We’re six rounds into the 2017 Super Rugby season and already it’s shaping up to be a pretty one-sided affair. We’ll have to wait until August before we have a winner, but we can already rule out about half the teams.
For the uninitiated, the competition is split into two groups — Australasian and South African. The Australasia group is split into two conferences, Australia and New Zealand, while five South African teams share a group with two teams from Japan and Argentina.
As we’ve come to expect in recent years, the New Zealand teams tower over their fellow competitors. Last year, the Wellington-based Hurricanes steamrolled their way through the competition, winning 11 of 15 games in the tough New Zealand conference. Then they made easy work of the Lions (South Africa) in the finals, crushing them 20-3.
So it’s no surprise that the Hurricanes are currently the favorites to win it again this year. The team still features Beauden Barrett, last season’s top point scorer, plus Vince Aso and Ngani Laumape, who are currently the top try scorers this year. They’ve had one defeat this season, but from what we’ve seen, they’re still a cut above the rest.
As it stands, the lowest-ranked New Zealand team, the Highlanders (14 points), is outperforming the highest-ranked Australian side, the Brumbies (11 points). That should give you some idea of Australia’s chances this season.
The top three favorites — the Hurricanes, Chiefs, and Crusaders — are all Kiwis. Since all the Australian, Japanese, and Argentinian teams don’t stand much of a chance, it’s up to South Africa to end New Zealand’s reign.
Once again, the Lions are South Africa’s best hope. Last year’s runners-up are currently on top of the South African group. However, the Sharks and Stormers are poised to give them a push. Here are the full odds to win the 2017 Super Rugby final.
Odds to win the 2017 Super Rugby Final
Hurricanes (New Zealand): 7/3
Chiefs (New Zealand): 21/4
Crusaders (New Zealand): 47/3
Lions (South Africa): 93/7
Highlanders (New Zealand): 15/1
Sharks (South Africa): 17/1
Stormers (South Africa): 17/1
Brumbies (Australia): 50/1
The Field: 50/1
Photo credit: Brett Taylor [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]