2018 Super Rugby season

The 2018 Super Rugby season was the 23rd season of Super Rugby, an annual rugby union competition organised by SANZAAR between teams from Argentina, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. After two seasons in which 18 teams participated, the 2018 season reverted to a 15-team competition, consisting of three geographical conferences.

2018 Super Rugby season
CountriesArgentina (1 team)
Australia (4 teams)
Japan (1 team)
New Zealand (5 teams)
South Africa (4 teams)
Tournament format(s)Conference and knockout
ChampionsCrusaders (9th title)
Matches played127
Tries scored925 (7.28 per match)
Top point scorer(s)Bernard Foley, Waratahs (223)
Top try scorer(s)Ben Lam, Hurricanes (16)
Official websiteOfficial site
2017 (Previous) (Next) 2019

The South African Rugby Union announced that the Cheetahs and Southern Kings would be dropped for the 2018 season,[1] while the Australian Rugby Union, now known as Rugby Australia, announced the exclusion of the Force. The South African franchises thereafter entered the newly renamed Pro14 competition, while the Western Force took part in the National Rugby Championship, the domestic Australia competition, while preparing to enter the new Global Rapid Rugby competition in 2019.[2]

Competition formatEdit

The 15 participating teams are divided into three geographical conferences: the Australian Conference (consisting of four Australian teams and the Japanese Sunwolves), the New Zealand Conference (consisting of five New Zealand teams), and the South African Conference (consisting of four South African teams and the Jaguares from Argentina).[3]

In the group stages, there are 19 rounds of matches, with each team playing 16 matches and having two rounds of byes, resulting in a total of 120 matches. Teams play eight inter-conference matches and eight cross-conference matches; they play all the other teams in their conference twice - once at home and once away - and play once against four of the teams in each of the other two conferences.

The top team in each of the three conferences qualify for the quarterfinals, as do the next five teams with the best records across the three conferences, known as wildcards. The conference winners and best wildcard team hosted the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal winners progressed to the semifinal, and the winners of the semifinals advanced to the final.[3]

StandingsEdit

The final standings for the 2018 Super Rugby season were:

2018 Super Rugby standings watch · edit · discuss
Overall standings
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TB LB Pts
1   Crusaders 16 14 0 2 542 295 +247 77 39 7 0 63
2   Lions 16 9 0 7 519 435 +84 77 55 6 4 46
3   Waratahs 16 9 1 6 557 445 +112 74 59 4 2 44
4   Hurricanes 16 11 0 5 474 343 +131 66 43 5 2 51
5   Chiefs 16 11 0 5 463 368 +95 60 48 3 2 49
6   Highlanders 16 10 0 6 437 445 −8 59 57 3 1 44
7   Jaguares 16 9 0 7 409 418 −9 51 55 2 0 38
8   Sharks 16 7 1 8 437 442 −5 49 57 2 4 36
9   Rebels 16 7 0 9 440 461 −21 57 60 5 3 36
10   Brumbies 16 7 0 9 393 422 −29 56 52 2 4 34
11   Stormers 16 6 0 10 390 423 −33 46 56 0 5 29
12   Bulls 16 6 0 10 441 502 −61 59 66 2 3 29
13   Reds 16 6 0 10 389 501 −112 49 66 1 3 28
14   Blues 16 4 0 12 378 509 −131 50 66 2 4 22
15   Sunwolves 16 3 0 13 404 664 −260 48 99 0 2 14
Australian Conference
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TB LB Pts
1   Waratahs 16 9 1 6 557 445 +112 74 59 4 2 44
2   Rebels 16 7 0 9 440 461 −21 57 60 5 3 36
3   Brumbies 16 7 0 9 393 422 −29 56 52 2 4 34
4   Reds 16 6 0 10 389 501 −112 49 66 1 3 28
5   Sunwolves 16 3 0 13 404 664 −260 48 99 0 2 14
New Zealand Conference
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TB LB Pts
1   Crusaders 16 14 0 2 542 295 +247 77 39 7 0 63
2   Hurricanes 16 11 0 5 474 343 +131 66 43 5 2 51
3   Chiefs 16 11 0 5 463 368 +95 60 48 3 2 49
4   Highlanders 16 10 0 6 437 445 −8 59 57 3 1 44
5   Blues 16 4 0 12 378 509 −131 50 66 2 4 22
South African Conference
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TB LB Pts
1   Lions 16 9 0 7 519 435 +84 77 55 6 4 46
2   Jaguares 16 9 0 7 409 418 −9 51 55 2 0 38
3   Sharks 16 7 1 8 437 442 −5 49 57 2 4 36
4   Stormers 16 6 0 10 390 423 −33 46 56 0 5 29
5   Bulls 16 6 0 10 441 502 −61 59 66 2 3 29
Legend and Competition rules
Legend:
Conference leaders, qualified to the finals. P = Games Played, W = Games Won, D = Games Drawn, L = Games Lost, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, PD = Points Difference, TF = Tries For, TA = Tries Against, TB = Try Bonus Points, LB = Losing Bonus Points, Pts = Tournament Points
Wildcard teams, qualified to finals.
Competition rules:[4]
Qualification:
Eight teams will qualify to the finals, with their final positions in the overall log determining their seedings in the Quarter Finals. The conference winners will be seeded #1 to #3 for the Quarter Finals, in order of log points gained during the group stages, while the wildcards will be seeded as #4 to #8 in order of log points gained during the group stages.
In the Quarter Finals, the three conference winners and the highest-ranked wildcard team will host the first round of the finals, with the highest-seeded conference winner (Team #1) hosting the fifth-seeded wildcard entry (Team #8) in Quarter Final 1, the second-seeded conference winner (Team #2) hosting the fourth-seeded wildcard entry (Team #7) in Quarter Final 3, the third-seeded conference winner (Team #3) hosting the third-seeded wildcard entry (Team #6) in Quarter Final 4 and the top-seeded wildcard entry (Team #4) hosting the second-seed wildcard entry (Team #5) in Quarter Final 2.
The Quarter Final winners will progress to the Semi-Finals, where the winners of Quarter Finals 1 and 2 will play each other, as well as the winners of Quarter Finals 3 and 4, each tie hosted by the higher-seeded team.
The winner of the Semi-Finals will progress to the Final, again to be held at the venue of the highest-seeded team.

Tournament Points breakdown:
* 4 tournament points for a win
* 2 tournament points for a draw
* 1 tournament bonus point for a loss by seven points or less
* 1 tournament bonus point for scoring at least three tries more than the opponent in a match

Classification:
Teams standings are calculated as follows:
* Conference Leaders
* Tournament points
* Number of games won
* Overall points difference
* Number of tries scored
* Overall try difference
* Coin toss

Round-by-roundEdit

The table below shows each team's progression throughout the season. For each round, their cumulative points total is shown with the overall log position in brackets:

Team Progression – Australian Conference
Team R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18 R19 QF SF Final
Waratahs N/A 4
(7th)
6
(5th)
6
(8th)
10
(7th)
10
(9th)
14
(6th)
19
(6th)
24
(3rd)
24
(3rd)
24
(3rd)
25
(3rd)
26
(3rd)
31
(3rd)
31
(3rd)
35
(3rd)
39
(3rd)
44
(2nd)
44
(3rd)
Won Lost N/A
Rebels N/A 5
(2nd)
10
(2nd)
15
(1st)
15
(2nd)
20
(1st)
20
(1st)
20
(3rd)
21
(6th)
21
(7th)
21
(7th)
21
(10th)
25
(7th)
25
(9th)
30
(8th)
34
(8th)
35
(8th)
35
(8th)
36
(9th)
N/A N/A N/A
Brumbies N/A 4
(5th)
4
(8th)
4
(13th)
8
(11th)
8
(11th)
9
(11th)
14
(8th)
14
(9th)
15
(11th)
15
(13th)
15
(14th)
16
(14th)
16
(14th)
20
(12th)
25
(11th)
29
(10th)
30
(10th)
34
(10th)
N/A N/A N/A
Reds N/A 0
(14th)
4
(11th)
8
(6th)
12
(4th)
13
(7th)
13
(8th)
13
(10th)
13
(12th)
13
(13th)
17
(12th)
17
(12th)
17
(12th)
18
(12th)
19
(13th)
19
(13th)
19
(14th)
23
(13th)
28
(13th)
N/A N/A N/A
Sunwolves N/A 1
(12th)
1
(14th)
1
(15th)
2
(15th)
2
(15th)
2
(15th)
2
(15th)
2
(15th)
2
(15th)
2
(15th)
2
(15th)
6
(15th)
10
(15th)
10
(15th)
10
(15th)
14
(15th)
14
(15th)
14
(15th)
N/A N/A N/A
Team Progression – New Zealand Conference
Team R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18 R19 QF SF Final
Crusaders N/A 5
(3rd)
10
(3rd)
10
(4th)
10
(6th)
15
(3rd)
19
(4th)
24
(2nd)
24
(4th)
29
(2nd)
33
(1st)
38
(1st)
42
(1st)
46
(1st)
50
(1st)
54
(1st)
54
(1st)
58
(1st)
63
(1st)
Won Won Won
Hurricanes N/A 1
(9th)
6
(4th)
10
(3rd)
10
(5th)
14
(4th)
19
(3rd)
23
(4th)
27
(1st)
27
(4th)
32
(4th)
36
(4th)
41
(4th)
45
(4th)
45
(4th)
45
(4th)
45
(4th)
50
(4th)
51
(4th)
Won Lost N/A
Chiefs N/A 0
(13th)
4
(10th)
4
(12th)
8
(10th)
13
(5th)
17
(5th)
21
(5th)
21
(5th)
26
(5th)
26
(6th)
27
(6th)
31
(6th)
32
(5th)
37
(5th)
37
(6th)
41
(5th)
45
(5th)
49
(5th)
Lost N/A N/A
Highlanders N/A 4
(6th)
4
(7th)
9
(5th)
13
(3rd)
13
(6th)
14
(7th)
14
(7th)
19
(7th)
24
(6th)
28
(5th)
28
(5th)
32
(5th)
32
(6th)
36
(6th)
40
(5th)
40
(6th)
40
(6th)
44
(6th)
Lost N/A N/A
Blues N/A 1
(10th)
2
(13th)
6
(9th)
6
(12th)
6
(13th)
6
(14th)
7
(14th)
12
(14th)
12
(14th)
13
(14th)
17
(13th)
17
(13th)
17
(13th)
17
(14th)
17
(14th)
22
(13th)
22
(14th)
22
(14th)
N/A N/A N/A
Team Progression – South African Conference
Team R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18 R19 QF SF Final
Lions 4
(4th)
9
(1st)
14
(1st)
15
(2nd)
19
(1st)
19
(2nd)
20
(2nd)
25
(1st)
25
(2nd)
30
(1st)
31
(2nd)
31
(2nd)
31
(2nd)
36
(2nd)
40
(2nd)
40
(2nd)
41
(2nd)
41
(3rd)
46
(2nd)
Won Won Lost
Jaguares 0
(15th)
0
(15th)
0
(15th)
4
(14th)
4
(14th)
8
(12th)
8
(13th)
8
(13th)
12
(13th)
16
(10th)
20
(8th)
24
(7th)
24
(8th)
29
(7th)
34
(7th)
34
(7th)
38
(7th)
38
(7th)
38
(7th)
Lost N/A N/A
Sharks 1
(5th)
1
(11th)
3
(12th)
8
(7th)
9
(9th)
9
(10th)
13
(10th)
14
(9th)
14
(10th)
18
(9th)
18
(11th)
23
(8th)
24
(10th)
28
(8th)
28
(9th)
28
(9th)
32
(9th)
32
(9th)
36
(8th)
Lost N/A N/A
Stormers 4
(1st)
5
(4th)
5
(6th)
5
(11th)
9
(8th)
13
(8th)
13
(9th)
13
(11th)
13
(11th)
14
(12th)
18
(10th)
22
(9th)
23
(11th)
24
(11th)
25
(10th)
25
(10th)
25
(12th)
29
(11th)
29
(11th)
N/A N/A N/A
Bulls 0
(6th)
4
(8th)
4
(9th)
5
(10th)
5
(13th)
5
(14th)
9
(12th)
9
(12th)
14
(8th)
19
(8th)
20
(9th)
20
(11th)
24
(9th)
24
(10th)
24
(11th)
24
(12th)
25
(11th)
29
(12th)
29
(12th)
N/A N/A N/A
Key: win draw loss bye

MatchesEdit

The fixtures for the 2018 Super Rugby competition were released on 21 September 2017.[5] The following matches were played during the regular season:

Home \ Away BLU BRU BUL CHI CRU HIG HUR JAG LIO REB RED SHA STO SUN WAR
Blues 21–27 24–32 16–34 15–36 13–20 10–20 39–16 40–63
Brumbies 8–21 24–12 20–25 24–27 45–21 24–17 41–31 17–24
Bulls 28–38 28–29 21–19 43–34 35–49 28–10 39–33 33–23
Chiefs 21–19 24–19 41–28 20–34 27–22 28–24 19–23 39–27
Crusaders 54–17 33–14 45–23 45–22 24–13 45–28 33–11 31–29
Highlanders 41–34 43–17 22–45 25–17 30–14 39–27 43–37 33–15
Hurricanes 42–24 25–13 29–19 29–12 28–19 38–34 38–37 43–15
Jaguares 54–24 14–40 9–34 49–35 7–18 29–13 25–14 38–28
Lions 35–38 42–24 38–12 8–14 47–27 26–19 52–31 40–38
Rebels 33–10 10–55 19–50 22–25 45–19 46–14 40–13 26–31
Reds 18–10 20–14 12–36 15–18 27–22 37–23 48–27 41–52
Sharks 10–40 28–24 38–12 20–10 31–24 24–17 50–22 24–24
Stormers 37–20 29–17 9–15 28–20 23–26 34–18 25–19 27–16
Sunwolves 10–24 25–32 42–37 10–61 17–37 63–28 26–23 29–50
Waratahs 21–24 31–40 41–12 0–29 51–27 37–16 34–27 77–25
Updated to match(es) played on 3 June 2018. Source: http://images.supersport.co.za/content/Vodacom%20Super%20Rugby%202018%20Draw.pdf
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

FinalsEdit

The finals fixtures were as follows:

 
QuarterfinalsSemifinalsFinal
 
          
 
21 July – Christchurch
 
 
Crusaders 40
 
28 July – Christchurch
 
Sharks 10
 
Crusaders 30
 
20 July – Wellington
 
Hurricanes 12
 
Hurricanes 32
 
4 August – Christchurch
 
Chiefs 31
 
Crusaders 37
 
21 July – Johannesburg
 
Lions 18
 
Lions 40
 
28 July – Johannesburg
 
Jaguares 23
 
Lions 44
 
21 July – Sydney
 
Waratahs 26
 
Waratahs 30
 
 
Highlanders 23
 

QuarterfinalsEdit

20 July 2018 Hurricanes 32–31 Chiefs Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington  
19:35 Try: Julian Savea   1'
TJ Perenara   33'62'
Ben Lam   69'
Con: Beauden Barrett   2'33'
Jordie Barrett   70'
Pen: Beauden Barrett   11'55'
Cards: Vaea Fifita   80'
Report[6]
Scoreboard[7]
Try: Brad Weber   7'
Anton Lienert-Brown   51'
Damian McKenzie   79'
Lachlan Boshier   80'
Con: Damian McKenzie   8'52'79'
Charlie Ngatai   80'
Pen: Damian McKenzie   22'
Attendance: 16,402[8]
Referee: Glen Jackson
21 July 2018 Crusaders 40–10 Sharks AMI Stadium, Christchurch  
19:35 Try: Bryn Hall   9'
David Havili   12'
Matt Todd   42'
Braydon Ennor   67'
Pete Samu   72'
Con: Richie Mo'unga   43'68'73'
Pen: Richie Mo'unga   7'40'57'
Report[9]
Scoreboard[10]
Try: Kobus van Wyk   26'
Con: Robert du Preez   27'
Pen: Robert du Preez   48'
Referee: Mike Fraser
21 July 2018 Waratahs 30–23 Highlanders Allianz Stadium, Sydney  
20:05 Try: Bernard Foley   54'61'
Israel Folau   56'
Con: Bernard Foley   54'57'62'
Pen: Bernard Foley   4'9'71'
Cards: Paddy Ryan   74'
Report[11]
Scoreboard[12]
Try: Waisake Naholo   11'
Rob Thompson   25'
Con: Lima Sopoaga   12'26'
Pen: Lima Sopoaga   7'19'34'
Cards: Waisake Naholo   52' to 62'
Attendance: 12,067[13]
Referee: Angus Gardner
21 July 2018 Lions 40–23 Jaguares Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg  
15:05 Try: Ruan Combrinck   8'
Harold Vorster   15'
Malcolm Marx   27'
Andries Coetzee   57'
Con: Elton Jantjies   9'16'28'58'
Pen: Elton Jantjies   26'44'76'
Drop: Elton Jantjies   64'
Report[14]
Scoreboard[15]
Try: Bautista Delguy   42'
Pablo Matera   48'
Con: Nicolás Sánchez   43'49'
Pen: Nicolás Sánchez   4'6'37'
Referee: Jaco Peyper

SemifinalsEdit

28 July 2018 Crusaders 30–12 Hurricanes AMI Stadium, Christchurch  
19:35 Try: Richie Mo'unga   15'
George Bridge   28'
David Havili   44'
Braydon Ennor   69'
Con: Richie Mo'unga   16'45'
Pen: Richie Mo'unga   36'39'
Report[16]
Scoreboard[17]
Try: Julian Savea   19'
Ben Lam   80'
Con: Beauden Barrett   19'
Referee: Jaco Peyper
28 July 2018 Lions 44–26 Waratahs Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg  
15:05 Try: Kwagga Smith   21'63'
Aphiwe Dyantyi   26'
Malcolm Marx   35'58'
Courtnall Skosan   79'
Con: Elton Jantjies   28'37'64'80'
Pen: Elton Jantjies   55'74'
Report[18]
Scoreboard[19]
Try: Ned Hanigan   4'
Israel Folau   8'
Tom Robertson   39'
Jake Gordon   76'
Con: Bernard Foley   6'10'76'
Cards: Damien Fitzpatrick   57' to 67'
Referee: Glen Jackson

FinalEdit

4 August 2018 Crusaders 37–18 Lions AMI Stadium, Christchurch  
19:35 Try: Seta Tamanivalu   19'
David Havili   34'
Mitchell Drummond   62'
Scott Barrett   70'
Con: Richie Mo'unga   20'36'63'71'
Pen: Richie Mo'unga   16'33'43'
Cards: Ryan Crotty   67' to 77'
Report[20]
Scoreboard[21]
Try: Cyle Brink   53'
Malcolm Marx   68'
Con: Elton Jantjies   54'
Pen: Elton Jantjies   13'39'
Referee: Angus Gardner

PlayersEdit

SquadsEdit

The following 2018 Super Rugby squads have been named:

Top scorersEdit

The top ten try and point scorers during the 2018 Super Rugby season are:[22]

RefereesEdit

The following refereeing panel was appointed by SANZAAR for the 2018 Super Rugby season:[23]

AttendancesEdit

Team Main Stadium Capacity Total Attendance Average Attendance % Capacity
  Blues Eden Park 50,000 77,200 9,650 19%
  Chiefs Waikato Stadium 25,800
  Hurricanes Westpac Stadium 34,500 136,911 15,212 46%
  Crusaders Rugby League Park 18,000
  Highlanders Forsyth Barr Stadium 30,728
  Reds Suncorp Stadium 52,500 96,810 12,101 23%
  Brumbies Canberra Stadium 25,011 67,128 8,391 33%
  Waratahs Sydney Football Stadium 44,000 121,603 13,511 32%
  Melbourne Rebels AAMI Park 29,500 78,566 9,820 33%
  Sharks ABSA Stadium 52,000
  Bulls Loftus Versfeld 51,792
  Lions Ellis Park 62,567
  Stormers Newlands Stadium 51,900
  Jaguares José Amalfitani Stadium 49,640
  Sunwolves Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 27,188 80,608 10,076 35%

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Future SA Vodacom Super Rugby franchises confirmed". South African Rugby Union. 7 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Western Force culled from Super Rugby competition". Daily Telegraph. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Sanzaar confirm Super 15 tournament from 2018". SuperXV. 9 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  4. ^ "About Super Rugby". SANZAAR. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  5. ^ "2018 Super Rugby Match Schedule Announced" (Press release). SANZAAR. 21 September 2017. Archived from the original on 23 September 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Hurricanes beat Chiefs to secure Semi Final spot". SANZAAR. 20 July 2018. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Hurricanes 32-31 Chiefs". SANZAAR. 20 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  8. ^ https://www.westpacstadium.co.nz/fileadmin/Documents/Annual_Reports/WRST_AR19.pdf
  9. ^ "Clinical Crusaders cruise past Sharks". SANZAAR. 21 July 2018. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Crusaders 40-10 Sharks". SANZAAR. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Waratahs Storm Back to Stun Highlanders". SANZAAR. 21 July 2018. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Waratahs 30-23 Highlanders". SANZAAR. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  13. ^ https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2018/07/22/waratahs-highlanders-reax
  14. ^ "Lions overcome Jaguares to reach semi-final". SANZAAR. 22 July 2018. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Lions 40-23 Jaguares". SANZAAR. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Crusaders Beat 'Canes Book Home Final". SANZAAR. 28 July 2018. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Crusaders 30-12 Hurricanes". SANZAAR. 28 July 2018. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  18. ^ "Lions overcome Waratahs to reach Super Rugby final". SANZAAR. 29 July 2018. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Lions 44-26 Waratahs". SANZAAR. 28 July 2018. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Outstanding Crusaders claim ninth Super Rugby title". SANZAAR. 4 August 2018. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Crusaders 37-18 Lions". SANZAAR. 4 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Super Rugby Stats". SANZAAR. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Super Rugby Referee Team 2018" (Press release). SANZAAR. 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.

External linksEdit