Super 14 Last Chance Saloon
Next weekend is the regular season conclusion to the Super 14. The Crusaders and Sharks sit atop the points table with 41 and 40 points respectively, and will likely make the playoffs, but that is by no means a guarantee, nor is a home-field semi-final berth a certainly.
Four teams (Blues, Bulls, Chiefs, Brumbies) will be battling for the other two playoff slots, with the Western Force still a mathematical possibility if the stars align. Click here to see the current Super 14 table standings.
The big talking point going into last weekend's Crusaders vs. Brumbies encounter was the emotional home send-off to retiring Brumbies (and Wallaby greats George Gregan, Jeremy Paul and Stephen Larkham). The big talking point coming out of the match was the Brumbies 15-6 victory over the perennial champion Crusaders. The match is now being looked at the way the All Blacks can be beaten in September's World Cup.
Meanwhile, Inky writes about "The Big Picture" and constructs some descriptive analysis reinforcing flagging Kiwi confidence.
God damn it, it's starting again, a flood of doubt rising over the public levees to lap at the feet of the Man... it must be World Cup year.Read the whole thing here.
Check back later in the week for a preview of the final regular season weekend's action, and I'll examine the log-jam and playoff mathematics...