Reds, Stormers stand by for semis rivals

The Queensland Reds and Cape Town-based Stormers lie in wait for the two survivors of this weekend’s first play-offs round in Super Rugby, aware survival over three weekends in the revamped finals format could boil down to a penalty shoot-out.

The Auckland Blues will play the New South Waratahs on Friday and the Canterbury Crusaders host the Durban-based Sharks on Saturday in first-round play-offs, with the winners advancing to play semifinals against the Reds and Stormers.

The Reds, who finished the regular season in first place, will play the lowest-ranked qualifier to advance in Brisbane on July 2, when the Stormers — beaten finalists last year — will play the highest-ranked winner at Newlands in Cape Town.

A basic explanation of the semifinal permutations are as follows:

The Crusaders finished the regular season in third place, the Blues in fourth, the Waratahs in fifth and the Sharks in sixth. That would mean that if the Crusaders win their play-off in Nelson, they can only play the Stormers and if the Sharks win they can only play the Reds.

  • If the Blues and Crusaders win, the Crusaders will play the Stormers and Blues will play the Reds.
  • But if the Blues and Sharks win, the Blues will play the Stormers and the Sharks will play the Reds.
  • If the Crusaders and Waratahs win, the Crusaders will play the Stormers and the Waratahs will meet the Reds in what would be a dream scenario for Australian fans.
  • If the Sharks and Waratahs win, the Waratahs will play the Stormers and the Sharks will play the Reds.

To add a new layer of uncertainty to an already compelling playoffs series, any games that are undecided after regulation time, two 10-minute periods of extra time and one 10-minute spell of sudden death overtime — in which the first team to score by any means wins — will be decided in a penalty shoot-out.

The penalty shoot-out has been adopted by Super Rugby for the first time this season, although it was slated as the ultimate tiebreaker in the last World Cup and has been employed controversially in professional rugby in 2009.

Each team must nominate five players to take part in the shootout and each of those players will attempt to kick penalty goals from different points on the 22m line.

The first attempt will be taken from in front of the posts, the second from 15m in from the touchline on the left side, the third from 15m from the touchline on the right side, the fourth from in front again, and the fifth from 15m in from the left touchline.

If teams cannot be separated after the five kicks apiece, the sequence will be repeated on a sudden death basis until a winner is found.

The formula was applied in professional rugby after the 2009 Heineken Cup play-off between Leicester and Cardiff which was level 26-26 after full time and extra time. Leicester won the shoot-out 7-6 but the use of the measure was not popular.

Britain’s Telegraph said “it was absolutely no way to finish a magnificent contest and the rugby authorities should think again about penalty shoot-outs to decide such occasions”. — Sapa-AP

Advertisting

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide

We need to ask awkward questions about our schools

Ignore the language used in brochures and on open days and be vigilant about the details

Study unpacks the ‘hidden racism’ at Stellenbosch

Students say they feel unseen and unheard at the university because of their skin colour

Ramaphosa enters the fray in fight between Gordhan and Mkhwebane

The president said his court case is “unfortunate” and a “measure of last resort”
Advertising

Press Releases

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.