The first and easiest stat. to consider is how many points it takes to get in. Well, here we go.
Here are the finalists for the S12 years and what they did to get there. I’m not bothering with the S10 or S6 years. I shan’t worry much about what happens once in the finals, except to say that the competition can be won from fourth spot, as any Crusaders fan can attest.
|1. Reds||41||1. Blues||50||1. Blues||43|
|2. Blues||41||2. Brumbies||41||2. Crusaders||41|
|3. Bulls||38||3. Hurricanes||34||3. Sharks||36|
|4. Natal||33||4. Natal||30||4. Highlanders||34|
|1. Reds||36||1. Brumbies||45||1. Brumbies||40|
|2. Stormers||36||2. Crusaders||39||2. Sharks||38|
|3. Highlanders||35||3. Highlanders||32||3. Cats||34|
|4. Crusaders||33||4. Cats||32||4. Reds||32|
As may be seen, it has taken anywhere from 30 to 34 points to secure fourth position in the finals, so one may assume their team was virtually guaranteed a spot when they reached 34 points. The highest that a team has scored to make fifth has been 32. Sorry Brumbies fans, you were robbed (1996).
To reach 34 points, and be all but assured of a berth, your team must do one of the following:
The most bonus points scored over the competition has been 10, earned by the Hurricanes in 1997. 9 points have been reached 5 times.
The finals have been reached on less than 34 though. The least the Finals have been reached on is 30 points by Natal in 1997. This involved only 5 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses, 6 bonus points and a For and Against of –29. That’s what one calls scraping in..
Looking at this in terms of games won. Only one team has been excluded after having won seven games. Sorry ACTorians, looks like I’m picking on your boys today. In 96, the Brumbies’ 7/0/4/4/32 was beaten by Natal’s 6/0/5/9/33 (W/D/L/BPs/Points). A big reason to cherish bonus points.
Casting back to my earlier table, the Minor Premiers have been,
|Reds||41 points||9 wins||0 draws||5 bonus pts|
|Blues||50 points||10 wins||0 draws||8 bonus pts|
|Blues||43 points||9 wins||0 draws||7 bonus pts|
|Reds||36 points||8 wins||1 draw||2 bonus pts|
|Brumbies||45 points||9 wins||0 draws||9 bonus pts|
|Brumbies||40 points||8 wins||0 draws||8 bonus pts|
So, it has taken as little as 36 points and as many as 50 to be MP. A better way to judge what it can possibly take is to observe the highest-ever placed second placed team. That would be 41 points, shared by the Blues in 96, Brumbies in 97, Crusaders in 98. These teams all won eight games in the season. In order to reasonably expect to be guaranteed first spot, it would seem a team needs nine wins in the season with enough bonus points to break about 44, and in order to have a good chance, to secure 8 wins and more than 41 points.
In summary, to get into the finals of the Super 12, your team needs to secure 34 points. The most common way of doing this is to earn 7 victories and 6 bonus points.
In order to have a reasonable chance at coming first (Minor Premiers), they need to secure 42 points. A reasonable way of doing this would be 9 wins and 6 bonus points.
Mind you, anyone but a ‘Tahs fan doesn’t need to know that this year. I have been reliably informed by the tea leaves that the ‘Tahs are going to pick up 11 wins, 11 bonus points and secure a measly 55 points before going in to win the semi and the final 54-0 and 44-0 respectively. Their for and against is also going to be very respectable I’m told. Still there’s always next year for the rest of you, so you’ll still need this information.
I accept bugger all responsibility for any of the preceding S12 data. I lifted it all off the net anyway and applied my own analysis to it. If I got anything wrong, email me and I’ll try to update it. The analysis itself is guaranteed to be wrong. I also am not 100% sure about the claims of those bloody tea leaves, though I am nonetheless quietly confident of their abilities.