CRAIG LEWIS rates the 15 Super Rugby teams based on performances after six rounds.
The Super Rugby conference system makes for confusing reading regarding the respective teams’ standings in the tournament. SARugbymag.co.za’s senior writer believes that this is where they should rank on current form.
1. Hurricanes (3-1)
Last week’s ranking: 5
The Hurricanes rise to top spot after a particularly impressive win over the Highlanders on Saturday. In recent weeks, the Hurricanes have now beaten two top New Zealand teams in the Crusaders and Highlanders.
2. Rebels (4-1)
Last week’s ranking: 2
The Rebels remain firmly entrenched in second place after a stunning 46-14 victory over the Sharks on Friday. A real test of the Rebels’ credentials will come this Friday when they take on the Canes.
3. Lions (4-2)
Last week’s ranking: 1
The Lions drop to third place after their disappointing defeat to the Jaguares on Saturday. This result followed a narrow win over the Sunwolves and a loss to the Blues.
4. Crusaders (3-2)
Last week’s ranking: 7
The Crusaders jump to fourth place after a clinical win over the Bulls on Friday. There were signs in that clash that the defending champs are beginning to rediscover their mojo.
5. Highlanders (3-1)
Last week’s ranking: 3
The Highlanders drop to fifth after their loss to the Hurricanes, but they are still competitively placed in the New Zealand conference.
6. Chiefs (3-1)
Last week’s ranking: 8
The Chiefs hit top form as they thrashed the Sunwolves 61-10 on Saturday to rise to sixth in these rankings.
7. Reds (3-2)
Last week’s ranking: 4
The Reds slipped to a 25-19 loss against the Stormers on Saturday, but they showed plenty of character in the way they battled back despite a disrupted week of preparation leading up to that encounter.
8. Stormers (3-3)
Last week’s ranking: 9
The Stormers secured a second successive win of the competition as they overcame the Reds on Saturday, and although they rise a spot in these standings, there is clearly still some work for the Cape-based team to do.
9. Waratahs (2-1-1)
Last week’s ranking: 6
The Waratahs had a bye this past weekend, but still remain handily placed in third position in the Australian conference.
10. Brumbies (2-2)
Last week’s ranking: 10
The Brumbies were also out of action over the weekend, and will know the importance of clinching a much-needed win in this Saturday’s Australian derby against the Tahs.
11. Sharks (1-1-3)
Last week’s ranking: 11
The Sharks can consider themselves very fortunate to remain in 11th spot after a heavy loss to the Rebels. The Durban-based side should have serious concerns about their place among the competition bottom dwellers, though.
12. Blues (1-3)
Last week’s ranking: 12
The Blues had a bye as they made their return from South Africa, where a loss to the Stormers kept them rooted to the bottom of the New Zealand conference.
13. Jaguares (2-3)
Last week’s ranking: 14
The Jaguares leapfrog one spot after they claimed an impressive 49-35 win over the Lions in Buenos Aires. It was the performance of their season to date.
14. Bulls (1-4)
Last week’s ranking: 13
The Bulls will be very happy to be returning home after a disappointing overseas tour that culminated with a one-sided loss to the Saders last Friday.
15 Sunwolves (0-5)
Last week’s ranking: 15
After a gutsy performance against the Lions in Johannesburg recently, the Sunwolves would have been particularly disappointed by the margin of the 61-10 loss to the Chiefs on Saturday.
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