Here we are, in the ultimate week of the round robin, and some things are looking fairly familiar.
Firstly the mighty Crusaders are in the top 4; no one’s surprised yet I hope. They had their dodgy moments along the way, but they have done more than enough to keep their "last season’s champions" tag.
The Brumbies have surged into 4th this week; again this wouldn’t have surprised too many people. It’s bloody typical that they come into form just before the Crusaders play them at home!
On the other hand
Recent history suggests this is a major achievement. Although if you recall the first 3 years of Super 12 it isn’t so surprising that they have finally come back to the top of the pile. Where have you guys been for 4 years?
Even more amazing, the Canes are not only in the top 4 (which is astonishing enough) but they have a guaranteed semi spot!
How many years have we trotted out the “look good on paper” cliché – one that the ‘Canes have given an entirely new negative meaning to, quite frankly! Maybe next year we will be able to retire it?
Even a top 4 place is excellent when you look at these guys’s history.
As with most years there are 3 other teams poised for a chance to snatch the 4th spot: Highlanders, Waratahs and Bulls.
The Bulls!?!?! What are they doing at this end of the table? Just as well they are used to living at altitude!
Ok, the Bulls making the top 4 is an outside chance, but when you look at the games in the final round, you could be forgiven for thinking that the gods of rugby have been rubbing their hands with glee in planning week 12.
There are so many games that mean so much to so many!
Firstly the top 4 play each other: Blues vs Canes (1st plays 3rd), and Crusaders vs Brumbies (2nd plays 4th).
The Blues are sure of a home semi, but the Canes can snatch one off the R&Bs by winning. The Crusaders really need to keep a roll on, however the Brumbies need a minimum of 2 bonus points for a chance to stay in the semis.
And just to keep things nice and cosy warm for the Horseys, the next 3 on the table all play lower ranked teams this weekend: Highlanders vs Reds (5th plays 8th), Waratahs vs Chiefs (6th plays 9th), Bulls vs Sharks (7th plays 11th).
So what do you think the chances are of all three winning?
The real question is which teams will score bonus points? DH (or a statistician) would have an excitement seizure at the possible final standings!
Let’s just say that if you can pick the final standings of the table, you should buy yourself a lotto ticket. But don’t expect it to win because you will have already used up all your luck for the year!
There are a number of other strange things that I could expound on, but I will save them for Nathan’s Super 12 wrap-up (huh ?-).
Just one strange coincidence, the Super 12 final weekend is played on the final weekend of the English Premier football (soccer) season.
If I didn’t know better I would think that Rupert Murdock had planned a special boys-own sports weekend.
Nice of him to invite the rest of us! Enjoy!
Go the Crusaders!!!!!