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Thread: Final update : Road to the play-offs

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    Final update : Road to the play-offs

    http://www.rugby365.com/news/935110.htm

    Six must go into three. Yes, three places are available for the six teams that remain in the Super 14 play-off hunt. First place belong to the Crusaders, regardless of what happens in this week's final round of league action.

    The Hurricanes, Waratahs, Stormers, Sharks, Blues and Chiefs are scrambling for the three remaining spots - with five of them (Hurricanes, Waratahs, Stormers, Sharks and Blues) still in with a chance of securing a home semifinal.

    Just like the last few years the Super 14 is going down to the wire and not until 21.00 (South African time - 19.00 GMT) on Saturday will we know who are the top four teams.

    That is because two of the six teams in the race - the Sharks and Chiefs - go head-to-head in the last game of the weekend in Durban on Saturday.

    And the weekend's action starts with an equally intriguing encounter - when the second-placed Hurricanes face the Blues (sixth on the standings) in Auckland on Friday.

    The other Friday game is between two also-rans - the Western Force and Brumbies in Perth.

    However, Saturday is when the play-off race will be settled. It starts with the Crusaders hosting the Highlanders in a match that will have no affect on the play-offs.

    That game is followed by the all-Australian derby between the third-laced Waratahs and the Reds. The last-placed Lions (much like the Reds) could damage their compatriots' play-off hopes when they play the fourth-placed Stormers. It is ironic that both the Waratahs and Stormers have to travel for their must-win matches and playing in local derbies in which they traditionally struggle.

    The Cheetahs and Bulls then go head-to-head in a dead rubber, before the Sharks get a shot at the Chiefs. When this game kicks off at 19.10 (17.10 GMT), the Durban-based franchise will know exactly what needs to be done to reach the semifinals, if they still have a chance by then.

    We look at each team's prospects with one week of league action remaining!

    Crusaders:
    Current position: 1st
    Best possible finish: 1st
    Worst possible finish: 1st
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Highlanders, home

    Hurricanes:
    Current position: 2nd
    Best possible finish: 2nd
    Worst possible finish: 6th
    Remaining match:
    May 16: v Blues, away

    Waratahs:
    Current position: 3rd
    Best possible finish: 2nd
    Worst possible finish: 6th
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Reds, away

    Stormers:
    Current position: 4th
    Best possible finish: 2nd
    Worst possible finish: 7th
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Lions, away

    Sharks:
    Current position: 5th
    Best possible finish: 2nd
    Worst possible finish: 7th
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Chiefs, home

    Blues:
    Current position: 6th
    Best possible finish: 2nd
    Worst possible finish: 7th
    Remaining match:
    May 16: v Hurricanes, home

    Chiefs:
    Current position: 7th
    Best possible finish: 3rd
    Worst possible finish: 7th
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Sharks, away

    Brumbies:
    Current position: 8th
    Best possible finish: 7th
    Worst possible finish: 10th
    Remaining match:
    May 16: v Force, away

    Western Force:
    Current position: 9th
    Best possible finish: 7th
    Worst possible finish: 10th
    Remaining match:
    May 16: v Brumbies, home


    Bulls:
    Current position: 10th
    Best possible finish: 8th
    Worst possible finish: 10th
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Cheetahs, away

    Reds:
    Current position: 11th
    Best possible finish: 11th
    Worst possible finish: 14th
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Waratahs, home

    Highlanders:
    Current position: 12th
    Best possible finish: 11th
    Worst possible finish: 14th
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Crusaders, away

    Cheetahs:
    Current position: 13th
    Best possible finish: 11th
    Worst possible finish: 14th
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Bulls, home

    Lions:
    Current position: 14th
    Best possible finish: 11th
    Worst possible finish: 14th
    Remaining match:
    May 17: v Stormers, home

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    Cheetahs (13th) and Bulls (9th) just play in a dead rubber but higher placed Force (8th) and Brumbies (7th) are "also rans"
    Those funky SA journo's

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