SAANZAR, the governing body that runs Super Rugby has snubbed the champion Crusader side in its annual team of the year announcement, with just one player from the champions named in the lineup.
There was no room for the in-form Richie Mo’unga, as Damian McKenzie took the player of the year award as well as the starting flyhalf position. Mo’unga was integral to the Crusaders championship run and was awarded the man-of-the-match for his performance in the final against the Lions.
The lone Crusader to make the side was winger George Bridge, who finished with 15 tries but was unable to crack the All Blacks squad for the Rugby Championship.
SAANZAR has explained that the model that determines the selections is ‘based on comprehensive statistics that monitor in detail every action of every match’. The fans are not buying it however with many criticising the team.
“LMAO, what a joke… mmm cruzaders players?” one user responded, whilst another labelled the team “Bogus” as none of the Crusaders pack had been named.
“Sorry, not a single player from the Crusaders forward pack? The best in the world and the reason they won the comp with ease. Bogus.”
It appears the team is loaded with ‘stat beasts’ that perform well with ball-in-hand and hence can look great on paper, but off-the-ball work and decision-making are unlikely to be captured.
SAANZAR may have to go back to the drawing board for next year’s edition.
Team of the Year #SuperRugby
Has players from 12 of the teams and like the regular season is based on comprehensive statistics that monitor in detail every action of every match. Player of the year is @ChiefsRugby play-maker Damian McKenzie
Full details: https://t.co/9Y26bZcQvc pic.twitter.com/ZYuvKM0Rhf
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) August 7, 2018
RugbyPass has created a next generation rugby rating system, based on machine learning and shaped by game winning moments. The system (RPI) is a world first for its complexity and comprehensive embrace of northern and southern hemisphere players and teams. By using in-depth data analysis, RPI determines exactly what it takes to win, in real time. Explore the RPI now!