SANZAR has appointed the referees for Saturday’s Semi-Finals. Jaco Peyper will referee in Sydney, Glen Jackson in Christchurch.
The Crusaders are the only team that played in the 2013 Semi-Finals.
In 2013 the referees for the Semi-Finals were Steve Walsh for the Chiefs vs Crusaders and Craig Joubert for the Vodacom Bulls vs the Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld.
In 2013 Peyper and Jackson were both involved in the Play-Off’s – Peyper for Crusaders vs Reds and Jackson for the Brumbies vs Toyota Cheetahs.
A decision on Super Rugby’s Asian expansion could require mediation, with Australia and South Africa expected to butt heads over whether Singapore or Japan gains inclusion.
Earlier this month, Fairfax Media revealed expressions of interest from both, and SANZAR confirmed yesterday that Singapore and Japan submitted the only bids for the 18th team to join an Argentinian side and South Africa’s Southern Kings from 2016.
Now those bids have been lodged with SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters, both will have their respective business cases, broadcast revenue potential and competitiveness assessed before a final decision is reached. Additional teams will need around $10 million per year to cover travel, wages and other expenses.
The 2014 Super Rugby season is slowly drawing to a close and tomorrow sees the two Play-Off matches in the form of a Qualifying Round. Tomorrow’s victorious teams will qualify for the right to play in the Semi-Finals.
The only certainty is that the Crusaders and the Waratahs will be hosting those Semi-Finals, but against whom, and what happens after that?
There are multiple scenarios and permutations that could come into play.
3 Weekends of Super Rugby remain in 2014, this weekend’s Play-Off Round, the Semi-Final Weekend and the Final the week thereafter.
The Final takes place on 2 August 2014.
If you are a Sharks fan:
Your team qualified 3rd on the Combined Log.
They’re up against the Highlanders in Durban, on Saturday night.
- If the Sharks win, then they travel to Christchurch to take on the Crusaders in the one Semi-Final.
- If the Sharks beat the Crusaders and the Waratahs beat the Brumbies, the Sharks travel to Sydney to take on the Waratahs.
- The Sharks can host the Final if they beat the Crusaders and the Brumbies beat the Waratahs.
It is the Play-Off Round of Super Rugby 2014 this weekend! We have only the 2 Play-Off games in this Round, as all teams below Log position 6 has now been dispatched and the Top 2 teams have a nice rest weekend, with both games on Saturday.
This is the final crunch to sort the men from the boys, to sort the teams going forward into the Semi-Finals.
The Waratahs and Crusaders sit comfortably at the Top of the table and the Brumbies, Chiefs, Cell C Sharks and Highlanders compete in this Round.
It is winners take all in these Play-Off games, the losers joing the other 9 Teams who have already been dispatched to also-ran’s.
Bonus points for tries and losses within 7 now does not matter anymore, all that is needed is a win.
Let the games continue….
As we head into the Super Rugby Finals Series, here is an overview of what happens should the scores be level at full time in any of our remaining matches.
(a) Extra Time – the procedure will be:
After a five minute rest period, the extra time is played in two 10-minute periods with a two minute half time;
Before extra time begins, the referee will do a coin toss with the two captains one minute before the new kick-off. The winner of the coin toss decides if his team wants to kick-off or if his team wants to choose the side of the pitch it wants to play on for the first 10 minute period;
For the second 10 minute period, the teams change sides and the team that did not kick off in the first period does so;
Coaches are not permitted on the field during the rest period or half time.
Teams and match officials must remain on the field during the rest period and at half time.
Injury time is added to the two 10 minute periods.
Sanzar has announced that South Africa’s Craig Joubert and Steve Walsh from Australia will referee the two Vodacom Super Rugby Qualifiers this weekend.
Joubert will be the man in the middle in Canberra, where the Brumbies host the Chiefs, while Walsh will be in action in Durban in the second Qualifier between the Cell C Sharks and the Highlanders.
Like every fine season of Super Rugby, all is not revealed until the final weekend of the regular season, and the 2014 campaign, and 19th tournament overall of the Southern Hemisphere’s premier provincial competition, will be no different.
However congratulations must be offered to the Waratahs, who offered one piece of clarity over the weekend with their 44-16 win over the Highlanders.
With that, the Waratahs has for the first time qualified as the top-ranked team after the regular season, and become the ninth franchise in history to finish as ‘minor premiers’.
For coach Michael Cheika and his troops, this will be a significant fact even though he was quick to remind all who would listen that the Super Rugby Finals Series would be another step up for a team that looks the goods.
However, as Cheika correctly pointed out, there will be teams with more experience at this stage of the season and this is a crucial factor for potential champions.
Japan coach Eddie Jones says it’s a joke that Singapore could be given a team in an expanded Super Rugby competition.
From 2018, the competition will feature 18 teams, with South Africa’s Southern Kings, an Argentine team, and a yet-to-be confirmed side added to the mix.
Recent reports indicated that Singapore has leapt to the front of the queue as the favourite to get the 18th franchise.
Jones, via a column on the Courier Mail website, said Japan should get the 18th franchise.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for the last Open Round of Super Rugby 2014, Round 19.
Glen Jackson starts the weekend off when the Blues host the Chiefs at Eden Park, Auckland.
This weekend sees 7 games, 3 on Friday and 4 on Saturday.
The Hurricanes have a BYE weekend.
Singapore has emerged as the leading candidate to host the 18th Super Rugby team when the tournament expands in 2016.
SANZAR confirmed last week that the two leading locations for the 18th team that will play in the South African group are Singapore and Japan.
According to reports South Africa have flexed their muscle and pushed Singapore into the lead as the location is far more accesible than Japan.
South African teams will have to travel to Singapore or Japan to play some of their matches and currently there are no direct flights from South Africa to Japan.
It is Round 18 of Super Rugby 2014 this weekend, the first Round after the June Test break! We have 7 games in Round 18, with 2 game on Friday, 4 games on Saturday and 1 game on Sunday.
All the sides from South Africa are back in action this weekend, after sitting out last weekend when the Antipodian sides played a Round on their own to counter the fact that the South African Conference started a week early in February.
The Logs are finally reflecting the true position of the 15 sides relative to one another and in the process the Sharks have dropped 1 place on the standing after a rampant Waratahs side bullied the Brumbies to atke a 3-point lad on the Combined Log.
The Brumbies have a Bye weekend.
After this Round of games, there is only 1 Open Round left in Super Rugby in 2014, next weekend, after which the final 6 teams to continue into the Play-Off’s will have been decided. Teams who do not make the Play-Off’s will be done and dusted with this year’s competition.
With the June International Test Window now a thing of the past, the teams can once again throw their full weight into Super Rugby.
This is the stage where some results are becoming critical and where certain sides can open up doors for themselves, whilst burrying some of those teams around and in close proximity to them on the Logs.
Let the games continue….
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 18 of Super Rugby 2014.
Nick Briant starts the action at Waikato Stadium when the Chiefs host the Hurricanes on Friday at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 07:35 GMT) .
This weekend sees 7 matches, with 2 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1 game on Sunday.
The Brumbies have a BYE weekend.
After this Round, a full 113 matches would already have been played in Super Rugby 2014.
We run through some key players that went down in action during the June Internationals for Southern Hemisphere nations, that might impact some team’s Super Rugby chances.
South Africa and Australia are severely hit but things look a lot better for the New Zealand Franchises.
It is fast heading to crunch time in Super Rugby, with Round 17 on this weekend. The South African sides are of course excluded from Round 17 due to the fact that they started a week earlier than their Antipodian counterparts.
Including Round 17, there are only 3 weeks of the open Rounds left, before the weekend of Play-Off games ensue for the Top 6 Super Rugby sides and the margins for error is so small, specially for those Franchises still on the fringes of making the Play-Off’s.
After the 2 Play-Off games, featuring No 3 against No 6 and No 4 against No 5, there is one weekend of Semi-Finals (2 games) and a week later the Final.
SANZAR on Friday said it will immediately introduce a strengthened concussion test for players in Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship in line with moves made by the International Rugby Board.
SANZAR, which runs the Super Rugby competition and the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, said player welfare was paramount.
It is Round 17 of Super Rugby 2014 this weekend, the first Round after the June Test break! We have 5 games in Round 17, with 2 game on Friday and 3 games on Saturday.
All 5 the South African sides sits out this weekend, still in the last week of their June Test window, however this at the same time makes up for the fact that the South African sides started a week earlier than the rest in February.
After this Round it will mean that the Antipodian teams will have caught up in played games with the South African counterparts.
As a result, the Logs and Combined Log will no longer be skewed and will reflect a much more accurate accont of the Super Rugby season thus far.
One has to question why individual countries are allowed to start such a long competition ahead of it’s rivals. In 2013 the Australian sides started a week early, but at least they had the excuse that they needed an extra week in the middle of the year to prepare for the British & Irish Lions series, which they lost.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 17 of Super Rugby 2014.
Garratt Williamson starts the action in Dunedin when the Highlanders host local rivals the Chiefs.
This weekend sees 5 games, with 2 on Friday and 3 on Saturday.
All 5 the South African Franchises sit out this weekend, after they started a week early in February.
After completion of this Round, the Logs will be put in proper perspective, with Conferences on the same number of WEEKS in the 2014 competition.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 16 of Super Rugby 2014.
Mike Fraser starts the weekend’s action in Christchurch when the Crusaders host the Western Force.
This weekend sees 7 matches, with 2 games on Friday and 5 on Saturday.
The Toyota Cheetahs have a BYE weekend.
Following agreement between the parties, the Misconduct hearing against James Horwill was brought forward to Monday 26 May.
The Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton Hampton QC accepted a guilty plea from Mr Horwill of the Reds on one count of Misconduct brought against him by SANZAR.
The complaint related to comments, ” … once again we were robbed by a stupid refereeing decision,” made by Mr Horwill during an on-field post-match interview following the Reds v Rebels match played at Suncorp Stadium on 17 May 2014 that breached Section 8.3 (3) of the SANZAR Code of Conduct, which reads as follows:
It is Round 15 of Super Rugby 2014 this weekend! We have 7 games in Round 15, with 3 game on Friday and 4 games on Saturday.
The Reds have a BYE weekend.
In June / July 2014 the Antipodian teams will catch up in played games with the South African counterparts, when the South African sides sit out for 1 Round.
The Combined Log will therefore be skewed for the majority of the competition and one has to question why individual countries are allowed to start such a long competition ahead of it’s rivals. In 2013 the Australian sides started a week early, but at least they had the excuse that they needed an extra week in the middle of the year to prepare for the British & Irish Lions series, which they lost.
Saturday’s three Vodacom Super Rugby matches involving the Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers and Toyota Cheetahs ended in a whitewash for the South African teams as they all recorded good victories.
The Cell C Sharks consolidated their spot at the top of the Vodacom Super Rugby log with a superb 30-25 victory over the in-form Crusaders in Christchurch – the first defeat for the team from Canterbury in New Zealand since 2001 against South African opposition and also the maiden victory for a team from the Republic in the Land of the Long White Cloud this season.
The Durbanites became the first South African team to ever in Christchurch since the franchise system was put in place in 1998.
It was only the second time a SA team managed to beat the Crusaders in Christchurch, when Northern Transvaal won there in 1996, and the third time out of 46 matches that the seven-time Vodacom Super Rugby champions lost at home to a team from the Republic – the Cats beat the Crusaders in Nelson in 2001.
The Crusaders also drew twice at home to teams from South Africa in the early years of Super 12, in 1996 against Western Province and in 1997 against the Sharks.
Later on Saturday afternoon, the DHL Stormers won their third successive home game of 2014 when they easily beat the high-flying Force by 24-8 in Cape Town, outscoring their visitors by three tries to one – ironically the same try count as in the Sharks/Crusaders match.
Saturday ended in ecstasy for the Toyota Cheetahs as they managed to beat the Brumbies for the first time since 2011 when they won this replay of their 2013 qualifier by 27-21, thanks mainly to a very good second half performance.
On Sunday morning, the Lions started very well against the Waratahs in Sydney, but the home team had too much left in the second half and eventually won this match by 41-13.
The Vodacom Bulls, currently second in the South African Conference behind the Cell C Sharks, had a bye this weekend.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 14 of Super Rugby 2014.
Garratt Williamson starts the weekend action in Wellington when the Hurricanes plays the Highlanders.
This weekend sees 6 matches, with 1 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.
The Blues, Vodacom Bulls and the Chiefs have BYE weekends.
The newest addition to Vodacom Super Rugby in 2016 will not be a team of “mercenaries” put together with a big budget.
That’s the word of Sanzar chief executive Greg Peters, who said the 18th team that will go out to tender to join the Southern Hemisphere competition will need to be sustainable, and have the support of the market it bases itself in.
So far Sanzar has received interest from Spain, Singapore, Japan and the USA, but it is doubtful if any of these countries could put together a team that could be competitive over 17 weeks of the competition in 2016.
The reluctance of the Home Unions to come to the party is what is preventing a more acceptable global season to be implemented.
It has long been suggested that the selfish nature of Home Union officials – those from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland – has been at the heart of the troubled and scattered international and domestic calendars.
SANZAR has released the names of the Match Officials for Round 13 of Super Rugby 2014.
We see 7 games this weekend, with 2 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.
Mike Frazer strats the weekend action in the game between the Chiefs and Blues in New Plymouth.
The Waratahs have their BYE weekend.
Following last week’s announcement of the new Super Rugby format set to commence in 2016, SANZAR has started its global search for an 18th team.
Then expression of interest (EOI) pack was forwarded to known interested parties on Monday in what signifies the beginning of an exciting chapter that will find the new franchise to join the Kings and a team based in Argentina in the 2016 competition.
The new format is an evolution of the conference structure that was introduced in 2011, allowing for adaptation and expansion to deliver Super Rugby to new markets, fans and audiences as the world’s premier provincial competition.