Brumbies to get bumped up

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 21:02
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The Brumbies will look to defy the odds and become only the second team in Super Rugby history to win the title after finishing outside the top two on the standings.

The Brumbies will look to defy the odds and become only the second team in Super Rugby history to win the title after finishing outside the top two on the standings.

However, the unexpected spin-off - if they beat the Chiefs in the Final in Hamilton on Saturday - will be that they could be bumped up to second place on the competition's all-time champions log.

Only one team has ever won a Super Rugby title after finishing outside the top two - the seven-time champion Crusaders. That they achieved in 1999, when they won both the semifinal and Final away from home after finishing the regular season in fourth place on the table.

The Brumbies, who finished third on the 2013 standings, will have to take a similar route - having beaten the Bulls (26-23) in Pretoria at the weekend, they have to overcome the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Should they succeed in becoming only the second team to beat the Chiefs at the Waikato Stadium in more than a year, the Brumbies would overtake both the second-placed Bulls and Blues (third) on the champions' table.

Like the Bulls and Blues, a third title would still leave them some distance off the Crusader's seven championships.

On the way to those triumphs the Crusaders set a few other records that will take some time to improve upon - such as the longest winning streak of 16 matches; the first Super Rugby centurions (100 wins); the longest unbeaten streak of 17 matches and the longest winning streak at home of 26 matches.

But the jump from fourth to second on the all-time table would be huge reward for the hard work the Brumbies put in since Jake White took over last year.

"The Crusaders have really dominated Super Rugby and every franchise is now trying to do that," the Brumbies mentor, White, told the Australian Associated Press.

"The Chiefs are trying to do it. The Brumbies are trying to do it. The Bulls have done it for a while now.
 
"Everyone aspires to it and it's that sort of achievement that you want to try and get to."

* This article takes into account only the competitions since the game went professional in 1996. The champions in the three years before the formation of SANZAR, 1993 to 1995, were Transvaal (who beat Auckland 20-17 in the 1993 Final at Ellis Park) and Queensland (who beat Natal 21–10 at the 1994 Final at Kings Park and defeated Transvaal 30–16 at the 1995 Final at Ellis Park).
 
We take a look at the Super Rugby champions table since 1996!
 
1. Crusaders:
Champions = 2008, 2006, 2005, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1998; runners-up = 2011, 2004, 2003; semifinalists = 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007

2. Bulls:
Champions = 2010, 2009, 2007; semifinalists - 2013, 2006, 2005, 1996; preliminary play-offs = 2012
 
3. Blues:
Champions = 2003, 1997, 1996; runners-up = 1998, semifinalists = 2011, 2007
 
4. Brumbies:
Champions = 2004, 2001; runners-up = 2002, 2000, 1997; semifinalists = 2003
 
5. Reds:
Champions = 2011; semifinalists = 2001, 1999, 1996; preliminary play-offs = 2013
 
6. Chiefs:
Champions = 2012; runners-up = 2009; semifinalists = 2004
 
* Most successful teams not to have won the competition (had to have been at least runners-up to qualify):
 
Sharks:
Runners-up = 2012, 2007, 2001, 1996; semifinalists = 2008, 1998, 1997; preliminary play-offs = 2011
 
Waratahs:
Runners-up = 2008, 2005; semifinalists = 2010, 2006, 2002; preliminary play-offs = 2011
 
Hurricanes:
Runners-up = 2006; semifinalists = 2009, 2008, 2005, 2003, 1997
 
Stormers:
Runners-up = 2010; semifinalists = 2012, 2011, 2004, 1999
 
Highlanders:
Runners-up = 1999; semifinalists = 2002, 2000, 1998

By Jan de Koning with additional reporting by AAP

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