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    No looking past NZ Super Rugby winner

    2016-05-11 08:00

    Cape Town - While the identity of this year's Super Rugby winner remains a mystery, bookmakers are convinced they will hail from New Zealand.

    New Zealand teams have enjoyed a stellar 2016 Super Rugby tournament to date with their five franchises having picked up a cumulative 163 points after Round 11.

    In contrast, from the same number of matches, Australia's franchises only boast 95, while South Africa's best five sides (forgetting the Kings) have 122 points (albeit from one fewer match).

    Were the quarter-finals to take place tomorrow - and were the match-ups to be decided purely on log points accumulated - New Zealand teams would host all four matches!

    However, such is the daftness of this year's tournament structure, no matter what they do in the remaining six rounds, New Zealand can at most host one quarter-final (Australia are also guaranteed one, while South Africa will get the remaining two*).

    Leading SA bookies Sportingbet have installed the current table-topping Crusaders as 5/2 favourites to win an eighth title.

    The Chiefs (7/2) and Highlanders (6/1) follow, with the Brumbies next best at 7/1.

    The Stormers are the best of the SA bunch at 15/2, followed by the Hurricanes (10/1) and Lions (12/1).

    There is little love (or great value perhaps) for the Bulls and Sharks (both 25/1).

    *assumes the Jaguares or Sunwolves don't top either Africa Conference

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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