● If Super Rugby didn't have a convoluted conference play-off system last season, Australia's best side (Brumbies) wouldn't have made the quarterfinals. The Blues, who were New Zealand's worst Super Rugby outfit, collected more points than the Brumbies (37 to 34). That said everything about the quagmire Australian rugby found itself in last season. The bottom four sides (Rebels, Waratahs, Reds and the Force) won a combined 15 matches. Oddly, it was the Force, who won six to the Rebels' one, who were ejected from the tournament to ensure it was streamlined. The union strongholds of Queensland and New South Wales have to deliver for the Australian group and not just leave it to the Brumbies. Stephen Larkham's side was boring, but it got them to the play-off stages. The same could have been said of the rest of the Australian teams as only Fox Sport’s overboard commentary teams provided the necessary entertainment. The Waratahs and the Reds have the personnel to make a better fist of things in 2018 but whether their respective coaches in Daryl Gibson and Brad Thorn are up to the mark remains to be seen. As for the Rebels, they can only wish and hope for the best if they continue to be their rabble selves of 2017.