How does it work? Sky Super Rugby Transtasman explained

Christopher Reive, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 May 2021, 8:40PM

How does it work? Sky Super Rugby Transtasman explained

Christopher Reive, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 May 2021, 8:40PM

All you need to know ahead of the Super Rugby Transtasman kick-off this weekend.

How does it work?

The five New Zealand teams – Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes – and the five Australian teams – Brumbies, Western Force, Rebels, Reds and Waratahs – will battle for trans-Tasman supremacy.

It's a condensed competition of just six weeks. Each New Zealand team plays each Australian team once over the five weeks of round robin play. New Zealand teams don't play other New Zealand teams and Australian teams don't play other Australian teams – we've already seen plenty of that.

The scoring system remains the same, with four points for a win, two points for a draw and nothing for a loss. Teams can earn a bonus point if they lose by seven points of fewer, and another if they score three tries more than their opposition.

The top two teams after the five weeks will meet in the final.

Does it have to be New Zealand vs Australia in the final?

No, it does not. Because the competition is run on a single ladder and not with a conference system, the two teams with the highest points total will be the finalists. So, yes, there could be two New Zealand teams competing in the final.

Where are they playing?

Every team gets an assortment of home and away games. Here's how the draw works out:

New Zealand teams

Blues: three home games, two away.
Chiefs: three away, two home.
Crusaders: three away, two home.
Highlanders: three home, two away.
Hurricanes: three home, two away.

Australian teams

Brumbies: three away, two home.
Force: three away, two home.
Rebels: three away, two home.
Reds: three home, two away.
Waratahs: three home, two away.

What weird new rules are we using?

Fans of the captain's challenge will be disappointed to read that utter time-waster has been abolished for this competition.

The rule that a player who is shown a red card can be replaced after 20 minutes will remain in place, as will the polarising goal-line drop out rule. For those still unsure when a goal-line drop out comes into play, here's the explainer:

"A goal line drop-out will occur when an attacking player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal or knocks the ball on in the in-goal area, or when an attacking kick, other than a penalty or drop goal attempt, is grounded by the defending team in their in-goal area."

Golden point will not feature in the round robins, but will be in play if required during the final.