Super Rugby: What's left to play for in the regular season finale

Karl Tu'inukafe
Chiefs prop Karl Tu'inukafe fends off Hurricanes hooker Ricky Riccitelli. Photo credit: Photosport

The Crusaders may have cemented their Super Rugby playoff standing, but there are still plenty of ramifications on the regular season's final round.

The Chiefs and Hurricanes will be trying to snatch the final home quarter-final, while the Highlanders would love to avoid a South African road trip next week.

Behind the top eight, two more teams still have a shot at extending their seasons.

Here's a rundown of what's at stake this weekend:

58 points
13 wins, two losses (six bonus points)
vs Blues (H)
The champions have already sealed home advantage through the playoffs and will round off their regular season with a home game against the NZ conference cellar dwellers. They could possibly by in better position to defend their title.
Projected quarter-final vs Rebels (H)

44 points
Nine wins, five losses, one draw (six bonus points)
vs Brumbies (H)
The Aussie conference has been a lolly scramble and while the Waratahs have emerged on top, they’re up against a side that have shown good form since the international window and can still snatch a playoff berth if results go their way.
Projected quarter-final vs Jaguares (H)

41 points 
Eight wins, seven losses (seven bonus points)
vs Bulls (H)
Beaten finalists for the past two seasons, the Lions could still lose the South African conference to the Jaguares. They have secured a playoff spot, but there’s a big difference between home advantage and a road trip for teams from the republic.
Projected quarter-final vs Highlanders (H)

50 points
11 wins, four losses (six bonus points)
vs Chiefs (A)
The 2016 champions currently hold home advantage in the quarter-finals and will likely face this week’s opponents again the following weekend… but that could still change on this game. The Hurricanes desperately need to build momentum off the back of their performance against the Blues.
Projected quarter-final vs Chiefs (H)

45 points
10 wins, five losses (five bonus points)
vs Hurricanes (H)
The season comes down to this game for the Chiefs – a big win could promote them into a home quarter-final, but a massive loss could still see them drop a spot to the Highlanders. This isn’t a great game to rest your top playmaker.
Projected quarter-final vs Hurricanes (A)

40 points
Nine wins, six losses (four bonus points)
vs Rebels (H)
The Highlanders could jump a spot over the Chiefs with a big win this week, but they would probably need the Waikato-based side to lose big, which is less likely. They’ve gone off the boil since the international window, so they desperately need a lift in form, especially facing a trip to South Africa for the quarter-finals.
Projected quarter-final vs Lions (A)

38 points
Nine wins, six wins (two bonus points)
vs Sharks (A)
The South Americans have been the feel-good story of this competition, sealing a playoff spot for the first time and beating two Kiwi teams in NZ along the way. They could slide a spot if they lose to the Sharks and the Rebels beat the Highlanders – but they could also jump a spot with a Highlanders loss.
Projected quarter-final vs Waratahs (A)

35 points
Sevens wins, eight losses (seven bonus points)
vs Highlanders (A)
As it stands, the Rebels will also make their first post-season appearance and much was expected of them, after they barely retained their place in the competition, but inherited several players from the defunct Western Force. They could still miss out if they lose to the Highlanders, and the Sharks or Brumbies win.
Projected quarter-final vs Crusaders (A)   

32 points
Six wins, eight losses, one draw (six bonus points)
vs Jaguares (H)
The Sharks currently sit outside the playoff picture, but could re-enter calculations if they win this week and the Rebels lose. Both those things could easily happen.
No projected quarter-final

30 points
Six wins, nine losses (five bonus points)
vs Waratahs (H)
The Brumbies could also sneak into the post-season, but need a bunch of things to fall their way. They must beat the Waratahs, and hope the Rebels and Sharks both lose.
No projected quarter-final 


Join us across the weekend for Super Rugby live updates - Chiefs vs Hurricanes (7:30pm Friday), Highlanders vs Rebels (5:15pm Saturday) and Crusaders vs Blues (7:30pm Saturday).