The most embarrassing Super Rugby defeats

By Niall Anderson

Dejected Sunwolves players. Photo / Getty
Dejected Sunwolves players. Photo / Getty

The Sunwolves' atrocious 92-17 defeat at the hands of the mediocre Cheetahs this morning has gone down in the history books as one of the worst thrashings in Super Rugby history.

The third biggest winning margin ever, the Sunwolves capitulated, and brought back memories of some of the other meltdowns in Super Rugby folklore.

Former South African coach Nick Mallett labelled the defeat as "Embarrassing".

"Imagine what the scoreline could have been if the Sunwolves were playing one of the top New Zealand teams," said Mallett.

"The Sunwolves lost heart and belief and gave up long before the final whistle. This match was not a proper reflection of Super Rugby.

"They had no defensive structures and when they did get the ball, repeatedly committed handling errors."

In light of the embarrassing loss, here are some of the largest thrashings in Super Rugby history.

Memorable meltdowns

Crusaders 96 Waratahs 19 (2002)
Bulls 92 Reds 3 (2007)

The two field-setters for smashings, but the elusive century could be under threat if the Sunwolves or Kings continue to flounder.

The Crusaders had 3 minutes to crack 100 and failed so really, a moral victory for the Waratahs. Photo / Getty
The Crusaders had 3 minutes to crack 100 and failed so really, a moral victory for the Waratahs. Photo / Getty

Australian on South African crime

Brumbies 73 Bulls 9 (1999)
Brumbies 64 Cats 0 (2000)
Waratahs 73 Lions 12 (2010)
Waratahs 72 Kings 10 (2013)

There have always been South African minnows, and the usual one excellent Australian team per year has often had a field day making the most of it.

Games nobody watched

Bulls 75 Stormers 14 (2005)
Sharks 64 Rebels 7 (2013)

When the Blues were the best...

Blues 60 Hurricanes 7 (2002)
Blues 74 Stormers 28 (1998)

The biggest shut-out

Brumbies 64 Cats 0 (2000)

More on this game later.

Semifinal smackings

Brumbies 51 Waratahs 10 (2002)
Crusaders 47 Hurricanes 7 (2005)

The Crusaders went on to win the title in 2005, but the Brumbies couldn't do the same in 2002 - running into the Crusaders buzzsaw, losing the finale 31-13 in Christchurch.

Dejected Chiefs players after their loss to the Bulls. Photo / Getty
Dejected Chiefs players after their loss to the Bulls. Photo / Getty

Final Failure

Bulls 61 Chiefs 17 (2009)

The breakthrough season for the Chiefs, but they fell flat in the final as the Bulls ran rampant. On reflection, a side with over 15 current or future Springboks were always going to thrash a Chiefs side rolling with the likes of Toby Morland, Callum Bruce, James McGougan and Joe Savage.

You got thrashed by the Cats?? The Cats?!?

Cats 53 Chiefs 3 (2000)

It is one thing to get thrashed by one of the dominant Blues, Crusaders or Brumbies teams, but to be humbled by the Cats is a different story altogether.

To be fair, the Cats actually made the semifinals that year, but they weren't very good - having a points differential of -14 - losing the aforementioned 64-0 game to the Brumbies and sneaking out a bunch of close wins.

Needing a win to make the playoffs, they smacked the Chiefs by a bonus point to sneak past the Stormers and Blues, who would have been mightily frustrated by the Chiefs collapse.

To bring it back to the loosest link to New Zealand, as all NZ media are contractually obligated to do - the Cats were coached by Laurie Mains, who led them to their only two playoff appearances in franchise history.

The 50 point humbling remains the biggest loss by a New Zealand team to foreign opposition in Super Rugby history.

Glory to the 2000 Cats.

- NZ Herald

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