“Titanic battle expected as Cheetahs travel to Cape Town for the Currie Cup semi-final with a point to prove while the host will be hoping to secure a home final.”
“Well that is not the headlines you will be reading next week, but it could’ve been had SA Rugby adopted the Gallagher Premiership model of zero tolerance for teams and players guilty of cancelled games due to Covid-19 infections within their squads during the Vodacom Super Rugby Challenge and Carling Currie Cup campaigns”.
We had a few games cancelled due to COVID protocols and what SA Rugby decided before the Super Rugby Unlocked tournament started was that if a game is cancelled then the two teams will share the result as a draw.
This has helped a few teams getting some easy points and at the end of the day helped certain teams get into the Currie Cup Playoffs and others missing out due to this rule.
In Europe it was decided if a team could not field a full team for any match they will get nothing out of the game and the other side would get a bonus point win.
This rule was also implemented in the Anthem Nations Cup.
So what would have happened if SA Rugby followed the same rules as the Northern Hemisphere?
Well a total different story would have played out in our two competitions.
Here is how the Super Rugby Unlocked Log looked like:
The Cheetahs had one game cancelled due to Lions not able to field a full team for their match. The Lions then saw their match cancelled due to Pumas not able to filed a full team and in the last round the Sharks was not able to field a full side for the Stormers game.
So if these games was given to the side who did comply to COVID protocols then the log would have looked like this.
The Bulls would have still won the Super Rugby Unlocked title but the race behind them would have been much closer.
Here is how the log would have looked like if SA Rugby followed the same COVID rules as the English did in their competition.
Now the Super Rugby Unlocked points was carried forward to the Currie Cup and here we had another few games cancelled due to COVID protocols.
Now remember the Cheetahs just missed out on a place in the semi finals and it is interesting how it al would have played “out”.
The Bulls ended on top of the log with the Stormers second, the Sharks in third place and the Lions taking the last spot for the semi’s.
Now if we again follow the English protocols for a cancelled match we see a total different story playing out for the Carling Currie Cup playoffs.
Firstly the Bulls would not have finished first, that would have been the Stormers with only three losses in the two tournaments.
That would have “meant” the Bulls would have been second with the Lions in third spot and the Cheetahs making up the semi-finalist.
The Sharks would not have made the cut and would not have been playing in the semi-finals of the Carling Currie Cup.
Here is how the Log would have looked like.
“if’s and but’s” en “all teams knew the rules from the start”, but you have to wonder how easy this could’ve been for teams to manipulate in such a close race…