Fourth place's curse

The fourth place is one of the most desired places when a team look to their position in the ranks.
While positions one and two usually have long-term owners, there's an enormous fight to get the other two positions that qualify for the playoffs.

Last year, there was hardly a week when the fourth placed would not go down to lose the next game and fall to 5th, 6th or 7th. Force, Blues, Chiefs, Stormers and Hurricanes kept fighting to the very last game for the possibility to classify as 4th. In most of the cases, being placed 4th was a curse for the next game.

So must be John Mitchell thinking right now. After last week's display at Canberra and being able to get as far as 4th placed, they have fallen at Hamilton 31-13 to the Chiefs who get 5 points from this one and blow the starting whistle, signalling that their season is finally started. Depending on the outcome of this weekend's games, they may well be just 6 points away from the playoffs. May the others start running as the Chiefs run has already started.

But beware Chiefs. Getting there is not enough. Last year you kept climbing on until you reached the fourth place. Then you fell.

Get classified, but you'd do well to avoid resting at the fourth place.

No comments: