Planet Rugby

Super Rugby permutations

10th July 2013 16:54

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SKY_MOBILE Morne Steyn Bulls

Pole position: The Bulls

Once again the Super Rugby knock-out fixtures are set to be decided by the final game on the final day of the regular season. We take a look at the possible permutations.

The play-off berths have already been decided - the Bulls, Chiefs, Brumbies, Crusaders, Red and Cheetahs having cemented their places - but the race for automatic semi-final qualification (the top two) and home play-offs (3rd and 4th) is still very much on.

The Bulls and Brumbies are guaranteed a spot in the top three having won their respective conferences but if the Crusaders bag a four-try win at home to the Hurricanes then the Chiefs will need to get at least one point from their trip to Auckland to face the Blues to secure the New Zealand conference.

Only the Cheetahs are not in contention for a home fixture - four points from their bye on the last weekend will take them provisionally above the Reds into fifth.

Current standings (with final fixture)
1 Bulls 63 (away to Stormers)
2 Chiefs 61 (away to Blues)
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3 Brumbies 59 (away to Force)
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4 Crusaders 56 (home to Hurricanes)
5 Reds 54 (away to Waratahs)
6 Cheetahs 50 (bye)

The top of the table will be decided by the final game of the regular season in Cape Town. The Bulls will arrive at Newlands knowing exactly what they need to secure a home semi-final and a potential final at Loftus. Frans Ludeke's men have more wins than the Brumbies, meaning a single bonus point would be enough to book a home semi-final even if Jake White's team win with a bonus point.

The equation is simple for the Chiefs, who play before both the Bulls and Brumbies: they must win at Eden Park to keep the Brumbies at bay for that all-important second spot. They need the Bulls to lose if they hope to host the final for a second consecutive year.

The Brumbies will expect to beat the Force, but need the results in Cape Town and/or Auckland to go their way to avoid having to play again next week (most likely against the Cheetahs).

Although the Crusaders can still top the Kiwi conference, they can't finish higher than second and need both the Chiefs and Brumbies to lose to sneak into the automatic semi-finals places. Five points against the Hurricanes is the target - that would put massive pressure on the Chiefs, who play 24 hours later.

The Reds can't win the Aussie conference. But if the Crusaders lose on Friday, Quade Cooper and co. will head to Sydney with a chance of gaining home ground advantage in the play-offs via victory over the Waratahs.

Bulls:
Best possible finish: First
Worst possible finish: Third

Chiefs:
Best possible finish: First
Worst possible finish: Fourth

Brumbies:
Best possible finish: First
Worst possible finish: Third

Crusaders:
Best possible finish: Second
Worst possible finish: Fifth

Reds:
Best possible finish: Fourth
Worst possible finish: Sixth

Cheetahs:
Best possible finish: Fifth
Worst possible finish: Sixth

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FixtureDetails
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
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Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
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Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
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Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
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Leinster vs Munster18:30
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Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
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Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
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Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
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FixtureDetails
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ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
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Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
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ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
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Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
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Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
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Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
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Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
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Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
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ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411