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Many semifinal scenarios

Carterton captain Darryl Pickering [with ball] will lead his team in the crucial clash with Marist. PHOTOS/FILE

RUGBY

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

With one round to play before the Chris ‘Moose’ Kapene Memorial Cup semifinals, the only certainty is that Greytown will play at home against the fourth-placed finisher. Which of the other teams make the top four is anybody’s guess, so let’s look at the permutations.

CARTERTON are virtually there on 19 points but can be overhauled and could still miss out on the semis.

The maroons need a win away to Marist, a draw, or a loss with two bonus points, to lock in a home playoff spot.

However, a loss with no bonus point and wins to Eketahuna, and an upset bonus point win to Pioneer over Greytown, would see Carterton miss out.

EKETAHUNA, on 16 points, simply must beat Gladstone to grab a semifinal place.

A bonus-point victory will take them to 21 points, and possibly a home semi if Carterton also fall at Marist. If Eketahuna and Carterton were to finish equal on points, Eke would hold the advantage, having won their round-robin clash.

Even with a loss, Eke could still sneak into the four, particularly if they can grab one or two bonus points, but if they fail to gain a bonus point, and either two of Pioneer, Marist, or East Coast win, Eketahuna would be confined to the bottom four.

Pioneer [red and blue] will probably need to upset Greytown to make the top four.
PIONEER, on 15 points, face the toughest task against unbeaten Greytown. A surprise victory, with a bonus point would mean the blue and reds are safe, but a win without a bonus point might not be enough to secure a place, if Eketahuna win, and Marist, Gladstone, and East Coast all win with bonus points.

A draw could be enough if Marist, Gladstone, and East Coast lose.

Remarkably, Pioneer can lose without registering a bonus point and still sneak into the top four, should Marist, Gladstone, and East Coast suffer losses without bonus points.

MARIST are also on 15 points but behind Pioneer because of their round-robin loss. A win with a bonus point over Carterton would probably seal a semifinal, but only if Pioneer lose to Greytown, and Eketahuna drop their game to Gladstone.

Otherwise, a win without scoring four tries should be enough if they can deny Carterton a bonus point.

Marist can also creep into the four with a draw or a loss with bonus points [one or two] if Pioneer, Gladstone, and East Coast suffer losses without bonus points.

GLADSTONE, on 14 points, must rely on other results to go their way to capture a top four playoff.

A win over Eketahuna, with or without a bonus point, would put them ahead of their northern rivals, but Gladdy would still probably need losses by Pioneer and/or Marist to qualify.

A draw or a loss with two bonus points would also be enough if Marist lose without a bonus point, Pioneer lose with no more than one bonus point, and East Coast lose at Martinborough.

EAST COAST, on 14 points, must beat winless Martinborough with or without a bonus point and hope that other results go their way. Easier said than done though with Marty determined to show some of the form they are capable of.

A win with or without a bonus point could be enough for the Coasties, with losses by Pioneer, Marist, and Gladstone.

A draw or a loss with two bonus points could also be sufficient if Marist lose with no more than one bonus point, Pioneer lose with no more than one bonus point, and Gladstone lose.

Confused? Aren’t we all, but it’s a sports administrator’s dream with six of the eight teams in the hunt, and from what has happened throughout the season, anything can happen, and probably well.

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