White questions Crusaders right to home advantage

Sharks Director of Rugby Jake White has highlighted a flaw in the Super Rugby model ahead of the Super Rugby Semi-finals on Saturday.

White has questioned whether it is right that the Crusaders have home advantage in the Semi-final as the Crusaders did not play the team that finished on top of the Super Rugby standings.

White’s Sharks won their Super Rugby qualifier match against the Highlanders in Durban but have had to travel to Christchurch for the Semi-final against the Crusaders.

The Crusaders earned the right to host the Super Rugby semi-final as they finished higher in the Super Rugby standings.

The Crusaders finished the regular season in second place while the Sharks finished in third place.

White has questioned the relevance of the final standings as he points out that the Crusaders did not face the Waratahs (who finished first) and the Bulls (who finished 9th place) in the regular season.

“And so they come second, now they get a home semi and now it’s a fait accompli that they’re going to win this game so had they played those games we’d be playing in Durban and we’d be a firm favourite and we’d be the team that’s going to win,” White told NewstalkZB.

White said that everyone expects the two teams who have home advantage to win the Semi-finals and advance to the Super Rugby final and if that happens SANZAR should look at why they even hold the play offs.

“Because we’re wasting a lot of lot of time, a lot of money, we’re playing players week in and week out that can have a three week, four week preparation time before test matches, then we may as well call it quits at the end of the tournament, get one to play two home and away and then call the champion the champion.”

Ironically in last year’s Super Rugby Semi-final White was with the Brumbies and his team beat the Bulls at home in Pretoria and progressed to the final which undermines White’s argument.

In 2012 the Sharks also beat the Stormers in Cape Town and progressed to the Super Rugby final.

The Sharks boss has however made it clear that he would prefer a format that sees each team playing the other team in the regular season rather than the current format in which teams miss each other.

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