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How the Crusaders can make the playoffs and Brumbies can claim top spot

By Ned Lester
Scott Barrett of the Crusaders and Michael Ala'alatoa of the Brumbies. Photos by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images and Mark Nolan/Getty Images

Only one team is out of the running for the Super Rugby Pacific playoffs with just one round remaining before the knockout stages commence.


Yes, outside of the Waratahs, every single team is still in contention for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific title.

We’ve known for a couple of weeks who the top four teams are and therefore who will host the quarterfinals, and while the Chiefs are locked into fourth pace regardless of this weekend’s results, the top three are all interchangeable depending on results over the final weekend.

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The Blues, Hurricanes and Brumbies will all contend for the top seed, but it’s the Blues in the driver’s seat with just a win standing between them and absolute home-field advantage.

The Fijian Drua, currently sitting in eighth, play the seventh-place Rebels at home with the chance to claim their second straight playoffs appearance, and deny the defending champions a crack at the quarter-finals.

If the Drua were to fall to the Melbourne outfit, the Western Force, Moana Pasifika or the Crusaders are all in with a chance of snagging the eighth seed. Only one of the four can progress.

Below, you’ll find the permutations for each team and the results that would lead to the most dramatic changes.




1: Blues

Current: 51 points, +241 points difference with 11 wins

Best: First (Win v Chiefs)

Worst: Third (Loss v Chiefs and Hurricanes/Brumbies wins)

2: Hurricanes

Current: 51 points, +172 points difference with 11 wins

Best: First (Win v Highlanders and Blues loss)

Worst: Third (Loss v Highlanders and Brumbies win)

3: Brumbies

Current: 48 points, +94 points difference with 11 wins

Best: First (Win v Force and Blues/Hurricanes defeat)


Worst: Third (Brumbies, Blues and Hurricanes Win or Brumbies defeat)

4: Chiefs

Current: 43 points, +189 points difference with nine wins

Best/Worst: Fourth

5: Reds

Current: 36 points, +103 points difference with seven wins

Best/Worst: Fifth

6: Highlanders

Current: 28 points, -70 points difference with six wins

Best: Sixth (Win v Hurricanes or Rebels loss v Drua)

Worst: Seventh (Loss v Hurricanes, Rebels win v Drua)

7: Rebels

Current: 26 points, -126 points difference with five wins

Best: Sixth (Win v Drua, Highlanders loss v Hurricanes)

Worst: Eighth (Loss v Drua with Drua getting bonus point)

8: Fijian Drua

Current: 21 points, -123 points difference with five wins

Best: Seventh (Win v Rebels with bonus point)

Worst: 10th (Loss v Rebels and Force/Crusaders wins)

9: Western Force

Current: 19 points, -127 point difference with four wins

Best: Eighth (Win v Force, Drua loss v Rebels and Crusaders win w/out bonus point or loss)

Worst: 11th (Loss v Brumbies, Moana win v Crusaders, who get losing BP)

10: Crusaders

Current: 19 points, -39 points difference with three wins

Best: Eighth (Win v Moana and Force/Drua defeat)

Worst: 11th (Loss v Moana)

11: Moana Pasifika

Current: 18 points, -187 points difference with four wins.

Best: Eighth (Win v Crusaders and Force/Drua defeat)

Worst: 11th (Loss v Crusaders)

12: Waratahs

Current: 12 points, -127 points difference with two wins

Best/Worst: 12th

Permutations courtesy of Super Rugby Pacific.

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV


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1 Comment
Wayne 27 days ago

Canes can still get #1 if Blues win, if they get a bonus point and Blues don’t - which is possible given their respective opponents.

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Turlough 1 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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