No reprieve in Super 14

Three of South Africa’s franchises have officially been allocated seven away fixtures in the 2007 Vodacom Super 14.

The Stormers, Bulls and Cheetahs will play six home and seven away games in the competition next year. The Sharks have drawn the extra home fixture as have SA’s fifth franchise, which is likely to be the Lions.

The official media release from SANZAR also suggests the Lions are to be included, as they have listed Johannesburg as one of the venues to host an opening fixture along with Perth and Auckland on 2 February.

However, the release then also stated that the fifth franchise would be advised at a later date. In effect, they are saying something without taking the responsibility of saying something.

The tournament will begin a week earlier to allow the three national teams more preparation time for the World Cup in France, which begins on the 7 September. It includes 29 Friday matches, 61 Saturday matches and one Sunday match.

The Blues and the Crusaders will contest the first of the 91 games at Eden Park, while the final will be held on 19 May. The draw sees the Chiefs, Reds, Cheetahs, Crusaders, Brumbies, Bulls and the Stormers with six home games, while the Blues, Sharks, Highlanders, Waratahs, Hurricanes, Western Force and the fifth team from South Africa (SA 5) will have an extra home fixture.

Needless to say, the South African sides are in for another tough year of Super 14 rugby, with their collectively shocking road record not easing any concerns over this revelation.

2007 SUPER 14 DRAW (all times local)

WEEK 1
1. Friday 02 February Blues v Crusaders Auckland 19:35
2. Friday 02 February W Force v Highlanders Perth 19:05
3. Friday 02 February SA 5 v Waratahs TBC 19:10
4. Saturday 03 February Chiefs v Brumbies Hamilton 19:35
5. Saturday 03 February Reds v Hurricanes Brisbane 19:05
6. Saturday 03 February Sharks v Bulls Durban 17:00
7. Saturday 03 February Cheetahs v Stormers Bloemfontein 19:10

WEEK 2
8. Friday 09 February Chiefs v Hurricanes Hamilton 19:35
9. Friday 09 February Stormers v W Force Cape Town 18:00
10. Friday 09 February Sharks v Waratahs Durban 20:05
11. Saturday 10 February Crusaders v Reds Christchurch 19:35
12. Saturday 10 February Brumbies v Blues Canberra 19:40
13. Saturday 10 February Bulls v Cheetahs Pretoria 17:00
14. Saturday 10 February SA 5 v Highlanders TBC 19:10 17:10

WEEK 3
15. Friday 16 February Stormers v Chiefs Cape Town 18:30
16. Friday 16 February Bulls v W Force Pretoria 20:35
17. Saturday 17 February Reds v Brumbies Brisbane 19:05
18. Saturday 17 February Hurricanes v Blues Wellington 19:35
19. Saturday 17 February Cheetahs v Waratahs Kimberley 16:30
20. Saturday 17 February SA 5 v Crusaders TBC 18:30
21. Saturday 17 February Sharks v Highlanders Durban 20:30

WEEK 4
22. Friday 23 February Hurricanes v Brumbies Wellington 19:35
23. Saturday 24 February Highlanders v Stormers Dunedin 17:35
24. Saturday 24 February Blues v Reds Auckland 19:35
25. Saturday 24 February W Force v SA 5 Perth 19:05
26. Saturday 24 February Bulls v Chiefs Pretoria 17:00
27. Saturday 24 February Cheetahs v Crusaders Bloemfontein 19:10
Waratahs/Sharks Bye

WEEK 5
28. Friday 02 March Blues v Highlanders Auckland 19:35
29. Friday 02 March Waratahs v W Force Sydney 19:40
30. Friday 02 March Cheetahs v Chiefs Bloemfontein 19:10
31. Saturday 03 March Hurricanes v Stormers Palmerston North 19:05
32. Saturday 03 March Brumbies v Bulls Canberra 19:10
33. Saturday 03 March Reds v SA 5 Brisbane 20:10
34. Saturday 03 March Sharks v Crusaders Durban 17:00

WEEK 6
35. Friday 09 March Highlanders v Reds Dunedin 19:35
36. Friday 09 March Brumbies v Stormers Canberra 19:40
37. Friday 09 March W Force v Hurricanes Perth 19:05
38. Saturday 10 March Blues v SA 5 Auckland 19:35
39. Saturday 10 March Waratahs v Bulls Sydney 19:40
40. Saturday 10 March Cheetahs v Sharks Bloemfontein 17:00
Chiefs/Crusaders Bye

WEEK 7 – 18th March Daylight Savings Ends in NZ
41. Friday 16 March Chiefs v SA 5 Hamilton 19:35
42. Friday 16 March W Force v Reds Perth 19:05
43. Saturday 17 March Crusaders v Bulls Christchurch 19:35
44. Saturday 17 March Waratahs v Stormers Sydney 19:40
45. Saturday 17 March Cheetahs v Brumbies Bloemfontein 17:00
46. Saturday 17 March Sharks v Hurricanes Durban 19:10 17:10
Blues/Highlanders Bye

WEEK 8 – 25th March Daylight Savings Ends in Australia
47. Friday 23 March Blues v Waratahs Auckland 19:35
48. Saturday 24 March Highlanders v Bulls Dunedin 17:30
49. Saturday 24 March Crusaders v Stormers Christchurch 19:35
50. Saturday 24 March Reds v Chiefs Brisbane 19:40
51. Saturday 24 March Sharks v Brumbies Durban 17:00
52. Saturday 24 March SA 5 v Hurricanes TBC 19:10
W Force/Cheetahs Bye

WEEK 9
53. Friday 30 March Highlanders v Cheetahs Invercargill 19:35
54. Friday 30 March W Force v Sharks Perth 19:05
55. Saturday 31 March Hurricanes v Bulls Wellington 17:30
56. Saturday 31 March Chiefs v Blues Hamilton 19:35
57. Saturday 31 March Waratahs v Crusaders Sydney 19:40
58. Saturday 31 March SA 5 v Brumbies TBC 17:00
Reds/Stormers Bye

WEEK 10 – Easter Weekend (Easter Sunday)
59. Friday 06 April Blues v Cheetahs Auckland 19:35
60. Saturday 07 April Highlanders v Chiefs Dunedin 14:35
61. Saturday 07 April Crusaders v W Force Christchurch 19:35
62. Saturday 07 April Reds v Sharks Brisbane 19:40
63. Saturday 07 April Stormers v SA 5 Cape Town 17:00
64. Sunday 08 April Brumbies v Waratahs Canberra 19:40
Hurricanes/Bulls Bye

WEEK 11
65. Friday 13 April Hurricanes v Cheetahs Wellington 19:35
66. Saturday 14 April Chiefs v W Force Hamilton 14:35
67. Saturday 14 April Highlanders v Crusaders Dunedin 17:30
68. Saturday 14 April Blues v Sharks Auckland 19:35
69. Saturday 14 April Waratahs v Reds Sydney 19:40
70. Saturday 14 April Bulls v Stormers Pretoria 16:00
Brumbies/SA 5 Bye

WEEK 12
71. Friday 20 April Crusaders v Hurricanes Christchurch 19:35
72. Friday 20 April Brumbies v W Force Canberra 19:40
73. Saturday 21 April Reds v Cheetahs Brisbane 15:30
74. Saturday 21 April Chiefs v Sharks Hamilton 19:35
75. Saturday 21 April Waratahs v Highlanders Sydney 19:40
76. Saturday 21 April SA 5 v Bulls TBC 15.00
77. Saturday 21 April Stormers v Blues Cape Town 17:05

WEEK 13
78. Friday 27 April Hurricanes v Highlanders Wellington 19:35
79. Friday 27 April Waratahs v Chiefs Sydney 19:40
80. Friday 27 April W Force v Cheetahs Perth 19:40
81. Friday 27 April Bulls v Blues Pretoria 19:05
82. Saturday 28 April Brumbies v Crusaders Canberra 19:40
83. Saturday 28 April Sharks v SA 5 Durban 15:00
84. Saturday 28 April Stormers v Reds Cape Town 17:05

WEEK 14
85. Friday 04 May Crusaders v Chiefs Christchurch 19:35
86. Saturday 05 May Highlanders v Brumbies Dunedin 17:30
87. Saturday 05 May Hurricanes v Waratahs Wellington 19:35
88. Saturday 05 May W Force v Blues Perth 19:05
89. Saturday 05 May SA 5 v Cheetahs TBC 15:00
90. Saturday 05 May Stormers v Sharks Cape Town 17:05
91. Saturday 05 May Bulls v Reds Pretoria 19:10

SEMIFINALS
92. Friday 11 May
93. Saturday 12 May

FINAL
94. Saturday 19 May