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Aussie teams sitting pretty in Super Rugby

Date

Darren Walton

Momentum: Nick Phipps of the Waratahs. NSW are one of three Australian teams currently in the play-off positions.

Momentum: Nick Phipps of the Waratahs. NSW are one of three Australian teams currently in the play-off positions. Photo: Getty Images

Halfway through the competition and three Australian teams are positioned to qualify for the Super Rugby finals for the first time in history.

The Brumbies in 2004 and Queensland Reds in 2011 are the only Australian sides in the past decade to have won a Super championship, but now the NSW Waratahs and Western Force are threatening to challenge for maiden titles after climbing into playoff contention.

Runners-up last year to New Zealand's Chiefs, the Brumbies (25 points) are second overall in the standings and clinging to a one-point lead over NSW in the hotly-contested Australian conference following the Waratahs' gritty 19-12 win over the Bulls on Saturday night.

The Waratahs (24) leapfrogged the fifth-placed Force (23) into fourth with the Perth-based outfit's 22-16 loss to the Melbourne Rebels earlier in round 10.

The Rebels (16) and Reds (16) are each six points adrift of the top six but not completely without hope of pushing for the playoffs, with both teams set for a series of "eight-point" derbies over the final eight rounds of the home-and-a-way season.

The Rebels have four derbies to come, including two showdowns with the Reds, presenting the underdogs with a big opportunity to climb the Australian conference ladder if they're good enough.

The Waratahs' hosting of the Brumbies in the penultimate round could decide conference honours, while the Force's home game against the Reds the following week may well determine if Australia boasts three finalists for the first time.

NSW coach Michael Cheika has been eyeing a top-two finals spot since the pre-season and believes the Waratahs are on course after beating the Bulls.

"We don't have a buffer, but we're on track," Cheika said.

"We're five (wins) and three (losses), we've got a few bonus points, we've got a (win) away from home in our pocket, we've (won) all our home games."

While three Australian teams are sitting pretty at the halfway point, South African sides, with the exception of the table-topping Sharks, are struggling to make an impact.

The Sharks (31) shot six points clear of the second-placed Brumbies with their 19-8 derby win over the Cheetahs in Durban and the Chiefs' 18-17 home loss to the Crusaders in Hamilton earlier on Saturday.

The Chiefs (26) remain third, and top of the New Zealand conference, with the Crusaders (22) nudging above the Hurricanes (20) into the top six.

The Sharks are the only South African team in the top half of the table, with the Bulls, Lions, Stormers and Cheetahs all languishing.

AAP

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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