Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The first Super 12 series was held in 1996, although it has its origins in the Super 10, Super 6 and South Pacific championships. It was born out of the success of 1995 Rugby Union World Cup, pitting regional teams of the then three strongest rugby nations against each other.
One significant reason for the development of the Super 12 competition was the introduction, in Australia especially but also in other nations, of pay (or subscription) television (often known in the USA as 'cable' or 'satellite' TV). A key part of the business model for the Foxtel pay TV network in Australia was to attract subscribers by offering an exclusive product (such as rugby union) which could not be seen on free-to-air broadcast television.
The Super 12 is a round-robin competition with each team playing every other team with games held each weekend. A team receives four points for a win, two for a draw, and none for a loss. Teams also receive a bonus point for scoring four tries, regardless of the final result. A bonus point is also earned by a team that loses a game by seven points (a converted try) or less. The top four teams at the end of the round-robin phase then play semifinals, with the first placed team hosting the fourth placed team and the second placed team hosting the third placed team. The two winners then play the final at the home ground of the top surviving seed.
In recent years (2001 onwards), Australia has pushed unsuccessfully for the inclusion of a fourth Australian team, (this has been now confirmed as Perth); and South Africa for another team from its country. There has also been discussion of including a team from the South Pacific Island nations, such as Fiji; or a combined Pacific Islanders team from Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga. Argentina is also pushing for inclusion in the Super 12. At the moment, however, the competition remains as it began.
In September 2004, SANZAR, a partnership established by the South African, New Zealand, and Australian rugby governing bodies that conducts the Super 12 and Tri Nations Series, began negotiations for a new television deal to take effect in 2006. The current deal runs out after the 2005 competition. That December, SANZAR announced that a new TV deal had been signed, with News Corporation winning the rights for the UK, Australia and New Zealand and Supersport winning rights for South Africa. SANZAR remains free to negotiate separate deals for other markets, such as France, Japan, and the Americas.
Under the new deal, Australia and South Africa will each get one extra team in the competition, and a third round of fixtures will be added to the Tri Nations. The proposal also includes the possibility of splitting the updated Super 14 into two seven-team divisions (most likely eastern and western divisions, with the Australian sides equally divided among the two). However, Argentina and the Pacific Islands will remain shut out of the competition under this proposal. It has been confirmed that the new Australian team in the competition will be based in Perth and is to be called the Western Force.
The Australian teams also play each other for the National Ricoh Championship (or State of the Union), the winner of which is awarded the Bob Templeton trophy.
Current competing teams are:
- New Zealand
- Blues (representing the North Island from Central Auckland northward)
- Chiefs (representing the central North Island and South Auckland)
- Crusaders (representing the northern two-thirds of the South Island, including Christchurch)
- Highlanders (representing the southern third of the South Island, including Dunedin)
- Hurricanes (representing the southern North Island, including Wellington)
- South Africa
The 2004 Super 12 Trophy was taken by the ACT Brumbies, who defeated the Crusaders 47-38 in the final.
- 1996 Blues
- 1997 Blues
- 1998 Crusaders
- 1999 Crusaders
- 2000 Crusaders
- 2001 ACT Brumbies
- 2002 Crusaders
- 2003 Blues
- 2004 ACT Brumbies
- Crusaders 4
- Blues 3
- ACT Brumbies 2
Wins by Country
- New Zealand 7
- Australia 2
- South Africa 0
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