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Thread: Does Super Rugby have the worst points system in world sport?

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    Senior Player SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Does Super Rugby have the worst points system in world sport?

    Kiwis not happy.

    Does Super Rugby have the worst points system in world sport?


    Geoff Neal 13:50, June 1 2018
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    The top two NZ teams will probably have to play each other in a semifinal, even if they're the two best teams overall.

    Here’s a riddle for you...

    Q: When is:
    a) third higher than second
    b) seventh high than third, and
    c) 31 points more than 45, 37, 36 and 34?

    A: Super Rugby. The sporting competition with the worst points system in the world.

    SANZAAR, the body that operates Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship, and also possibly the most logic-defying sporting body in the world, must be completely ashamed at what is unfolding this season.

    Sure, it’s a little better than 2017, when the Brumbies qualified for a home quarterfinal on just 34 points while the Blues missed out on the playoffs altogether with 37 points. But saying this year's Super Rugby system is better is like saying Transformers 5 was better than Transformers 4.



    The SANZAAR website doesn’t even show the full standings anymore; they are that embarrassing. When the order of the top eight teams looks more like a random Lotto draw than an ordered list, something is very wrong.

    50, 40, 31, 45, 37, 36, 34, 30. Simply bizarre.

    The Lions have the third best record, but sit in second place on the table. The Waratahs have the seventh most points, but sit in third place. And we wonder why Kiwi kids are struggling at maths...

    It gets worse.

    Since the South African conference started a week early, some teams have played 14 games while others have only played 12. A one game difference is normal with byes, but a two game difference makes it almost impossible to work out where teams truly rank.

    And then there is the bizarre playoff design. One of the New Zealand teams is probably going to finish with the second best record, but has virtually no chance of a home semifinal. In fact, the top two NZ teams will probably have to play each other in a semifinal, even if they're the two best teams overall.


    WWW.SUPERRUGBY.CO.NZ
    Due to a rigged points table, the Waratahs sit third even though they should sit seventh.

    This means the other semifinal is the winner of second v seventh and third v sixth - the quarterfinals hosted in Australia and Africa/Argentina. Those teams will get the benefit of home quarter and semifinals even if their opponent (possibly the Highlanders or Chiefs) have a better record.

    The whole system is artificially stacked to carry at least one team from each conference as far as possible, regardless of merit.

    But wait, there’s more. All teams have to play each other twice, one match at home and one away. However, each team has two other teams they don’t face at all during the season. For example, the Chiefs don’t get to play the Lions (the best overseas team) or the Rebels (usually a comfortable win), unless they meet in the playoffs, which is unlikely.

    The draw gets even more ludicrous when two games against the same opposition are scheduled close to each other. For example, the Blues played the Highlanders twice (in weeks two and 10), well before they got to play the Crusaders (in weeks 14 and 19).

    And then, right when momentum is peaking at the start of June, Super Rugby dumps us cold for a test window where no games are played for four weeks. As fans, we move on and forget, before it tries to lure us back a month later.

    On top of this, Australian Rugby is in disarray and South African Rugby could leave the competition altogether.


    BRUCE LIM/PHOTOSPORT
    Each Super Rugby team has two teams they don't face all season. The Chiefs will be relieved they don't have to play the Lions.

    I searched for a less logical points system in world sport, but couldn’t find one.

    Conference systems, such as the NBA, work because they have 30 teams, a quick turnaround between games, and each team plays twice as many games within its conference as it does inter-conference. This means the table system is a fairer reflection of performance.

    SANZAAR’s business analysts and management consultants will try to debate that their complicated competition design is optimal and in the best interests of the game, but no fan is buying it.

    We all know they artificially inflate the position of one Australian and one South African conference team to keep TV networks, rugby unions, and sponsors happy.

    Surely fans, players and coaches don't feel the same - they can see straight through it when their team doesn’t deserve to host a home quarter or semifinal. A victory would be hollow at best.

    That’s a long list of customer complaints, and we don’t have access to all of SANZAAR’s decision-making information, of course, but here are three simple and obvious solutions:

    1. Essentially, go back to the Super 12 format. No conferences. Fifteen teams. Each team starts on the same weekend, and plays each other once. Home one year, away the next. One bye each plus three weeks for playoffs equals 18 weeks total. This solves most problems, hopefully also that awkward four-week break for internationals when the competition stalls.

    I know some fans prefer watching local derbies, but as a nomadic supporter of all five Kiwi franchises I’d rather see us beat overseas teams, and have four or five NZ games on during a weekend, rather than just two or three.

    2. Spread the talent, as per Mark Ella’s suggestion . Allow each team to have a maximum of five overseas players in their squad of 38. In addition to a more balanced and exciting competition, this means more New Zealanders would earn export dollars and gain top-level experience (benefitting both the economy and the All Blacks).

    A mini-sabbatical to Tokyo, Capetown, or Melbourne might also keep some top players available for All Blacks selection for longer.

    3. Divide South Africa and Australia up into four territories with no gaps, just like what was done in New Zealand way back in 1996 with five teams.

    It’s crazy having large areas of fans and rugby clubs in both South Africa and Australia with no Super Rugby team. There are politics to overcome, but it’s time those organisations grew up and evolved for the benefit of their national game.

    In South Africa this would be easy: for example, the Northern Bulls, Western Cats, Eastern Sharks, and Southern Stormers. In Australia, you bring the Force back to represent WA, NT and SA, leave QLD as one big state, and then draw a line somewhere between NSW/ACT and VIC/TAS.

    Bonus idea: Find another week in the rugby calendar and add a combined Pacific Island team. Sixteen teams would also mean no franchise would have a bye in week one.

    Now, there's a logical rugby competition. One where the quality of the product on the field is matched by the quality of the competition design off it.

    Oh, and one where 45 is a bigger number than 31 again.

    Stuff Nation

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPaRTAN View Post
    Kiwis not happy.
    Simple solution:

    • Get rid of the Soup after 2020 (and stop whinging).
    • Close the conferences (i.e. have separate local time-zone comps ... like World Series Rugby will be)
    • Teams qualify for a Champions Cup

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    Champion chibi's Avatar
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    Boo-hoo, they signed off on it. They wanted the injection of Asian money and South American exposure; they were happy to pretend they wanted to play the South Africans and then signed off on a competition where they played them less and guaranteed each country a finals spot.

    My heart weeps.

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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    Champion Bakkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Boo-hoo, they signed off on it. They wanted the injection of Asian money and South American exposure; they were happy to pretend they wanted to play the South Africans and then signed off on a competition where they played them less and guaranteed each country a finals spot.

    My heart weeps.

    Absolutely. What they also don't get is you can't make the finals when you finished last in your conference. They also signed off on duplicate derbies which the Saffies hate and teams not playing each other.

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    I stopped reading when he said other conference systems work because they play twice as many games within their conference as outside after complaining about NZ teams playing too many games within their conference.

    Other conference systems work because they don't bastard is the finals with an overall points count, the best team in the conference makes the play-offs, the second best teams play for a wildcard.

    And conferences usually don't concentrate all the best teams in one conferenve

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    C'mon the

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    Senior Player SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Boo-hoo, they signed off on it. They wanted the injection of Asian money and South American exposure; they were happy to pretend they wanted to play the South Africans and then signed off on a competition where they played them less and guaranteed each country a finals spot.

    My heart weeps.
    In fairness it was their governing body who signed off on it, their fans were screaming and yelling during those negotiations and especially when they announced the new format that SANZAAR came up. Unfortunately for the kiwi fans, like us, they don't have a say. I suppose the constant pressure from Australia to drop South Africa when they wanto keep them doesnt help when you need a unanimous decision during these negitiations.

    I think all the countries fans are fed up, but no ones listening.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Fair point, onto question number two does new Zealand rugby have the highest population of supporters who whine when their teams are winning?

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    C'mon the

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