An eventful penultimate round of Super Rugby saw some surprise results, with the Rebels, Jaguares and Sharks all losing their respective away clashes to the Reds, Bulls and Stormers respectively.
Which teams have already qualified for the Super Rugby 2018 playoffs?
Seven teams are definitely there- Crusaders, Waratahs, Lions, Hurricanes, Chiefs, Highlanders and Jaguares. The Jaguares will be making their first ever playoff appearance this season.
Who can still qualify for the playoffs?
Rebels and Sharks.
Mathematically yes, but unlikely- Brumbies
The Sharks are on 32 points, the Rebels on 35. Victory for the Rebels over the Highlanders in Dunedin will see Dave Wessels’ side qualify for the playoffs. The Sharks need to beat the Jaguares at home and hope that the Rebels lose to the Highlanders.
The Brumbies had a slim chance to qualify, but their narrow defeat to the Chiefs (they would’ve perhaps felt hard done by a refereeing howler at the end which saw them suffer a narrow defeat despite having momentum on their side) has effectively ended their chance of playoff rugby.
They can still make it mathematically- thrash the Waratahs with a bonus point, hope Rebels and Sharks lose and Rebels don’t pick up a bonus, and make up the 23 point swing that currently exists between them and the Rebels.
Key fixtures next week
Chiefs v Hurricanes
Highlanders v Rebels
Lions v Bulls
Sharks v Jaguares