22 Oct

Race for the Semis
by Tracey Nelson
22 Oct 2009

We’ve reached the final round of the ANZC competition, and places for the semi finals are still up in the air with only Canterbury guaranteed of being in the play-offs before this weekend’s games are decided. So what are scenarios?

Canterbury are sitting in 1st place on 46 points. Regardless of whether Canterbury win or lose (although if they lose this game they also lose the Ranfurly Shield) to Southland, they are guarenteed of finishing in 1st place due to being 7 points ahead on the leaderboard from second-placed Wellington.

Wellington are currently sitting second on 39 points.. If Wellington win away against Tasman this Friday, they sew up second place regardless of whether or not they win with a bonus point. However, should they lose this game they could miss out on the semis if Southland, Waikato/Auckland and Hawkes Bay all win their games. A loss with the loser’s bonus point could see them potentially finish in 4th place behind both Waikato and Hawkes Bay if they win their games – all three sides could finish on 40 points but because Wellington lost to Waikato in round robin play they would finish behind Waikato.

Southland are currently sitting third on 37 points. Should they lose to Canterbury they risk missing out on the semis if Hawkes Bay wins, becuase either one of Waikato or Auckland will overtake Southland when that game is played on Saturday night. So to make the semis Southland must either win the Ranfurly Shield, or hope that Hawkes Bay is beaten by Northland.

Waikato are currently 4th on 36 points. They can make the semis by beating Auckland, and could potentially finish in scond place if both Wellington and Southland lose this weekend. A loss, even with the bonus point, will see them miss out if Hawkes Bay wins against Northland.

Hawkes Bay are just outside the top four, sitting on 36 points but behind Waikato as the Mooloos won the round robin game between the two sides. Hawkes Bay need to win their game against Northland to have any hope of making the semis. If they win that game then they also need one of the following to occur: Canterbury to beat Southland, Tasman to beat Wellington, or Auckland to beat Waikato. If any of those events occur and Hawkes Bay win their game, they could finish as high as second should Wellington lose to Tasman.

Auckland are in 6th place on 35 points. They can make the semis by beating Waikato and hoping that Canterbury beats Southland. They could even finish as high as second if those two things happen, and also both Wellington and Hawkes Bay lose their games.

The deciding games this weekend are:

Thurs 7.30pm: Canterbury v Southland (Ranfurly Shield)
Fri 7.30pm: Northland v Hawkes Bay and Tasman v Wellington
Sat 7.30pm: Waikato v Auckland

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