The Super Rugby Season is back for 2018 with a new and improved format. The Competition has been reduced from 18 to 15 teams with Australia’s Western Force and South Africa’s Cheetahs & Southern Kings all making way to ensure a stronger and more viable competition in 2018. A reduction in conferences from 4 to 3 has seen the Sunwolves join the Australian Conference and the Jaguares join the South African Conference.
New Zealand teams once again look to hold the key in the tournament with all 5 teams featuring prominently in Outright Betting. The Significant mover in the Outright has been the Auckland Blues coming off the back of a terrific performance claiming this year’s Brisbane 10’s title in great fashion. However, we anticipate the title will be a race in three with last year’s Champions the Crusaders vying for favouritism with the both the Hurricanes and Lions.
UNLIKE previous years, when it was hoped “all five” Australian Super Rugby teams would be finalists, there was a subdued launch for the 2018 season in Brisbane on Sunday.
For starters, there are now only four teams — the Western Force having been cut and the players dispersed to the remaining clubs, mostly Melbourne.
And with Australian teams recording no wins and 26 losses to Kiwi sides last year, and the New Zealand sides once again excelling in the Brisbane Tens last weekend, no bold declarations were forthcoming.
Instead, new Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle emphasised the need for teams to leave it all on the pitch, and players to behave off it.
Since the Waratahs won the title in 2014 no Australian team has made the final, and last year’s ongoing trans-Tasman slaughter has shaken much of the confidence from supporters and officials.