2011 Super Rugby (Super 15) thread

APoc184

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First match kicks off on 18 February with an all new format being used.

If you do not understand the new format: READ HERE

2011 Fixtures




 
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APoc184

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Explanation of the new format.

http://www.rugby15.co.za/2011/01/2011-super-rugby-format-explained/

The addition of the Melbourne Rebels to the competition means each country in the SANZAR alliance (Australia, New Zealand & South Africa) now has a total of five teams representing them in the competition.

In one of three big changes the total of 15 teams are now split into three separate conferences, which can in a sense be seen as three different pools. Each conference is made up by the five teams from each different country.
*The Australian Conference consists of the following teams: Brumbies, Reds, Waratahs, Western Force and the newly added Rebels
*The New Zealand Conference consists of the following teams: Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders and the Hurricanes
*The South African Conference consists of the following teams: Bulls, Cheetahs, Lions, Sharks, and the Stormers.

In the round-robin stage of the tournament, the focus shifts to the individual conferences, in other words, the local derbies with each team playing the other four teams in their conference twice during the round-robin stage on a Home and Away basis. This makes up a total of eight local derbies for each team.
Example 1: The Cheetahs will play the Bulls, Stormers, Lions and Sharks at home in Bloemfontein and then have to travel to Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town to face each of those teams again.
Example 2: The Crusaders will do battle against the Blues, Chiefs, Highlanders and Hurricanes at home in Christchurch and then make the trip to Auckland, Hamilton, Otago and Wellington to do battle with them again.

In addition to the local matches, each team will face only four teams from the other two conferences, bringing the total of round-robin matches played by each team to 16.
Example 1: The Cheetahs will face the Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies and Rebels from the AUS Conference and then face the Hurricanes, Crusaders, Blues and Highlanders from the NZ Conference. This means the Cheetahs will not face Western Force from AUS or the Chiefs from NZ during this year’s round-robin stage.
Example 2: The Crusaders will face the Waratahs, Brumbies, Western Force and Reds from the AUS Conference and then go on to face the Sharks, Bulls, Stormers and Cheetahs from the SA Conference. This in turn means that the Crusaders won’t have to face the Rebels from AUS or the Lions from SA during the round-robin stage.
This in turn means that every team will play only four matches abroad unlike previous years where some teams had to travel for up to 7 weeks abroad. All teams will play 12 of their 16 round-robin matches on home soil.

In probably the biggest change of the tournament, the play-off teams are increased from four to six and where the play-offs were usually stretched over a two week period it now stretches over three weeks.

The team that tops the table from each individual conference will advance to the play-off stage of the tournament. This means that at least one team from each country will be involved in the play-offs and each country will host at least one play-off match.
The other three teams to qualify will be the sides with the most number of competition points, regardless of which Conference they are based in. In other words, if you view all teams and their accumulated points in a log format the top three teams based on points will advance together with the conference winners to make up the six teams to compete in the play-offs.

If you now put these six teams and their competition points into their own log, the top two teams will have a bye during the first week of play-offs and also earn themselves automatic spots in the Semi-Finals. Both of these teams will host a Semi-Final at home.
The other four teams will begin the play-offs with the 3rd placed team doing battle against the 6th placed, and in the other match the 4th placed team will face the 5th placed. The winners of these two matches will go on to face the two teams that have already secured Semi-Final spots.

Example:
After all round-robin matches have been completed the Waratahs from the AUS Conference, Crusaders from the NZ Conference and Stormers from the SA Conference all move on to the play-offs because the topped their conference points tables.
With three teams already in the play-offs, the Chiefs, Hurricanes and Sharks make up the final three teams because they have the most competition points after the conference winners.
With only six teams left the log will now look like this:
1. Crusaders
2. Stormers
3. Chiefs (Secure the 3rd position because they earned more log points than the Waratahs)
4. Waratahs
5. Hurricanes
6. Sharks

This means the Crusaders and Stormers will sit out the first week of play-offs while the following two knock-out matches will take place to decide the other Semi-Finalists.
* Knock-out match 1: Chiefs vs Sharks – Otago
* Knock-out match 2: Waratahs vs Hurricanes – Sydney

With the Sharks and the Waratahs winning their matches they now move on to the following Semi-Finals:
* Semi-Final 1: Crusaders(1st) vs Sharks(4th) – Christchurch
* Semi-Final 2: Stormers(2nd) vs Waratahs (3rd) – Cape Town

With the Stormers and Sharks winning their matches the final will now look like this:
* Final: Stormers vs Sharks – Cape Town

A short summary of the new format:

* 15 Teams – Five from each of the SANZAR countries
* Teams are split into three separate conferences based on nationality
* Each team will face their four “local” rivals two times (Home & Away)
* Each team will face four teams from each of the other two countries
* Each team will skip one team from the other two conferences
* Six teams advance to the play-offs stretching over three weeks
* The three teams topping their conference logs will advance to the play-offs
* The three teams with the most points will secure the other three play-off spots
* The two top teams automatically earn Home Semi-Final spots
* Other four teams play in a knock-out round to decide the other Semi-Finalists
* Semi-Finals and Finals take place as usual
 
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APoc184

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Warm-up matches

Most teams completed pre-season training camps this December and will now all play warm-up matches before the tournament kicks off in February

The Sharks, Lions and Stormers will use the Neo Africa Tri-Series as warm-up.

Fixtures are as follow:
Friday 28 January: DHL Stormers vs. Lions (19h00 kick off)
Tuesday 1 February: Lions vs. Sharks (19h00 kick off)
Saturday 5 February: DHL Stormers vs. Sharks (17h00 kick off)

The Cheetahs will warm up against the Griffons on 28 January and then the EP Kings on 5 February.

Will add the Bulls warm-up matches as soon as I can find out against who they will play.
 

MickeyD

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Thanks, APoc84, great thread to start the 2011 SupeRugby season!! I'll also look/ask around for the other friendlies.
 

phoneJunky

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This format is really very confusing, will see how it pans out.
 

phoneJunky

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No I understand how it works. It just feels like a stronger team might loose out using this method.
 

McT

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@ APoc84, was just thinking that a thread for 2011 S15 should be kick-started and if you would be kind enough to get it going. So lekker, mate, and well done for this thread. :D

Maybe you could get a post on the first page with the results by week etc. Apart from McD, you're the most enthusiastic Rugby fan in these hallowed forums ;)

I am looking forward to the new season. Really concerned about the amount of rugby to be played this year, especially ahead of the WC in NZ. @ pJ, yeah the new format is a wee bit confusing, but reckon there will be a lot of emphasis on making sure that the viewers on SuperSport, etc will be well educated (or at least I hope so).

Pinning my hopes on The Sharks for a semi-final this year. Hopefully they can avoid the slow start they got in S14 2010.
 

The Source

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Yup, the NFL uses a similar system. The Seattle Seahawks won 7 and lost 9 but still made the playoffs while the NY Giants won 10 and didn't make the playoffs. I think something like this could happen in this new S15 format. However imo this format works considering that a team plays twice against the other teams in its conference and only once against 8 of the other 10. It thus makes sense - to me anyway - that the conference winners qualify for the playoffs. Plus, each country is guaranteed to host at least one playoff match and I believe that this will retain interest in the competition for another week and thus improve the commercial viability of the competition in all three countries.
 

APoc184

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@ APoc84, was just thinking that a thread for 2011 S15 should be kick-started and if you would be kind enough to get it going. So lekker, mate, and well done for this thread. :D

Maybe you could get a post on the first page with the results by week etc. Apart from McD, you're the most enthusiastic Rugby fan in these hallowed forums ;)

I am looking forward to the new season. Really concerned about the amount of rugby to be played this year, especially ahead of the WC in NZ. @ pJ, yeah the new format is a wee bit confusing, but reckon there will be a lot of emphasis on making sure that the viewers on SuperSport, etc will be well educated (or at least I hope so).

Pinning my hopes on The Sharks for a semi-final this year. Hopefully they can avoid the slow start they got in S14 2010.
Thanks mate.

I really wish I had more time to spend on the forums. But alas, work and the rugby journalism(hobby) keeps me pretty busy sometimes.

Good idea about the results. I will use the first or third post in this thread and update it with results each weekend. Please remind me if it slips my mind.

Regarding the new format. It is indeed a bit confusing at first but the more I look at it the more I seem to like it. Purely because all teams have an equal amount of Home and Away games now.
No longer will the SA teams be disadvantaged with 7 week trips overseas and the NZ/AUS teams with only 4 weeks in South Africa.
I also like the fact that there are six teams in the "finals" and that the top 2 teams earn the right to host home semis because they worked hard during the season while the other four teams have to battle it out for the other two spots. A lot of time the log is so close and we say: "All of the top 6 teams deserved a play-off spot".
Well now we have it.
 

cr@zydude

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Most teams completed pre-season training camps this December and will now all play warm-up matches before the tournament kicks off in February

The Sharks, Lions and Stormers will use the Neo Africa Tri-Series as warm-up.

Fixtures are as follow:
Friday 28 January: DHL Stormers vs. Lions (19h00 kick off)
Tuesday 1 February: Lions vs. Sharks (19h00 kick off)
Saturday 5 February: DHL Stormers vs. Sharks (17h00 kick off)

The Cheetahs will warm up against the Griffons on 28 January and then the EP Kings on 5 February.

Will add the Bulls warm-up matches as soon as I can find out against who they will play.
The Southern Kings (franchise) are involved in the warm up matches. The EP kings are the union based team. The Southern Kings play the Bulls on 29 January, the (Central) Cheetahs on 5 February and the Lions on 11 or 12 February. All matches are sheduled for PE's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
 

APoc184

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The Southern Kings (franchise) are involved in the warm up matches. The EP kings are the union based team. The Southern Kings play the Bulls on 29 January, the (Central) Cheetahs on 5 February and the Lions on 11 or 12 February. All matches are sheduled for PE's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Ahh... Thanks for the correction. I'm still stuck in Currie Cup mode.
 

Chris_the_Brit

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The amount of rugby that is going to be played is a bit ridiculous - starting at the height of summer is already stupid enough...but playing until early July (mid-winter) is incredible.
 

APoc184

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Player movements

Just from the top of my head. Players that are moving to other franchises

Cheetahs
Philip Burger is back from Perpignan, France.
Wilhelm Steenkamp from Bulls
Andries Strauss from Sharks
Morgan Newman from Stormers
Ryno Benjamin from Lions/Bok Sevens
Fabian Juries from Stormers (Griquas)
Earl Rose from Lions (Griquas) - He has already been omitted from the training group (But with injuries you never know what will happen)

Sharks
Meyer Bosman from Cheetahs
Conrad Hoffman from Stormers
Jacques-Louis Potgieter from Bulls
Tian Meyer from Pumas - But reportedly only for the Super Rugby season. He will return to Witbank for the Currie Cup.

Lions
Lionel Mapoe from Sharks/Cheetahs - Who knows?????
Rory Kockott from Sharks
Bandise Maku from Bulls
Patrick Cilliers from Sharks
Michael Rhodes from Sharks
Andre Pretorius from Sharks
** Butch James from Bath, England (Possible but not official)
** Beast Mtawarira from Sharks (Possible but not official) - Confirmed 05/01/2011 that he will remain in Durban.

Stormers
CJ van der Linde from Cheetahs
Erm... I really don't know of any other. Tell me and I will add them.

Bulls
Bjorn Basson from Griquas (Pretty useless now that both drug tests came back positive along with Chilliboy) (Waiting for SARU investigation to finish before they will appear before a hearing)
* Bulls have a lot of junior players that came through the ranks and are now included in the Super Rugby squads. Marnus Schoeman, Cornell Hess and Marnitz Boshoff to name a few.

That is the players I know of. Let me know of others and I will add them.
 
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McT

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Yikes! :eek: so many players from The Sharks this year leaving :( and doesn't look like many imports replacing them.
 

APoc184

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Agreed. What the hell was wrong with the old format??
I can lie to you and say it is because there are 15 teams now and it would mean too much traveling and blah blah blah....

But the truth is:



They want to make more money and local derbies sell more tickets than the overseas games.
 

sand_man

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I can lie to you and say it is because there are 15 teams now and it would mean too much traveling and blah blah blah....

But the truth is:



They want to make more money and local derbies sell more tickets than the overseas games.
mmm... the root of all evil. Personally I prefer watching the games against international opposition. The competition, as a spectacle, loses something for me in this format. For one, simplicity..
 

cr@zydude

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I can lie to you and say it is because there are 15 teams now and it would mean too much traveling and blah blah blah....

But the truth is:



They want to make more money and local derbies sell more tickets than the overseas games.
I hope that the thread doesn't get derailed, but the other big factor is that Aus 'needed' a domestic competition. They don't have a national comp, and rugby union is not doing too well compared to rughy leage, Aussie rules and soccer over there. This new format gives them a domestic tournement.
 

phoneJunky

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The only local derbies that I am generally considering buying a ticket is for Stormers vs Bulls and Stormers vs Sharks. And I can only see the first one because of where I stay. I am actually more interrested to see any SA team play against the Crusaders (Maybe not any SA team but the big 3 mentioned in my first sentence) just to measure the teams as they are still my benchmark team for international franchises.
 
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