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The 2006 Super 14 season started on Friday 10 February 2006. The Grand Final was held on Saturday 27 May 2006. Super 14 is a provincial rugby union competition with 14 teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. This season was the first of the expansion, which saw two new teams, the Western Force and the Cheetahs, join the Super 12/14. The addition of two new teams led to the name change from the Super 12. It was also the first year for a new Super 14 trophy.

2006 Super 14
Countries Australia
 South Africa
 New Zealand
Tournament format(s)Round-robin and Knockout
ChampionsNew Zealand Crusaders (6th title)
Matches played94
Tries scored447 (4.76 per match)
Top point scorer(s)New Zealand Daniel Carter (221)
(Crusaders)
Top try scorer(s)Samoa Lome Fa'atau (10)
(Hurricanes)
2005 (Previous) (Next) 2007

At the start of round one, the Crusaders were the favourite to win this year's title 1[permanent dead link] with a return of A$3.25 for every $1 bet. The Blues were second favourite with a return of A$4.75 for every $1 bet and the Waratahs were third with a return of A$5.00 for every $1 bet. The Cats were favourites for the wooden spoon. These figures are the final odds.

The season saw the first joint commercial by the three SANZAR unions since 1996. The commercial was filmed in Ukraine and is set in a laundromat. The ad was attempting to draw interest, with the motto More teams, more games and more excitement at the end of the commercial. One player from each of the 14 teams was present, except for the Waratahs. A local extra named "Ouri" filled the role of Mat Rogers who injured his back in a test match for the Wallabies against Wales.

By the end of round twelve, critics began speculating that the pre-season favourites, the Crusaders, were losing their form after a draw against the winless Western Force and then a shock loss to the Stormers.[1] However they bounced back against the Bulls with a 4 try bonus point victory. After a few results fell in their favour they were able to comfortably beat the Brumbies, and finished for the second consecutive season on top of the ladder. The Crusaders won the Super 14 after defeating the Hurricanes in Christchurch in the final, 19-12 in misty conditions. There was 94 matches held over three and a half months, with each team playing one full round robin against the 13 other teams and the playoffs involving two semi-finals and a final. Every team got one bye over the 14 rounds.

TableEdit

Key to colours
     Top four teams advance to playoffs.
Team Pld W D L PF PA PD BP Pts
1   Crusaders 13 11 1 1 412 210 202 5 51
2   Hurricanes 13 10 0 3 328 226 102 7 47
3   Waratahs 13 9 0 4 362 192 170 9 45
4   Bulls 13 7 1 5 355 290 65 7 38
5   Sharks 13 7 0 6 361 297 64 10 38
6   Brumbies 13 8 1 4 326 269 57 4 38
7   Chiefs 13 7 1 5 325 298 27 6 36
8   Blues 13 6 0 7 290 344 −54 5 29
9   Highlanders 13 6 0 7 228 276 −48 3 27
10   Cheetahs 13 5 0 8 272 367 −95 7 27
11   Stormers 13 4 1 8 263 334 −71 5 23
12   Reds 13 4 0 9 240 320 −80 6 22
13   Cats 13 2 1 10 220 405 −185 5 15
14   Force 13 1 2 10 223 373 −150 4 12

South African relegationEdit

Originally, the fifth-place South African side was to be replaced by the Spears, who were initially planned to compete in the 2007 and 2008 competitions. However, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) revisited the decision to admit the Spears, and announced on 19 April 2006 that the Spears would not enter the competition.[1]

On 5 August 2006, the High Court of South Africa threw a potential monkey wrench into the 2007 season when it issued its ruling in the Spears' legal challenge to the decision. It ruled that the Spears had a valid contract with SA Rugby, the commercial arm of SARU, to be included in the 2007 and 2008 Super 14. SA Rugby and SARU are expected to appeal the decision.[2] If the Spears win their court challenge, the Lions, the new name for the Cats, will be relegated for 2007 and will play a test match with the lowest South African team on the 2007 ladder, other than the Spears, for a place in the 2008 competition.

On 8 September 2006, the Golden Lions Rugby Union, the company that operates the Cats franchise, announced that the franchise would be known in the future as the Lions.[3]

Player statisticsEdit

Leading try scorersEdit

Top 3 try scorers
Pos Name Tries Pld Team
1 Lome Fa'atau 10 14 Hurricanes
2 Stirling Mortlock 9 13 Brumbies
3 Scott Staniforth 9 13 Force

Leading point scorersEdit

Top 3 overall point scorers
Pos Name Points Pld Team
1 Daniel Carter 221 14 Crusaders
2 Peter Hewat 191 14 Waratahs
3 Stephen Donald 133 13 Chiefs

ResultsEdit

Round 1Edit

Round 2Edit

Round 3Edit

Round 4Edit

Round 5Edit

Round 6Edit

Round 7Edit

Round 8Edit

Round 9Edit

Round 10Edit

Round 11Edit

Round 12Edit

Round 13Edit

Round 14Edit

FinalsEdit

Semi finalsEdit

19 May 2006
19:35
Hurricanes   16 – 14   NSW Waratahs
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 34,500
20 May 2006
19:35
Crusaders   35 – 15   Bulls
Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Attendance: 24,000

Grand finalEdit

27 May 2006
19:35
Crusaders   19 – 12   Hurricanes
Tries: Laulala 62'
Cons: Carter 63'
Pens: Carter (4), 32',37', 46', 69'
Tries:
Cons:
Pens: Weepu 14', Holwell 44', Gopperth (2) 56', 70'
Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Attendance: 36,500
Referee:   Jonathan Kaplan
Crusaders
15 Leon MacDonald
14 Rico Gear
13 Casey Laulala
12 Aaron Mauger
11 Scott Hamilton
10 Daniel Carter
9 Kevin Senio
8 Mose Tuiali'i
7 Richie McCaw (captain)
6 Reuben Thorne
5 Ross Filipo
4 Chris Jack
3 Greg Somerville
2 Corey Flynn
1 Wyatt Crockett
Substitutes:
16 Tone Kopelani
17 Campbell Johnstone
18 Johnny Leo'o
19 Tanerau Latimer
20 Stephen Brett
21 Cameron McIntyre
22 Caleb Ralph
Coach:
  Robbie Deans
Hurricanes
15 Isaia Toeava
14 Lome Fa'atau
13 Ma'a Nonu
12 Tana Umaga
11 Shannon Paku
10 David Holwell
9 Piri Weepu
8 Rodney So'oialo (captain)
7 Chris Masoe
6 Jerry Collins
5 Jason Eaton
4 Paul Tito
3 Neemia Tialata
2 Andrew Hore
1 John Schwalger
Substitutions:
16 Luke Mahoney
17 Joe McDonnell
18 Luke Andrews
19 Thomas Waldrom
20 Brendan Haami
21 Jimmy Gopperth
22 Tamati Ellison
Coach:
  Colin Cooper

AttendancesEdit

Team Main Stadium Capacity Total Attendance Average Attendance % Capacity
  Blues Eden Park 50,000
  Chiefs Waikato Stadium 25,800
  Hurricanes Westpac Stadium 34,500 174,778 24,968 75%
  Crusaders Jade Stadium 36,500
  Highlanders Carisbrook 29,000
  Reds Suncorp Stadium 52,500
  Brumbies Canberra Stadium 25,011 124,816 17,830 71%
  Western Force Subiaco Oval 43,500 170,207 28,367 65%
  Waratahs Sydney Football Stadium 44,000
  Sharks ABSA Stadium 52,000
  Bulls Loftus Versfeld 51,762
  Cats Ellis Park 62,567
  Cheetahs Free State Stadium 46,000
  Stormers Newlands Stadium 51,900

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "It is official: Spears shafted" Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, RugbyRugby.com, 19 April 2006
  2. ^ "Southern Spears get okay to compete in Super 14". Pretoria News. 5 August 2006. Archived from the original on 31 August 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2006.
  3. ^ "From Cats to Lions ... the new look". Planet Rugby. 8 September 2006. Archived from the original on 21 May 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2006.