Despite some skepticism about the launch of the new 15-team format of the
Super Rugby competition in last year in 2011, the tournament turned out to be a
big success, culminating in the Reds from Australia defeating the Crusaders from
New Zealand by 18-13 in the final to win the Championship, and on Friday,
February 24, the 2012 Super Rugby season kicks off.
Now that rugby union fans have embraced the new 15-team format, where the
five best provincial or conference teams from Australia, New Zealand and South
Africa take each other on, there is little doubt that the 2012 Super Rugby
competition will offer up even more excitement than its predecessor, and result
in greater levels of Super Rugby betting action.
Top-rated South African-friendly online sportsbook Sportingbet has all the
latest Super Rugby betting odds.
Super 15 Betting Outright Winner Odds
These were the outright odds as posted before the season start. We'll leave
these up as it is always interesting to refer back to pre-tournament odds when
evaluating the performance of teams against initial expectations.
Super 15 Rugby Rules
Under the new Super 15 rules, a total of 125 Super Rugby matches will be played
over 24 weeks in two types of games.
The first are internal conference matches where each team plays the other
four teams in their respective conference twice - once at home and once away.
The second are cross conference matches, where each teams plays four teams from
the other two conferences, which means they play eight matches in total, and
don't get to play one team from each conference. (The fact that a Super Rugby
champion can be crowned without playing every one of the other 14 teams sparked
much criticism in 2011.)
During the cross conference matches, each team must play two away two home
matches, until eventually the best team from each conference (seeds) - with the
most points - and the next three best teams (wild cards) - no matter where they
are from - progress to the finals.
In the qualifying finals, the third conference winner (Team 3) hosts the
worst wild card team (Team 6) and the best wild card team (Team 4) hosts the
second-best wild card team (Team 5), while the two top conference winners enjoy
In the semi-finals, the #1 seed (Team 1) conference winner hosts the other
first-round winner, while the #2 seed (Team 2) conference winners hosts the
highest surviving seed from the first round, until there are just two teams left
standing who face off in the Super 15 Final hosted by the remaining best seed.
Super Rugby Finals Breakdown
QF1 - Team 3 vs Team 6
QF2 - Team 4 vs Team 5
SF1 - Team 1 vs Winner QF 2
SF2 - Team 2 v Winner QF 1