Solving the riddle: Final race explained

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Although the Blues and Highlanders are sitting pretty at the top of the ladder, there is still a path to the final for the other three Kiwi sides. Here are the permutations for a massive final round of Sky Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

 

BLUES

 

The equation is simple for the Blues. Win against the Force and they are through to the final. Given they have a such a strong points differential over the rest of the New Zealand sides, they should also bag a home final with or without a winning bonus point. If you are in the Auckland area, get down to Eden Park to cheer on the Blues as they move to with-in striking distance of their first Super Rugby title since 2003.

 

Current position: First

Points: 19

This week: vs the Western Force at Eden Park (7.05pm Saturday)

 

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HIGHLANDERS

 

The Highlanders were the big movers in round four. Their 59-23 bonus point win over the Waratahs has seen them leapfrog the Crusaders and Hurricanes from fourth place into second. They now face the tricky prospect of defeating the Brumbies in Canberra to make the final. The Crusaders also sit on 18 points and are just 11 points behind the Highlanders on points differential. Because of this just winning might not be enough for the Highlanders. The southerners will be looking for a bonus point win over the Brumbies and to improve their points differential over the Crusaders.

 

Current position: Second

Points: 18

This week: v Brumbies at GIO Stadium (9.45pm Friday)

 

 

CRUSADERS

 

The Western Force threw a spanner into the works by scoring a late-try to deny the Crusaders a winning bonus point in round four. That has left the Crusaders at third place on the ladder and potentially requiring a bonus point win over the Rebels to make the final. It could all come down to points differential if the Crusaders and Highlanders are tied on competition points. If that is the case then the Crusaders need to win - and win big - against the Rebels.

 

Current position: Third

Points: 18

This week: vs Rebels at Leichhardt Oval (4.35pm Saturday)

 

HURRICANES

 

The Hurricanes were left to rue missed opportunities against the Brumbies last week, but all is not completely lost. The Hurricanes open round five against the Reds and will be looking for a bonus point win to take them up to 21 points on the ladder. That will put the Hurricanes at the top of the ladder and left to wait out the weekend to see if results go their way to make the final.

 

Current position: Fourth

Points: 16

This week: vs Reds at Sky Stadium (7.05pm, Friday)

 

CHIEFS

 

The Chiefs final hopes hang by the slimmest of threads. They would need to bank a bonus point win over the Waratahs and then hope the Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes all come up short. If you are a Chiefs fan, the time has come to get behind the Australian teams to see if they can hand your side an unlikely shot at the final.

 

Current position: Fifth

Points: 14

This week: vs Waratahs at Brookvale Oval (9.45pm, Saturday)

 

Tie breaking rules

 

In the event of two or more teams being equal on competition points for any position on the Competition table, either during or at the end of the season, such position will be decided upon using the following steps until the tie is broken:

 

a) Most wins from all matches;

b) Highest aggregate points difference from all matches;

c) Most tries from all matches;

d) Highest aggregate difference of total tries for versus tries scored against from all matches;

e) Coin toss


The Sky Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final will take place on Saturday 19 June.

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