Super Rugby Pacific Finals permutations: Brumbies hunt for top as four sides fight for final spot

Sun, May 26, 2024, 5:01 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Match Highlights: Round 14 v Rebels

With the penultimate round of Super Rugby Pacific in the books, there is still plenty of unknown around the make-up of the finals heading into next week.

What we do know is the Queensland Reds will travel to Hamilton to face the Chiefs after Clayton McMillian’s side went down to the Hurricanes in the final minutes on Friday.

Catch every game of Super Rugby Pacific LIVE, ad-free and on demand on Stan Sport.

Outside of that? It’s anyone’s guess after a wild round of action.

The Crusaders’ 29-26 win over the Blues has had major ramifications at the top and bottom of the ladder as the defending champions kept their defence alive.

It pushed them into tenth position, tied on points with the Western Force, who were thumped by the Reds, but behind on the tiebreaker (most wins).

Rob Penney’s side will face Moana Pasifika to open the round, who kept their own finals dream alive with a victory over the NSW Waratahs to hand them last position.

The Force will know their finals fate by the time they take the field on Saturday against the Brumbies in Perth. All three chasing sides will be hoping the Rebels can defeat the Drua to open the door for them to strike.

Meanwhile, Stephen Larkham’s side were one of the biggest winners out of the weekend as they gained ground on both the Blues and Hurricanes.

They produced a clinical performance to claim maximum points against the Melbourne Rebels, with the Rebels locked into their maiden finals after the Force's defeat.  

The Auckland-based side holds onto top spot on points difference but faces the Chiefs in a potential semi-final preview.

A second consecutive defeat could see them suddenly drop to third, with the Brumbies needing a Hurricanes loss on top of this to secure an unlikely minor premiership.

The Hurricanes just need a win over the Highlanders and a Blues defeat to ensure the finals go through Wellington and claim the minor premiership.

Round 15 Fixtures

*All times AEST

Friday, May 31: Crusaders v Moana Pasifika, Apollo Projects Stadium, Christchurch (5:05 pm)

Friday, May 31: NSW Waratahs v Queensland Reds, Allianz Stadium, Sydney (7:35 pm)

Saturday, June 1: Fijian Drua v Melbourne Rebels, Churchill Park, Lautoka (12:05 pm)

Saturday, June 1: Hurricanes v Highlanders, Sky Stadium, Wellington (2:35 pm)

Saturday, June 1: Blues v Chiefs, Eden Park, Auckland (5:05 pm)

Saturday, June 1: Western Force v ACT Brumbies, HBF Park, Perth (7:35 pm)

Each team’s best and worst case finish
1st - Blues

Current: 51 points, +241 points difference with 11 wins

Best: First (Win v Chiefs)

Worst: Third (Loss v Chiefs and Hurricanes/Brumbies wins)

2nd -  Hurricanes

Current: 51 points, +172 points difference with 11 wins

Best: First (Win v Highlanders and Blues loss)

Worst: Third (Loss v Highlanders and Brumbies win)

3rd - ACT Brumbies 

Current: 48 points, +94 points difference with 11 wins

Best: First (Win v Force and Blues/Hurricanes defeat)

Worst: Third (Brumbies, Blues and Hurricanes Win or Brumbies defeat)

4th - Chiefs 

Current: 43 points, +189 points difference with nine wins

Best/Worst: Fourth

5th  - Queensland Reds

Current: 36 points, +103 points difference with seven wins

Best/Worst: Fifth

6th - Highlanders

Current: 28 points, -70 points difference with six wins

Best: Sixth (Win v Hurricanes or Rebels loss v Drua)

Worst: Seventh (Loss v Hurricanes, Rebels win v Drua)

7th - Melbourne Rebels

Current: 26 points, -126 points difference with five wins

Best: Sixth (Win v Drua, Highlanders loss v Hurricanes)

Worst: Eighth (Loss v Drua with Drua getting bonus point)

8th - Fijian Drua 

Current: 21 points, -123 points difference with five wins

Best: Seventh (Win v Rebels with bonus point)

Worst: 10th (Loss v Rebels and Force/Crusaders wins)

9th - Western Force 

Current: 19 points, -127 point difference with four wins

Best: Eighth (Win v Force, Drua loss v Rebels and Crusaders win w/out bonus point or loss)

Worst: 11th (Loss v Brumbies, Moana win v Crusaders, who get losing BP)

10th - Crusaders

Current: 19 points, -39 points difference with three wins

Best: Eighth (Win v Moana and Force/Drua defeat)

Worst: 11th (Loss v Moana)

11th - Moana Pasifika

Current: 18 points, -187 points difference with four wins.

Best: Eighth (Win v Crusaders and Force/Drua defeat)

Worst: 11th (Loss v Crusaders)

12th - NSW Waratahs 

Current: 12 points, -127 points difference with two wins

Best/Worst: 12th 

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