Sanzaar have just published their team of the season – apparently based on the season’s stats.
Somehow not one of the Crusaders made the cut –
Although 3 NZ teams made the semi-finals and the Crusaders won away from home, only six kiwis made the side – and only one forward – Ardie Savea.
I guess Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane must have had a real shit season.
The Crusaders won 17 of 18 games as they marched to an eighth title but none of their players have won the nod in a side selected largely on statistical output.
The Sanzaar player of the year for a second straight season is Chiefs fullback Damian McKenzie, who led the competition in several attacking categories.
Sanzaar’s Super Rugby team of the season: Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers), Samu Kerevi (Reds), Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes), James Lowe (Chiefs), Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), Augustine Pulu (Blues), Amanaki Mafi (Rebels), Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), Jaco Kriel (Lions), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Guido Petti Pagadizabal (Jaguares), Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Jacques van Rooyen (Lions).
What isn’t mentioned is the flaw in the structure that affords some teams an easier run to the play-offs. The NZ franchises knocked lumps out of each other all season and still 4 of them made the last eight. The Lions who had the advantage of home games through to the final didn’t meet a NZ team until the semi!
So the stats were heavily in favour of those with the easy games – still, you know what they say about statistics don’t you?