Shaping up to be Crusaders, Lions in final

Ryan Crotty and the Crusaders will look to take advantage of a kind run to the final. Photo:...
Ryan Crotty and the Crusaders will look to take advantage of a kind run to the final. Photo: Getty Images
Super Rugby has come down to the quarterfinal stage and it is now win or go home. Rugby writer Steve Hepburn with the help of the Lamp, has a look as what side is going to be smiling come August 4.

CRUSADERS

Why they'll win. Top qualifier, quality right through the side and have home advantage through the playoffs. Have not lost at home in two years.

Why they'll come up short. The Sharks have beaten three of the four New Zealand teams they have played and should have beaten the Hurricanes.

The Lamp says: Crusaders have an 84% chance of winning on Saturday and 43% chance of winning it all. There is a 35% chance they will host the Lions in Christchurch.

LIONS

Why they'll win. They actually have a better chance of making the final than any other side, including the Crusaders, due to home advantage over the next two weeks. And when they get to Christchurch it is just 80 minutes. Hooker Malcolm Marx is back.

Why they'll come up short. They lost to the Jaguares heavily the last time they played them and their defence has leaked some points. Poor travellers.

The Lamp says: Home advantage is going to be a huge help meaning the side has a 65% chance of winning a semifinal. But on team strength - which calculates the effectiveness of the team's attack and defence - the Lions are well behind the four New Zealand sides.

WARATAHS

Why they'll win. The Waratahs know how to score points and that is a massive key in knockout play. Top players are fit and hungry.

Why they'll come up short. Woeful against Brumbies last week, not great under pressure and missing captain Michael Hooper.

The Lamp says: Do not bet your house on them. Might win on home track tomorrow but not much chance of going further.

HURRICANES

Why they'll win. Too many good players not to be in the running. Have a quality backline which can score with ease,

Why they'll come up short. Norris Cole leaning on the bar at the Rovers Return has shown more accuracy and energy than this mob in the past three weeks. Too many out-of-form players

The Lamps says: A toss of the coin whether they'll win this week. Could win in Christchurch next week but under 30% chance.

CHIEFS

Why they'll win. In terrific form, have won three in a row, key players back

Why they'll come up short. The tank may be too empty to make any sort of impact. Have overcome a lot of adversity this season but a title appears a bridge too far.

The Lamp says: A decent chance in Wellington but unlikely - 13% - in Christchurch.

HIGHLANDERS

Why they'll win. Have some of the best players in the competition, scoring plenty of points and good attacking players all over the paddock.

Why they'll come up short. A defence about as sound and trustworthy as a Trump press conference. Smashed in Sydney earlier this year.

The Lamp says: A 51% chance of winning tomorrow night and just 15% chance of winning a semifinal. The chance of hosting the final against the Sharks is put at 0.6%.

JAGUARES

Why they'll win. They have upset most predictions all year so why stop now? Play for their coach.

Why they'll come up short. Lost past two games and both of those were in South Africa. When the heat comes on, the discipline goes out the window.

The Lamp says: Not much of a show. Below 20% to win over Lions and 0.2% chance of hosting the final

SHARKS

Why they'll win. Nothing to lose and that is often when a team plays well. When on form look the business

Why they'll come up short. All over the place during the season which won't help them in playoffs. Only thing they can win is air miles.

The Lamp says: A very slim chance of winning tomorrow and a 1% chance of winning it all.

• Dunedin firm Iris Data Science supplies information and predictions to businesses via computer modelling. For a sideline, data scientists Benoit Auvray and Greg Peyroux also use these models to make predictions on sport. The Otago Daily Times invited them last year to make selections for Super Rugby via their modelling, using past results, and they are back again this year.

The model is called Lamp, losing and margin predictor, a play on the cricket model Wasp, winning and score predictor.

Three points will be awarded for a win and five points for a win and the correct margin.


 

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