finals.

12 to eight. Stupid? Yes. Lack of honest competition? Absolutely.

It can be unique in a professional 12-team competition at this level.

Fair? Not really.

Understandable? For this first season of the new format, maybe, but only at that time.

In a pre-season post I mentioned that five Kiwi teams and three Australian teams would advance to the finals: the Reds, Brumbis and Tahs.

The top four will have at least three Kiwi teams, including two Blues and a Crusader, and a scrap for seventh and eighth positions.

Many others could have predicted this too, and undoubtedly did, but that is what happens when two-thirds of the teams in the 12-team competition play the final.

The Blues face Hoskins Sotutu during a Round 14 Super Rugby Pacific match between the ACT Brumbies and the Blues on May 21, 2022 at the GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Nolan / Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Nolan / Getty Images)

And especially at a frequency where two Pacific sides are still finding their way, and two Australian sides, one that has been in the desert to the west for some time and the other (the rebels) which is a hit-and-miss side. They showed up again this season.

They squash against the Blues a week away, and the Underdog Warriors the next day.

To their credit, the rebels gave themselves a chance but when you rely on an Australian side like the Force to keep the Highlanders away from just a bonus-point loss – although a very ordinary Highlander team – it was really too much of an event. A little way too late.

Honestly, I didn’t think there would be highlanders in that scrap for eight.

But equally, I certainly don’t think the Highlanders deserve to be the final team.

It is a team that has won four out of 14 matches. That’s less than 28.7 percent of their games.

Sorry, Highlander fans, but it’s just ridiculous. We are now rewarding the average and the average with the final berth.

As NZ rugby writer Liam Napier NZ Herald On Monday morning, “there is a sense of frustration that the inflated final format, during negotiations between New Zealand and the Australian Rugby Union for a new competition to ensure Aussie presence, has reached a compromise that has ultimately benefited the worst-performing Kiwi team. “

It can only happen in a stupid final competition without any honesty.

Equally, though good, the Hurricanes, the Reds and the Waratah have all won eight and lost six.

They are all on the same playing field in terms of win-loss ratio, but the teams in the championship finals in the 12-team competition rarely shout, with four sides having no evidence of the remaining eight in a long shot. Although they give upset.

A rather misleading argument has been made that the teams suddenly came out on top, proving that they deserve to go to the finals, and that they are rewarded by this generous final allocation system.

The Highlanders are far from making that argument.

Excluding the results from the following four directions, Varatah, Hurricane, and Reds rarely support this argument.

Jordan Petia of the Reds celebrates an attempt during the Round Four Super Rugby Pacific match between the Queensland Reds and the Fijian Drew at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia on March 12, 2022.  (Photo by Chris Hyde / Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Hyde / Getty Images)

Most wins (though, yes, not all of them) come from the bottom, from the heavily eroded top-four sides or to each other when someone has to win.

As an example, although I am not choosing Tahas, the loss of the Blues side to 14 front-line players and the defeat of Tahas with a 14-3 lead seems unlikely to come home at the end of the business to support that argument.

And sorry, but no, losing well doesn’t mean you have to go to the finals unless you’re a comedian.

So why is it so stupid and lacks competitive integrity when it was a big part of the problem with the previous notion of competition?

Looks like some people won’t learn.

At the time, the real honesty of fighting for the top four positions without a quarter-final would not work for investors who provided a 12-team company that demanded the Australian team’s assurance in the final.

As it turns out, the Australian teams have picked up their game, which includes Brumbis and Waratah.

This is their great achievement after the Covid drama and other uncertainties.

But some things have remained the same, and some on both sides of the abyss have failed to seriously affect. Even then they made it to the finals.

But the competition for a place in the top four is also one-sided, with the Kiwis not playing twice.

This is definitely another part of bargaining.

And if I were a force and a rebel, I wouldn’t be happy, quietly. Was it just a coincidence that they got two home games in the competition’s five-game cross-Tasman Pacific division while Tahs, Reds and Brumbis – the teams that could challenge the Kiwis’ top-four placements – got three home runs. Games?

Logistics, I hear someone screaming. Favorite game?

Is it just a matter of luck that the Brumbies and Tahs, not one of the top two NZ players before the start of the home season, both played (Blues and Crusaders)?

Corey Evans of the Blues took charge of the defense during the Round 15 Super Rugby Pacific match between NSW Waratahs and the Blues at Lechhart Oval on May 28, 2022 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King / Getty Images)

(Photo by Matt King / Getty Images)

Maybe? Maybe not.

The final results are not important here, but it seems that every effort has been made to ensure that the top three Australian franchises get to the top four or at least get the best possible advantage against the current two best teams in New Zealand. A bonus point, if not won.

And especially when it is argued that the price of a home ground is five to seven points. It’s controversial, but it is.

It also mocks the fairness of the competition. And before anyone says June International and time, then let it be fair.

Home competitions play each other once. Then cross-tasman is home-and-away for each side who plays each other twice.

Or let’s just scrap two local vibes, play each other twice and make it an all-around competition from the start with only the top four teams reaching the finals.

Now this is the true integrity of the competition.

But alas, Australian TV brokers and their investors will not be deterred – at least for now.

But one thing they can and should do is take eight teams to the finals in a 12-team competition.

I will leave the last word to Ian Napier from the same article linked above.

“Super Rugby is like celebrating aspects of the Pacific. They hope that the long-term future will see Drua and Moana develop into a consistently competitive enemy, and that a real sense of danger will develop over time.

“The eight-team play-off has the opposite effect. Promoting moderation only serves as a deadweight that pulls the competition down as it tries to get off the ground. “

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