Vodafone Super Rugby: What does your team need to do to make the playoffs?

Super Rugby
by RUGBY.com.au staff

This is one of the closest Super Rugby campaigns in recent memory with 12 teams still mathematically able to finish in the top eight.

Only the Crusaders, Brumbies, jaguares and Hurricanes are currently guaranteed to host quarter-finals but six of the eight playoff seedings are yet to be settled.

So what needs to transpire in the final round for your team to make it?

Should two teams finish on the same points, the ladder tie breakers are as follows:

1. Most wins

2. Season points difference

3. Most tries for the season

4. Season try difference

5. Con toss

THE CONTENDERS

CONFERENCE WINNERS

1. Crusaders - 58pts, 11 wins, 3 draws, 2 losses, +257 points differential

The Crusaders have a bye this weekend and that's almost the equivalent of actually playing when it comes to their finals chances. Cannot be dislodged from top spot, guaranteed to stay home for as long as they are in the competition.

Max points: 58 pts

Highest possible finish: 1st

Lowest possible finish: 1st

2. Jaguares - 46pts, 10 wins, 5 losses

The Jaguares have already guaranteed themselves a home quarter-final as the winners of the South African conference but their seeding could be affected based on final round results. To guarantee semi-final hosting rights they simply need to win.

If they win:

They will be no. 2 and have quarter-final and semi-final hosting rights.

If they draw:

The Brumbies would need a bonus-point win over the Reds by more than 16 points to push the Jaguares to third.

If they lose:

A Brumbies win would push the Jaguares to third.

Max Points: 51pts

Highest possible finish: 2nd

Lowest possible finish: 3rd

3. Brumbies - 43pts, 9 wins, 6 losses


The Brumbies' situation is similar to the Jaguares, with home semi-final rights on the line.

If they win:

And the Jaguares lose to the Sunwolves, the Brumbies finish second. If the Jaguares win, the Brumbies finish third overall.

If they lose:

They will finish third and host a quarter-final but be likely to travel should they make it through to week two.

Max Points: 48pts

Highest possible finish: 2nd

Lowest possible finish: 3rd

WILDCARDS

4. Hurricanes - 49 pts, 11wins, 3 losses

The Hurricanes are the best of the non-conference winners and they cannot be dislodged from that fourth position no matter the result this weekend.

Max points: 54 pts

Highest possible finish: 4th

Lowest possible finish: 4th

5. Bulls - 36 pts, 7 wins, 2 draws, 6 losses, +20 points differential

This is where things begin to get complicated. The Bulls will definitely be in the playoffs but they could finish anywhere between fifth and eighth depending on results.

If they win:

The Bulls will finish in fifth and face the Hurricanes in a quarter-final on the road.

If they draw:

And only one of the Stormers or Rebels win, the Bulls finish sixth and face either whoever finishes lower between the Brumbies and Jaguares away from home next week. If both the Stormers and Rebels win, the Bulls finish seventh and face whoever finishes higher between the Jaguares and Brumbies away from home.

If they lose

And don't get a bonus point, a Rebels win and anything but a draw between the Stormers and Sharks would see the Bulls slip to eighth and into a quarter-final against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Max Points: 41pts

Highest possible finish: 5th

Lowest possible finish: 8th

6. Lions - 35pts, 8 wins, 7 losses, -56 points differential

The Lions have a simple equation - win and they're in.

If they win:

They'll finish fifth and take on the Hurricanes in Wellington in their quarter-final next weekend.

If they lose:

They will miss the playoffs if the Rebels win or one of the Chiefs or Highlanders win with a bonus point.

Max Points: 40 pts

7. Stormers - 34pts, 7 wins, 1 draw, 7 losses, -19 points differential

The Stormers could finish anywhere between fifth and 10th, depending on the results in round 18.

If they get a bonus-point win:

A draw between the Bulls and Lions would put the Stormers fifth and set up a quarter-final against the Hurricanes in Wellington.

If they get a regulation win:

They can make the playoffs if the Lions and Bulls do not finish with a draw and the Rebels do not have a bonus-point win. This result would leave them in sixth and pit them against either the Jaguares or Brumbies.

If they draw:

They can finish eighth if the Lions take any points against the Bulls and the Rebels win against the Chiefs.

If they lose with a bonus point:

They can make playoffs if the Chiefs take a regulation win and neither the Highlanders or Waratahs take a bonus-point win.

If they lose without a bonus point:

They will miss the playoffs.

Max Points: 39pts

Highest possible finish: 6th

Lowest possible finish:  9th

8. Rebels - 34pts, 7 wins, 8 losses, -21 points differential


It's also "win and in" for the Rebels, with everything on the line in Friday night's clash against the Chiefs.

If they win:

And the Bulls draw with the Lions and the Sharks win or take a draw, the Rebels can finish fifth and will take on the Hurricanes in Wellington next weekend. They can also finish seventh, setting up a trip to Buenos Aires or Canberra next week, if the Bulls and the Stormers win.

If they draw:

They can finish seventh, setting up a quarter-final against either the Jaguares or Brumbies, if the Stormers either draw or win. The Rebels would miss the playoffs if the Sharks were to win.

If they lose with a bonus point:

They will need the Stormers to win or draw to keep them in the top eight. Any other result or a loss without any points would end the Rebels' chances of a maiden finals berth.

Max Points: 39 pts

Highest possible finish: 6th

Lowest possible finish: 11th

9. Sharks - 33pts, 6 wins, 1 draw, 8 losses, +5 points differential


This is yet another team with their destiny in their own hands, with a victory their key to a playoff spot.

If they get a bonus point win:

They could finish as high as fifth if they win by more than 15 points and the Bulls draw with the Lions and the Rebels either draw or lose. That would pit them against the Hurricanes in a quarter-final next weekend.

If they get a regulation win:

The Sharks will be relying on the Bulls and the Chiefs to win to secure sixth spot and a quarter-final against either the Jaguares or the Brumbies.

If they draw or lose:

The dream is over for the Sharks if they get anything but a win against the Stormers.

Max points: 38pts

Highest possible finish: 6th

Lowest possible finish: 11th

10. Chiefs - 31pts, 6 wins, 2 draws, 7 losses, -65 points difference

The Chiefs must clinch a bonus-point victory if they want to make it through to the final eight.

If they get a bonus-point win:

The Chiefs could finish in sixth if they beat the Rebels with a bonus point and by a margin greater than 46 points. That would put them up against the Jaguares or the Brumbies in week one of finals.

If they get a regulation win:

They will finish eighth if neither the Waratahs nor Highlanders takes a bonus-point win in their clash.

If they draw or lose:

The journey ends here.

Max Points: 36

Highest possible finish: 7th

Lowest possible finish: 13th

11. Highlanders - 31pts, 5 wins, 3 draws, 7 losses, +12 points difference

This is the part of the ladder where the ultimate fate of one team rests on other results.

If they take a bonus-point win:

The Highlanders can finish seventh, and set up a quarter-final against the Jaguares or Brumbies, if the Lions walk away without any points against the Bulls and the Chiefs take a regulation win over the Rebels.

If the Lions take any points, the Rebels win or the Chiefs take a bonus point, the Highlanders can not make the finals.

Max Points: 36

Highest possible finish: 7th

Lowest possible finish: 14th

12. Waratahs - 30 pts, 6 wins, 9 losses, -11PD 

The Waratahs are in an almost identical spot to the highlanders, waiting on other results to discover their own fate in 2019.

If they take a bonus-point win:

They can scrape into eighth if the Chiefs beat the Rebels without a bonus point.

Any other result means they will miss the top eight.

Max Points: 35

Highest possible finish: 8th

Lowest possible finish: 14th

The Blues, Reds and Sunwolves are the only teams who can definitely not make the playoffs.