Super Rugby Power Rankings: Week 11

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Another week, another Super Rugby round of New Zealand dominance.

It took 10 rounds but the four form teams of the competition are from across the ditch.

Here's how the lay of the Super Rugby land stands ahead of round 11.

1. Crusaders

If you fell from the skies moments before turning their clash with the Cheetahs on, you would not have guessed the Crusaders were the team that travelled halfway around the world this week.

Normal Super Rugby teams appear lethargic and somewhat sloppy in their first South African match of the year but this is no normal Super Rugby team.

Barely got out of first gear in easily accounting for the Cheetahs.

2. Hurricanes

Had the bye but the Chiefs hardly set the world on fire against the Sunwolves.

3. Chiefs

Still a true title contender but they rested the large majority of their starters and it showed against the Sunwolves.

They're back in action this week and a revived Reds side awaits.

4. Highlanders

The Highlanders are on a roll. Photo: Getty ImagesFive straight wins for the Highlanders and they really turned it up against the Stormers.

It was a blitz which showed just how good the NZ Conference is - the Stormers appeared to be a contender before they arrived on NZ shores.

They now head to South Africa and are every chance of notching two more wins against the Cheetahs and Bulls.

5. Lions

Overseas wins are worth their weight in gold but a team of the Lions' stature would have been disappointed with their output against the Force.

The jury is out on their overseas form and they will take part in the most intriguing match of the round when they face the Rebels.

6. Sharks

There's a clear gap between the top five teams and the ones below but the Sharks are shaping as the most viable challenger.

The Jaguares were good in this clash and it was a game that twisted and turned.

Consistency has been the problem here and they have a stretch of five very winnable games ahead - Force (H), Kings (A), Sunwolves (A), Stormers (H), Bulls (H) - let's see what they can do.

7. Stormers

Can the Stormers stop their slide? Photo: Getty ImagesSlumped to their third straight loss against the Highlanders.

If we use that as a form line, tonight's clash with the Hurricanes could get ugly.

8. Blues

The scoreline didn't quite reflect how much better they were than the Brumbies.

After being on the wrong end of so many close losses, they were due a tight win like this.

9. Brumbies

The Brumbies are struggling to string wins together. Photo: Getty ImagesSpeaking of tight losses - the Brumbies certainly know a thing or two about them.

Could have put the Australian Conference away with a win but the Tahs and Reds remain alive.

Need the bye before re-grouping.

10. Jaguares

Tough finding a team worthy of the 10 seed but the Reds couldn't stay here after falling short of the mark again.

The Jaguares look like their next win win is around the corner with the Sunwolves waiting and they were better last week against the Sharks.

11. Waratahs

Cam Clark and the Waratahs are back in business. Photo: Getty ImagesThe biggest jump in the Power Rankings this year.

A remarkable form turnaround considering the putrid performance they put up against the Kings.

Consistency is key for the Tahs and they have a chance to put two straight wins together for the first time this year against the Blues.

12. Reds

Another stint at Heartbreak Hotel for the Reds.

Should have, could have and would have beaten the Tahs on another day.

With Karmichael Hunt out, a minor miracle is required if they are to beat the Chiefs.

13. Kings

Super Rugby's most improved team.

The Rebels were without a halfback for 55 minutes but the second half was the Kings' strongest in many years.

Have a well deserved bye after a tough month.

14. Force

Matt Prior and the Force aren't in great touch. Photo: Getty ImagesA better team would have taken advantage of a Lions side off their game last weekend.

But there is a point where injuries simply cripple a team's ability to compete and that excuse is valid for the Force.

With so much top line talent out, beating the Sharks in Durban will be a supremely tall order.

15. Bulls

Had the bye.

16. Rebels

Being flogged by the Kings doesn't bode well for the remainder of the year.

They're a woeful team on the road and have similar injury excuses to their Perth rivals.

Their clash with the Lions will tell us plenty about both teams.

17. Sunwolves

They were in the clash with the Chiefs until the death but the fact that teams are resting their stars against them and still winning says it all.

Still second rate.

18. Cheetahs

Speaking of second rate... Six straight losses - some against sub par opposition - is enough to put you in last place on this ladder.