Getting the Blues

I keep banging on about the stupidity of the Super 18 format and how teams with fewer points are being favoured because of a nonsense conference system.

I was pleased therefore to read this article on ‘Rugby Heaven’ which endorses my view – although to be fair (which the structure isn’t) it would be hard to argue against it.


after nine matches each the fact the Blues, New Zealand’s fifth best team, now sit ninth while the Brumbies rest fourth, despite having four fewer points, is one of the major reasons fans are turning away in frustration.

Worse still, the Brumbies reside higher on the table than the Hurricanes, Chiefs and Highlanders, thanks to their place atop the weak Australian conference, despite losing their past three matches.

The Brumbies will get the benefit of a home play-off whist the Blues will likely miss out

And every week the prediction from Sanzaar boss Andy Marinos that this year’s competition would be more, even stretches further from reality.

To be fair to the Blues they are not whinging about the inequities

“We understood the structure of the tournament from when we first committed to it,” Blues coach Tana Umaga said after his side’s 18-12 win.

“Obviously there are those anomalies within it. We can’t help that. We’ve just got to keep getting better as a team and being consistent at getting success when we can. We realise we need to not be the fifth best New Zealand team to try and get through to the playoffs.”

“It’s pretty unfortunate the way the competition is set up if we do end up above one of the Australian teams or any of the other conferences and we’re not able to make the playoffs but that’s the way it is,”

I have to say I wouldn’t be anywhere near as sanguine if it were me!


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