All downhill from right here: The Tremendous Rugby AU run residence

We’re on the a part of the season, with 4 rounds to play, the place wins are extra necessary than ever and the Tremendous Rugby AU desk confirms the race all of us suspected to be true at first of the 12 months.

It’s a race in two for high spot, with the Queensland Reds on 23 factors nearly one full win away from the Brumbies on 20. With 5 and 4 wins respectively, they’re battling it out to see who hosts the Closing, and who hosts the second versus third Qualifier.

Under them, the Melbourne Rebels on 10 factors are one full win forward of the Western Pressure on six, and these two are primarily enjoying for third place.

Most factors accessible is a measure I’ve stored an eye fixed on the previous few years, and it’s illustrative once more. The Reds stay within the field seat for the minor premiership, with a most of 38 factors accessible to them at this level.

The Brumbies can get to 35 factors, however importantly, in the event that they do get to 35, then the Reds received’t get to 38, given the 2 groups will meet once more in Spherical 8.

The Rebels can attain 30 factors, the Pressure can nonetheless end with 21 factors, and although the Waratahs can nonetheless get to a most of 16 factors from their final three video games, I’m unsure even family and friends could be overly assured they’ll.

I’ll let the run residence paint the image of the 5 groups in 2021.

Having copped one other thumping by the hands of Queensland this weekend simply gone, the Waratahs should entrance up for an additional dose of the Brumbies operating by them on Friday evening on the SCG.

The bye in Spherical 8 can be of little to no assist, which leaves them with the Western Pressure in Perth in Spherical 9, and the Rebels at Bankwest within the last spherical as their finest possibilities of an upset win. However neither are sure. You might need given them an opportunity of toppling the Pressure in Sydney this late within the season, however the recreation being in Perth makes the duty all of the more durable.

And the Rebels will fairly probably be enjoying for third place by Spherical 10, so it’s arduous to see them letting something slip by then, both.

“You’d hate to see the Waratahs undergo the season winless,” I initially wrote to start out this paragraph, however after the NSW Rugby board skewered Rob Penney on Sunday evening, I can’t rightly maintain that hopeful sentiment any longer. It’s tough on the gamers, however the Waratahs deserve all the things they get for remainder of 2021.

Penney to your ideas, Rob? (Photograph by Mark Kolbe/Getty Photos)

Every little thing.

Tim Sampson mentioned after the loss to the Brumbies that it was a kind of irritating video games the place you actually want you may get straight again on the park to rectify. Having this weekend with the bye doesn’t assist that trigger.

They’re in Melbourne to face the Rebels in Spherical 8, after which end with two residence video games in opposition to the Waratahs and Reds to complete the common season. The truth is the Pressure want three wins from right here to assert third spot, which implies they’re in knockout rugby mode for the subsequent 5 weeks.

The Rebels are lastly again in Melbourne, with a run of three straight residence video games they’ve been ready all season for. However the three residence video games are something however simple.

They host Queensland on Saturday, the Pressure the next Friday evening, after which the Brumbies on the Sunday afternoon in Spherical 9. They end the common season with a visit to tackle the Waratahs, by which level they’ll know precisely what they should do for the finals hopes.

The one staff with 4 video games to play, the Rebels have an apparent benefit over the remainder of the sphere. If they might win two of these three residence video games over the subsequent three weeks, they’d be thrilled. Win all three they usually’ll give themselves an opportunity of internet hosting the playoff last.

The Brumbies will now be eyeing off the Waratahs on Friday evening as an opportunity to slim the hole on the Reds, and significantly if the Rebels might then do them an enormous favour on Saturday evening.

The Brumbies are on the highway for the remainder of the season now, and can solely play in Canberra once more in both the second versus third playoff, or within the Closing. After the Waratahs in Sydney, they head to Brisbane for the match that can probably determine high spot, after which face a troublesome last recreation in Melbourne in opposition to the Rebels.

They then have a bye in Spherical 10 – which implies in the event that they occur to do sufficient to complete in high spot, they’ll have two weeks off earlier than the Closing. One week is commonly useful, however two weeks? That can be attention-grabbing.

Andy Muirhead, Len Ikitau and Rob Valetini of the Brumbies celebrate

Len Ikitau (centre) with Andy Muirhead and Rob Valetini. (Photograph by Mark Kolbe/Getty Photos)

Queensland have the sort of run that on paper seems to be robust, however in actuality would have Brad Thorn assured they’ll be in actually good condition for the finals in the event that they get by comparatively unscathed.

They begin with the Rebels in Melbourne this weekend, then host the Brumbies in Brisbane, and have a superbly positioned bye in Spherical 9. That they had the bye in Spherical 9 final season as effectively, after which got here out and comfortably beat the Brumbies three tries to 1 within the final spherical earlier than the finals, earlier than repeating the dose on the Rebels within the playoff recreation.

They then end with the Western Pressure in Perth in Spherical 10, which coming the identical week the Brumbies have the bye, they’ll be in full management of their topping the desk future.

All of it looms as a extremely attention-grabbing run residence, and I’ll be genuinely to see how effectively the Reds and Brumbies preserve their kind on the high, and whether or not the hole between them and the Rebels (and Pressure, to an extent) stays.

Equally, we’ve been ready for each of them to indicate it, and there’s no higher time for the Rebels and Pressure to ship on the promising patches they’ve produced up to now this season.

Which implies we have to strap in for the downhill run. I can’t assist however assume there’s a bump or two alongside the way in which.

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