Following the fifth round of Vodacom Super Rugby, SA Rugby magazine throws out the conference standings and ranks the 15 teams on form, strength and results.
Bearing in mind the nature and goals of these power rankings, it shouldn’t come as a major surprise to see the Sharks rise to the top of the pack. After bagging three wins on tour, they arrived home in fine form and are well placed to move top of the SA conference. If the form book – which isn’t always the best metric – is anything to go by, the Durban franchise could give their Super Rugby ambitions a massive boost with wins over the Jaguares and Stormers in the next two weeks.
The latter remain on top of the conference standings but after their less than flattering displays against the Lions and Blues, their bye means they will be shifted off the top spot.
In truth, there is little to separate the top four sides in SA Rugby magazine’s power rankings while some may even suggest the argument could be stretched to the top eight following the Blues’ away win at Newlands.
The New Zealand conference is wide open with the defending champion Crusaders just a single point ahead of the Hurricanes, Chiefs and Blues (who have played one game more).
While the top eight speak for themselves, the bottom seven sides are somewhat of a lottery with the Vodacom Bulls the big losers at the moment. Four defeats from four matches leave them in dire straits ahead of the Highlanders clash this weekend.
The Rebels have won two from their last three and are favourites to beat the Lions which will only solidify their push to be the ‘best of the rest’.
Last week’s rankings: