As we are eagerly awaiting another weekend of Super Rugby with round 8 signalling the halfway mark of the tournament, can you believe that, and there are people actually slamming administrators for the tournament being too long?
We thought we would add an alternative spin in addition to our usual Super Rugby previews, in this post we will have a look to see where the various teams are currently finding themselves on the log at the halfway stage.
We will look into what the broader public opinion is on different team’s chances for title glory, we will then look at what the bookmakers, who are not always correct but tend to get a lot more right than wrong, think about the different teams based on their odds and create a power ranking list of favourite teams to win Super rugby 2016.
Super Rugby Tournament Favourites for Outright Win
Quite unbelievably all teams “technically” can still win Super Rugby 2016. That is if you fancy having a punt on the Sunwolves as a debutant title winner at odds of @2001…Nah put your money back in your pocket!
To avoid, having to write about the impossible we will only touch on all the teams who are still realistically in the running.
1st Place – Chiefs
No guessing where the team who are favourites to win Super Rugby 2016 comes from. Yes, unsurprisingly it is the Chiefs, from New Zealand who are currently favourite to win the Super Rugby tournament at odds of @4.00.
Odds of @4.00 for the Chiefs to win the overall title is not bad, they have definitely been leading the tournament, in pretty much all aspects. With that being said, for us personally, we feel the Chiefs are a bit to “wild” and prefer a slightly more structured team although many will disagree with our sentiment regarding the back to back champs.
2nd Place – Stormers & Brumbies
In second place are two teams currently tied for the position of Super Rugby winners, unsurprisingly we have the ever consistent Stormers at odds of @5.50 for their first ever Super Rugby title, they are followed by the Brumbies at the same odds.
The Stormers second favourite tag is justified since they are currently second on the combined log tied at 23-points with the Highlanders.
The Brumbies coming in at second place favourites might be a bit of a surprise, the Brumbies who were fantastic in the opening stages of Super Rugby are currently experiencing a bit of a dip in form and are currently finding themselves in 8th place on the overall log.
Second place does not present too much value in our opinion, true the Stormers have been playing great rugby however, the Stormers are untested outside of South Africa this far and have yet to go over the waters to visit their Australasian foes.
The Brumbies might have a chance, and perhaps does not present bad value, although they will first need to proof they can get back to winning ways, with that being said for a team who are currently in 8th place on the overall log to be 2nd favourites according to the bookmakers, suggest they (the bookmakers) show great trust in the Brumbies ability.
3rd Place – Highlanders & Crusaders
The position of 3rd favourite to win Super Rugby 2016 is another Bookmakers tie between two New Zealand teams…The Crusaders and Highlanders
Highlanders @ 6.50
It is rather surprising that the Highlanders find themselves as 3rd favourites since they are tied second place with the Stormers on the overall log, the Highlanders have been playing “okay” rugby till this far, however, they are yet to live up to their full potential according to many pundits and have the ability, like the Chiefs, to suddenly explode and set the tournament alight thus, they certainly do not make for a bad punt at odds of @6.50.
Crusaders @ 6.50
After the Highlanders we find the Crusaders at odds of @6.50, the Crusaders have not been playing the “prettiest” rugby but have been very effective until this far.
Those readers who enjoy looking into statistics will know that the Crusaders has consistently been in the top 3 for all the “correct” statistics.
The Crusaders provide great value for us at odds of @6.50, this is Todd Blackadder’s last year and he will surely want to leave a legacy before he departs, and have the likes of Kieran Read, Ryan Crotty and many others to help him leave his legacy in the Crusaders rugby annuals, a great punt @6.50.
4th Place Hurricanes
In 4th place and well away from the rest of the pack above, comes the Hurricanes at odds as high as @13.00 for an outright Super Rugby win.
The Hurricanes are certainly nicely placed at 5th place on the combined log with, 20-points only 9-points away from the 1st place, which makes it very interesting that the bookmakers are offering them at odds as high as @13.00. A clear indication that the bookmakers do not have a lot of faith in the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes lit up the tournament last year and were hugely favoured to win their first ever Super Rugby title only to lose to the Highlanders, against all odds.
Ever since their shock loss in last year final, it looks like the Hurricanes has never quite recovered and is, strangely still looking stumped about the result.
With that being said the Hurricanes field a strong team and clearly have the right weapons and strategy, with last year serving as proof, it is just a case of; can the Hurricanes click as a unit and get their “mojo” back in 2016?
Whether they can do it as the tournament approaches the halfway mark is the million dollar question, hence the odds of @13.00.
5th Place – Sharks
The Sharks comes in at 5th place miles away from Super Rugby favourites, the Chiefs, with the Sharks being offered at rather desperate odds of @15.00.
As most Sharks, and other Super Rugby, supporters, will know all is not well in the Sharks camp. There are rumours that their coach, Gary Gold, might get recalled and a change of coach this far into the tournament will be disasters, despite the Sharks fielding a strong unit.
With a very difficult New-Zealand tour coming up for the Sharks combined with some internal problems it is no surprise that the Sharks are on offer at odds of @15.00, surely it is impossible for them to win Super Rugby 2016? Then again we did put a man on the moon so anything is possible!
The odds quoted in this preview comes courtesy of William Hill, needless to say, odds may slightly differ from bookmaker to bookmaker, however, all bookmakers agree, more or less, with our team rankings.
To summarize the above, our team rankings to win Super Rugby 2016, according to the bookmaker’s odds read as follow (team name with odds following):
- Chiefs @ 4.00
- Stormers & Brumbies @ 5.50
- Highlanders & Crusaders @ 6.50
- Hurricanes @ 13.00
- Sharks @ 15.00
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