Super Rugby Power Rankings
In case you missed our first Power Rankings last week, Green and Gold Rugby have wheeled out our calculators to explore form in Super Rugby at a level deeper than the wins vs losses column.
Piggybacking off the work of ESPN analyst John Hollinger, our team of crack sports scientists have implemented a formula to find where teams really belong on the ladder.
A number of big results has seen a major shuffle of the Rankings, including one incredible leap to the top.
POWER RANKING FORMULA = (((Strength Of Schedule-0.5)/0.037)*0.67) + (((SOSL5-0.5)/0.037)*0.33) + 100 + (0.67*(MARG+(((ROAD-HOME)*3.5)/(GAMES))) + (0.33*(MARGL5+(((ROADx-HOMEL5)*3.5)/(10))))
Terms of reference:
Strength of Schedule/SOS = Average win percentage of all teams played thus far.
L5 = Last five matches.
MARG = Average scoring margin.
ROAD = Away Games.
HOME = Home Games.
The Bottom Feeders
18. King’s – 72.850 (=)
Another heavy loss has seen the record-lowly ranked Southern Kings slip even further into the record books, by four points. This team is really, really below the standard of Super Rugby, and the maths agrees. Maybe they should consider taking up golf. Or tennis.
17. Sunwolves, 78.625 (=)
Through no fault of their own, the Sunwolves’ bye has dropped the side’s power ranking by a point. As team’s win-loss percentages changed over the round, the Sunwolves’ previous games don’t seem as tough as they used to be. Poor results in winning just two from nine matches, against opposition who average 50.2% wins to their losses, have sent the Sunwolves down the table even further.
16. Western Force, 86.841 (=)
Already enduring one of the most difficult schedules in Super Rugby, the Force have played almost the toughest possible teams in the last five weeks. Wins against the Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Bulls and Waratahs (who combine to a 74% win ratio) are tough to come by for any team. The Force have struggled through this period with an average scoring margin of -14.8, while playing the last three matches at home.
15. Reds, 94.173 (=)
The Red’s second win of the season has carried the Queenslanders two points higher in the Power Rankings. A strong win over the Cheetah’s has mostly undone the damage done by the Bulls and Stormers, carrying the Reds margin over the last five matches to -5.
14. Melbourne Rebels, 96.389 (-1)
The Rebels competed admirably against the Blues at Eden Park over the weekend to lose 36-30. The loss translates to a 0.5 point Power Rankings fall, bumping the Rebels down to 14th place with a strong Jaguares win. The Rebel’s season difficulty rating comes in at a mild 42%, a perk of playing in the Australian Group of the Australiasian conference – rendering their -1.6 points margin inexcusable.
13. Jaguares, 99.475 (+1)
If there were any doubts that the Jaguares were the strongest expansion side, a 73-27 spanking of the Southern King’s in Buenos Aires took care of them. A points margin of -1 for the past five weeks, against almost-50% opposition, with four matches away from home, has boomed the Jaguares up nearly five Power Rankings points.
Interestingly, the teams compromising Super Rugby’s ‘Bottom Feeders’/bottom six are all three expansion teams and three Australian teams.
The Mid-Table Warriors
12. Blues, 101.427 (=)
The Blues did away with the top-of-the-group Rebels at home, carrying the Blues above 100 Power Rankings points for the first time. The Blues have played opposition with a combined winning percentage of 58%, the fourth most difficult in Super Rugby, with an average scoring margin of -0.5. For keeping touch with the heavyweights, the Hollinger formula pays the Auckland Blues some respect.
11. Cheetahs, 101.552 (-3)
The week’s second biggest losers, the Cheetahs dipped two points in Power Ranking and correspondingly fell three positions, from eighth to 11th – one might argue it is still too high for a team that was convincingly beaten by the 15th ranked Reds, but the impact of the 92-17 win over the Sunwolves still pads the Highveldters statistics.
10. Brumbies, 102.269 (+1)
The Brumbies’ Power Ranking improved by three points in their tight loss to the Highlanders. An average margin of -3.6 in the past five weeks against Super Rugby’s third-toughest schedule (Waratahs, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Cheetahs) is quite good. If the margin was even just closer to positive, the Brumbies would be recognised as one of Super Rugby’s top teams.
9. Waratahs, 103.039 (+1)
The Waratahs played out a thrilling 32-30 win over the heavily favoured Stormers in Round 10. Unfortunately for the Tah’s, a 2-pt win does little to boost their season and last-five-match margins. Ultimately, a low scoring margin against the 7th easiest schedule in the competition has hamstrung the New South Welsh side.
8. Sharks, 104.810 (+1)
The Sharks nightmare run of matches continued in Round 10 with a match-up against the scary-good Chiefs. Incredibly, the Sharks defence were able to keep the game close again! The Sharks have played Super Rugby’s second-toughest schedule, behind the Force, and have come up with a positive scoring margin for the season. The Sharks horror stretch continues with the attacking juggernaught Hurricanes at home. Can they possibly keep this up?
7. Lions, 105.305 (-5)
The Lions were creamed by the Hurricanes, 17-50, which sent them on a horrific slide, slipping from second place to seventh in one week. As a big win over the Cheetahs back in Round Four was wiped from the L5 slate, the Lions scoring margin over the last five weeks dropped 10-pts per game, from 13.8 to 3.6. With a tough, but not the toughest schedule, the Lions have crashed out of the Top 6 in-form teams.
The Cream of the Crop
6. Bulls, 105.644 (=)
Super Rugby’s worst flat track bullies came out firing again as they kicked the Force to the curb, 42-20. The Bulls are the kings of stealing candy from the babies, outscoring teams by 16-pts per game in the last five matches, against an opposition who have won just 16% of their games on average. How the Jaguares would kill to play the Force, Reds, Cheetahs, Sunwolves and Kings back-to-back. The Bulls’ real test comes this weekend as they take on their strongest opposition since the Rebels in Round Two.
5. Stormers, 105.696 (-1)
The Stormers 31-11 win over the Brumbies in Round Four has been wiped from the slate, halving the Stormers points scoring margin in the last five matches from 12 to 6-pts per game. The Capetonians have played Super Rugby’s easiest schedule in total, 41% opposition win-rate, while casually out-scoring them by 10-pts per game.
4. Highlanders, 106.613 (+2)
The Round’s second biggest climbers, the Highlanders have cracked the elusive Top Five with a convincing 23-10 win over the Brumbies. That victory raised the ‘Landers margin over the past five games within a fraction of double digits, earning a 0.9 point bump to leapfrog the Stormers.
3. Crusaders, 110.009 (-1)
The Crusaders took the week off in Round 10, but dipped 0.3 points as their Strength of Schedule weakened after Brumbies, Lions and Sharks losses over the weekend.
2. Chiefs, 113.526 (-1)
The Chiefs narrow home victory over the Sharks saw the Waikato lads drop just 0.8 Power Ranking points, which wasn’t enough to hold out the resurgent Hurricanes from seizing top spot.
1. Hurricanes, 113.669 (+3)
A 50-17 annihilation of the formerly second-ranked Lions kept up the ‘Canes stunning points differential, while the balance of home and away matches tipped to away. The ‘Canes rocketed up three spots to seize the title of Super Rugby’s most in-form team.