The DHL Stormers’ destiny remains largely in their own hands and depending on results in the final league fixtures and in their game against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, the Cape franchise could finish 1, 2, or 3 on the log, qualifying for a home semi-final or quarter-final (1st round finals series) game.
Regulations to determine Vodacom Super Rugby Finals Series qualifiers
The final round of regular league fixtures takes place this weekend with several places in the Finals Series to be decided.
In the event that two or more teams finish the Vodacom Super Rugby regular season on equal log points, the “tie-breaker” regulations, as amended and released in March 2011, are:
In the event that two or more teams are equal on points in any position on either the Conference or overall Vodacom Super Rugby standings at any time during the regular season their ranking will be determined as follows:
Most wins from all matches
Highest aggregate points difference from all matches
Most tries from all matches
Highest aggregate difference in tries for and against from all matches
Coin toss (only used to determine Finalists)
The three Vodacom Super Rugby Conference winners and three “wildcard” qualifiers will advance to the Finals Series.
The teams ranked 1 and 2 will have a bye in the first round of the Finals Series whilst the teams ending in places 3 to 6 will play-off in Qualifiers on the following basis – 3 vs. 6 and 4 v 5.
The winners of the Qualifiers will advance to the Semi-Finals where they will face one of the top two teams. In the Semi-Finals, the team ranked 1 will face the lowest ranked team to advance from the Qualifiers whilst the team ranked 2 will face the highest ranked team to advance from the Qualifiers.
Permutations for the DHL Stormers in the South African Conference
The DHL Stormers (currently 58 log points – 11 wins) require a single log point in their fixture against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein to guarantee the SA Conference win, trophy, a top 3 finish and a home quarter-final.
Should the Stormers lose in Bloemfontein and not pick up a single log point it remains mathematically possible for the Vodacom Bulls (currently 53 log points – 10 wins ) to overtake them and take the conference. For that to happen, the Bulls would need to beat the Sharks with a bonus point and to haul in the 84 point points difference currently separating the Stormers and the Bulls, as the number of games won would stand at 11 each.
Should the Sharks (currently 53 log points – 9 wins) beat the Bulls (currently 53 log points – 10 wins ) with a bonus point and the Stormers not pick up a single log point, The Stormers would still progress and take the Conference and a top 3 spot given a superior number of wins.
Permutations for a DHL Stormers home semi-final
Should the DHL Stormers (currently 58 log points – 11 wins) win in Bloemfontein against the Cheetahs without a bonus point, they move to 62 points on the log with 12 wins. This is enough to secure a second place finish and a home semi-final, as only the Crusaders (currently 57 log points and 10 wins) can get to 62 points with a bonus point win over the Hurricanes in Wellington, but would end with 11 wins to the Stormers 12.
Should the Reds (currently 62 log points and 12 wins) lose to the Chiefs in Hamilton without any log points and the Stormers secure a 4 point win over the Cheetahs, the Stormers will move into 1st place on the log, given a superior points difference – log points being tied on 62 and games won on 12.
Should the Reds lose but pick up a bonus point, the Stormers would need to pick up a bonus point win over the Cheetahs to end top.
The DHL Stormers play the last fixture on Saturday (19h10) and will know exactly what is required before kick-off.