Super Rugby mid-season report


1.CHIEFS (33 points, +115): Travelling beautifully after setting their season up with wins in Africa, Argentina and Australia. Still some tough matches to come but boasting the competition’s most potent attack should march into the playoffs.

Run home: Sharks (home), Highlanders (h), bye, Rebels (h), Waratahs (a), Crusaders (Fiji), Reds (a), Highlanders (a)

2.STORMERS (28, +92): On track for a finals spot providing they can negotiate a key four-week stretch involving back-to-back conference derbies and successive games in Australia.

Run home: Waratahs (h), bye, Sunwolves (a), Bulls (a), Cheetahs (h), Rebels (a), Force (a), Kings (h)

3.LIONS (27, +66): With five of their last seven games in Johannesburg the early-season surprise packets will only have themselves to blame for not cashing in on their relatively soft South Africa 2 conference.

Run home: Hurricanes (h), bye, Blues (h), Jaguares (h), Bulls (a), Sharks (h), Kings (h), Jaguares (a)

4.MELBOURNE REBELS (22, -9): Unlikely to secure a finals wildcard with such a rough schedule to come so probably need to win the Australian conference and are right in that contest following the recent watershed win in Sydney.

Run home: Blues (a), bye, Brumbies (h), Chiefs (a), Force (h), Stormers (h), Crusaders (a), Reds (a)

5.CRUSADERS (32, +97 ): A seven-match winning streak has the perennial contenders primed for a major assault on the title after a bye next week.

Run home: bye, Reds (h), Highlanders (a), Waratahs (h), Blues (a), Chiefs (Fiji), Rebels (h), Hurricanes (h)

6.HURRICANES (26, +60): Last year’s runners-up are in a tight spot, needing to bank points in the coming month before a tough finish with back-to-back away games against the Waratahs and Crusaders.

Run home: Lions (a), Sharks (a), Reds (h), bye, Highlanders (h), Blues (h), Waratahs (a), Crusaders (a)


7.HIGHLANDERS (24, +56): The reigning champions have arguably the most challenging run home in the competition with a series of showdowns with fellow New Zealand heavyweights plus trips to Africa and Argentina.

Run home: Brumbies (h), Chiefs (a), Crusaders (h), bye, Hurricanes (a), Kings (a), Jaguares (a), Chiefs (h)

8.BULLS (23, +55): Finals fate remains in their own hands and a round-15 showdown with the Lions in Pretoria looms as potentially decisive.

Run home: Force (a), Brumbies (a), Waratahs (a), Stormers (h), Lions (h), Jaguares (a), Sunwolves (h), Cheetahs (a)

9.BRUMBIES (21, +18): Twin wins over the Waratahs and a relatively soft back-half draw has the ACT outfit in pole position for Australian conference honours despite losing three of their last five matches.

Run home: Highlanders (a), Bulls (h), Rebels (a), bye, Sunwolves (h), Reds (h), Blues (a), Force (h)

10.SHARKS (21, +20): A favourable back-end draw and fortunate one-point win over the 14-man Highlanders has opened the door for a late finals charge if they’re good enough.

Run home: Chiefs (a), Hurricanes (h), Jaguares (a), Kings (h), bye, Lions (a), Cheetahs (h), Sunwolves (h)

11.NSW WARATAHS (17, +27): Only three wins so far have come against the struggling Reds and Force and face an uphill battle to make the playoffs for the third straight year but significantly have a game in hand on every team except the lowly Kings.

Run home: Stormers (a), Cheetahs (h), Bulls (h), Crusaders (a), Chiefs (h), Sunwolves (a), Hurricanes (h), Blues (a)

12.BLUES (16, -10): Will find it hellishly tough to claim one of the Australasian wildcard spots despite having just two of their remaining games against opponents in the ferociously competitive New Zealand group, in which they are running last.

Run home: Rebels (h), Kings (a), Lions (a), Force (a), Crusaders (h), Hurricanes (a), Brumbies (h), Waratahs (h)

13.CHEETAHS (12, +14): Their toast looks cooked after disappointing start and with more demanding games on the road to come before a series of conference clashes.

Run home: Reds (a), Waratahs (a), Kings (h), bye, Stormers (a), Force (h), Sharks (a), Bulls (h)

14.QUEENSLAND REDS (8, -76): Another season lost – plus a coach following Richard Graham’s sacking – and possibly more suffering to come as they finish against some of the tournament’s toughest sides.

Run home: Cheetahs (h), Crusaders (a), Hurricanes (a), Sunwolves (h), bye, Brumbies (a), Chiefs (h), Rebels (h)

15.JAGUARES (7, -63): While well out of finals contention, the Argentines have made a reasonably respectable fist of their maiden season in the competition, downing the Cheetahs in round one and proving competitive in most other matches.

Run home: Kings (h), bye, Sharks (h), Lions (a), Kings (a), Bulls (h), Highlanders (h), Lions (h)

16.SUNWOLVES (7, -142): The Tokyo-based newcomers have endured a torrid introduction but will be heartened after climbing off the bottom of the ladder with their first-ever Super Rugby win.

Run home: bye, Force (h), Stormers (h), Reds (a), Brumbies (a), Waratahs (h), Bulls (a), Sharks (a)

17.WESTERN FORCE (6, -134): A terribly disappointing season featuring just one win slipped to a new low with their biggest-ever loss to the Waratahs. Right in the frame for the wooden spoon.

Run home: Bulls (h), Sunwolves (a), bye, Blues (h), Rebels (a), Cheetahs (a), Stormers (h), Brumbies (a)

18.SOUTHERN KINGS (4, -186): Locked in a wooden-spoon battle and unlikely to move too far up the ladder with more games on the road than home in the back end of their campaign.

Run home: Jaguares (a), Blues (h), Cheetahs (a), Sharks (a), Jaguares (h), Highlanders (h), Lions (a), Stormers (a)

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