Rebels rated as Australia's best finals hope

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Rebels emerged as the team to beat in the Australian Conference with their win over the Brumbies and the numbers match the eye test, stamping Melbourne as a three in four chance of playing finals football.

According to analysis by Rugby Vision which simulates the remainder of the Super Rugby season, the Rebels are now a 61.9 percent chance of topping the Australian Conference and a 77 percent chance of playing finals football.

The analysis also gives Dave Wessels' side a 29.2 percent chance of reaching the semi-finals and a 7 percent chance of reaching the Super Rugby final.Dave Wessels' Rebels are rated a three in four chance of playing finals football. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyThe remarkable numbers are streets ahead of the rest of the Australian Conference, with the Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies and Sunwolves rated 20.4 percent, 9.6 percent, 8.2 percent and <0.1 percent chances of topping the conference, respectively.

As the Rebels have risen the Brumbies have fallen, though, currently rated Australia's least likely finals side with a 21.6 percent hope.

There is bad news for Sunwolves fans, too, rated a near certain 85.9% percent chance of claiming the wooden spoon despite some improved showings to start the year.

While those numbers are encouraging, the majority of the deep finals hopes through four rounds lie, predictably, in New Zealand.The Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders all have more than a 90 percent chance of playing finals football, per the analysis.

Together, Rugby Vision believe there is a 65 percent chance one of those three teams will feature in the Super Rugby final.

The Lions are the other major hope, with a 22.1 percent chance of reaching the big dance - the rest of the South African Conference given little to no hope of progressing deep into the finals.