URC: Stormers given 50% chance of reaching playoffs

As the Vodacom United Rugby Championship sides prepare for the festive schedule, the URC StatMaster has forecasted which eight teams could contest the playoffs later this season.

Combining data with projections of likely playing squads for the 2021/22 season, which resumes later this week, the URC StatMaster has simulated a likely outcome for each match to project the playoff contenders.

Unsurprisingly, PRO14 champions Leinster and Johann van Graan’s Munster are the big favourites, as both Irish teams have been given a 99% probability of progressing.

The Sharks, meanwhile, are given the best chance of the South African teams, with a probability of 63%.

“The Sharks are given a probability of 41% to top the South African Shield and a 5% chance of reaching the final but they are not the South African side with the best chance of becoming URC champions, according to the simulator,” the competition’s website said.

“That honour goes to the Stormers, who took the title in 2% of simulations, with the strength of their returning internationals expected to boost their chances over the remainder of the season. However, the Cape Town outfit only made the play-offs in half of the simulated seasons.

“The biggest threat to their involvement in the end-of-season knockout matches could come from the Vodacom Bulls and the Scarlets, who made the top eight in 48% and 45% of simulations respectively. There is still no clear leader in the South African Shield, with no team winning more than 50% of simulations.”

Photo: Alfio Guarise/LiveMedia/Shutterstock

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Dylan Jack