Home Opinion SANZAAR fail yet again with Super Rugby 2018

SANZAAR fail yet again with Super Rugby 2018


Money may be making the world turn for SANZAAR but it certainly does not do it for the biggest shareholders in the game, the fans.

Yet again we had a Super Rugby year were one could not wait for it to finish.

Even after they kicked out the Kings, Force and Cheetahs SANZAAR still failed to get the turnstiles turning at the gates.

The format is not the only wrongs for SANZAAR as the officials have been the worst we have seen in years and we have seen some bad officials over the last few years.

Then there is the love affair with the Japanese side who yet again failed to be any kind of force or shown any kind of improvement.

At the end of the season they played 16 matches, won only 3 and have a negative points difference of 260.

Now anyone wants to come and tell me that is good for the game or this tournament that have long time lost it’s credentials of being able to be called Super Rugby.

It was an easy decision to cut the Cheetahs, Kings and Force last year but can someone at SANZAAR tell me if this tournament need a fifth New Zealand team that can only manage 4 wins from sixteen matches?

The problem starts and ends with the ridicules conference system.

In what world do you give teams that have only manage to win 9 matches out of sixteen home playoff matches when you have teams that will have to travel who won 11 and 10 matches the season.

Since when does sport not reward winning teams?

Since when does winning not give you the advantage in sport?

Someone said over social media last week that we have to watch 18 weeks of Super Rugby to reduce from 15 teams to 8 teams.

The Sharks who has finished in the last wild card position have less than 50% wins for the season but they can go and get a chance to beat a team in a once off who has won 14 out of 16 matches this season.

The chances are slimmer for the Sharks to beat the Crusaders at home than Hollywood forcing Trump to resign from office but why give such a team a one off opportunity in the first place?

Then you get the Waratahs who has won only 9 of their 16 matches this season hosting the Highlanders who won 10.

What a joke….

The Chiefs who are placed 5th in this conference system has more log points and wins than the Lions who are placed 2de and will have home quarter final and semi final if they go that far.

The Lions have won 9 of their 16 matches and the Chiefs have won 11, two more than the Lions.

If SANZAAR wants to keep naming this competition Super Rugby then they will have to make it a Super competition.

For one they need to get rid of this conference nonsense and go back to 12 teams.

New Zealand with four teams, South Africa with three teams, Australia with three teams, the Jaguares as the Argentinian side and they can keep their love-child the Sunwolves if they must.

Or better chuck the Sunwolves and get a Pacific Island team in the competition.

If they go back to a S12 competition, then maybe fans will again get behind this competition, but as it is now it will just further degrade until there is nothing left of SANZAAR.

If they really want to expand the game with the Sunwolves and other markets, then form a second league like in the European Championship.

They can have a relegation each year to move teams up if they are good enough.

If things are not going to change then I can see South Africa moving to the Northern neighbours and SANZAAR not having the money to sustain the competition.

The worst part is that Super Rugby will start loosing more and more fans and teams will play in front of empty stadiums.

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  1. In what world do you give teams that have only manage to win 9 matches out of sixteen home playoff matches when you have teams that will have to travel who won 11 and 10 matches the season.


    In fact every single major international sports event has some sort of conferencing system.

    Let us take FIFA as an example. They do not just clump together the best 32 teams in the world and hey presto off we go. If that happened teams like Iceland would never have made it to FIFA.

    They have an international conferencing system based on geography which ensures all geographic areas are represented.

    Enter SANZAR with the same idea.

    Let us ask this question the way FIFA answers it.

    Say we revert to your old single league system.

    At the end we have semifinals and finals.

    In most years the semis consist of four New Zealand sides… or three New Zealand sides and one Australian or South African one… or in rare events two Kiwi and two in a combination of South African and Australian sides.

    So guess what happens. Australian and South African viewers who contribute financially the most to SANZAR stop going to matches, stop buying apparel, stop supporting advertisers, stop watching television (the same as what is happening in SA cricket and soccer)…

    So when you carefully and realistically think about it then the idea of allowing regional conferences makes imminent sense so as to attract those who pay for rugby. Allow the South Africans and Australians and New Zealanders their own regional competition and draw the sides into conferences (just like almost every other major international sporting league does).

    Instead of spitting and hissing with awful grammar and messed up tenses… it makes sense when you reason out the thinking process.

    So to answer you question.

    The reason a side that wins 9/16 gets a home quarter final is for money. It is a professional era. Rugby needs money. Rugby survives on money. Rugby lives because of money. Like all capitalist ventures excluding money from rugby will literally kill it.

    And (in contrast to what some dribbling morons believe) WINNING puts bums on seats not pretty rugby.

    So when the 9/16 side wins its league and gets a home quarter… don’t ask

    “how can haf dis likes for happenink also too? It ‘re rong”

    Rather consider that the union represents a sizable chunk of SANZAAR income and winning a league at home gives it television prestige and sellability for sponsors and sponsor rights.

    It’s really are simply

  2. @DavidS: That was a brilliant post,

    But this is classic

    how can haf dis likes for happenink also too? It ‘re rong

    Learn to love the bunny, grammar and all

  3. @DavidS:

    Your reasoning is flawed. Think about it, the FIFA model you use as an example has regional conferences where there is no cross conference matches during the league phases. So you cannot compile a combined log. Super rugby do have cross conference games and as such there is a combined log leading to the discrepancies addressed it in this article.

  4. @Craven: although you are right, I still think conferences is the way to go. To me we should play it one of two ways.

    Firstly three conferences with as many teams as any conference wants, Aussie, SA and NZ. Top 2 from each conference goes on to play a round robin series and ultimately a final with a champion. Our conference can then be used to revive a dead Currie cup.

    Secondly and probably then we can scrap conferences, have two tiers of competition with automatic relegation of bottom two in top tier and promotion of top two in bottom tier. Super rugby can then expand to 20 teams, which allows pacific Islands teams and wherever else they want to expand to. This allows roughly equal amount of games across both tiers and will be played on a single round robin phase. This to me is the only way to keep expanding but also allow for strength vs strength. I don’t reckon the bottom tier will be watched less as it still gives the fan the opportunity to see his team face international opposition.

    Then there is the third option of disbanding SANZAAR and going up north.

  5. Following this website now for years, first time commenting:

    Suggest 16 teams, divided into 4 groups (for arguments sake A, B, C and D). Teams are drawn out of a hat just as FIFA draws the World Cup: Semi finalist of previous year are drawn first, one for each group. Then quarterfinal losers are drawn, one for each group, then the rest are drawn.

    Now you have 4 relatively equal strength groups with the luck of the draw.

    Now for the format:
    Each team will play a home and away game for each team in their group ( 6 games total)
    Then play 2 games away and 2 at home against another group: For example Group A teams will play against Group B and Group C will play against Group D.

    Top two teams of each group go through to Quarters, then semis and Finals. Total games the winner will play is 13. Is it going to 100% fair. No, because unless it is round robin you will not face everyone. The point is to have less games for player well fare and secondly the longer the greater players last due to injury/player management the better the quality of rugby.

    The exciting part is the luck of the draw, there is bound to be a group of death. Play off rugby where anything can happen (but at least in this case it is fair in that the top two teams are going through). If there is 5 NZ teams then there will be at least 3 teams from either Aus/Arg/SA and Japan.

    Perhaps in this format a strength versus strength scenario will at least push our teams to perform perhaps better due to more exposure to NZ teams, and not the rubbish we are seeing now.

  6. Just to add as well, this will give the international teams more time to prepare for the international season and give our teams more time to actually play Currie cup as everything is shortened.

    Bar the numerous other things we can mention what has gone wrong with SA rugby. We need to strengthen the Currie cup again with Springboks playing to grow the youngsters, draw the crowds, get some gate money going etc…

  7. @Craven:

    NET FIFA uit al my voorbeelde en nou is my beredenering verkeerd… tsek man! Kry jou feite reg. Jy het NET FIFA aangehaal en toe is jy sommer met hom verkeerd.

    In MLB en NFL en NHL en NBA gebruik almal kruis konferensie kompetisies.

    En re FIFA verkeerd.

    Tydens die area konferensies word daar uitspeel wedstryde BUITE die konferensies gespeel vir wildcard entries. Selfs WR gebruik so stelsel waar wenners van verskillende laer geklassifiseerde lande in kruis liga formaat teen mekaar speel om te bepaal wie gaan world cup toe.

  8. I think SR has run its course like the AFCON Club champs and the Copa America Club champs

    We should join European leagues and get POUNDS for our boys…

    Leave the dumb Kiwis who just made a law saying all pro sports players must be paid the same regardless of gender…

  9. @Diffie:

    Certainly better than the current system but still I want to see a single round competition… I actually agree with Voldermort on this… albeit he doesn’t give a total solution. https://www.sport24.co.za/Columnists/MarkKeohane/3-super-rugby-franchises-the-way-forward-for-sa-20180705

    Hey Jacques as an aside and as bad as the Blue have been… you can bet any side that has had to play four New Zealand sides twice is going to look pretty bad on the over all log.

  10. NZ got, without doubt, probably the most pro system of team sport anywhere. A country of 3 million totally dominates the game.

  11. @DavidS:

    The FIFA case was the one YOU expanded on and used as an example, not any of the others, why cry now that I picked up on it that is was a flawed example? Over reacting much?

  12. @Aldo:

    I like your idea of the conference round substituting for a domestic competition and the having round robin cross conference games with the top teams from each conference.

    I think this proposal has merit and something along these lines needs to be looked at.

  13. @DavidS:

    To add, even with wildcard entries you do NOT have a COMBINED LOG which is the reason for the complaints, so your reasoning is still flawed.

  14. @Craven:

    And I just saw the combined log for SR…

    Even without the conference system the same teams would have made the play offs…

    Thanks for trying to match intellects

    I was not crying re FIFA… I called you out for picking ONE example that did not exactly fit showed it was relevant despite your ONE little nitpick objection … cherrypicking is a coward’s way out…. straw man straw man.

    Just admit you are wrong

    Using UEFA

    Each league gets certain qualifiers. Some years Bundesliga is strongest, other times La Liga, other times France and Italy and England and Holland… yet teams from Iceland and Norway and Latvia and Slovenia get to qualify over those teams. For instance the fourth placed Spanish side would kick the ass of any side from Slovenia… yet the Slovenes get a club into UEFA. Everyone nows and understands the system and the requirements… it’s no use whining afterwards because the system rendered what you consider unfair results after you agreed to the system.

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