A string of match cancellations in the Super Rugby Unlocked tournament have compromised that competition and the Currie Cup set to follow it.
Three matches have had to be called off during the course of the Super Rugby Unlocked tournament, and while the Bulls deserve the title on the balance of play in completed matches, the final cancellation robbed the last round of play of any drama.
The Currie Cup should be cancelled
The impact of these cancelled matches doesn’t end with the conclusion of the Super Rugby replacement tournament as the log points are set to be carried over to the Currie Cup.
COVID-19 protocols have crippled the Lions campaign and hamstrung the Sharks and Stormers pursuit of the log-leading Bulls.
While a compromised outcome of the Super Rugby Unlocked competition is forgiveable, it should not be allowed to stand in the Currie Cup.
It is no secret that SA Rugby have consistently failed to cash in on the tremendous cultural currency and rich history of the Currie Cup which remains the oldest provincial rugby tournament in the world.
Currie Cup should be spared from becoming a crapshoot
With more cancellations likely in the coming weeks it would be best if the Currie Cup was cancelled to avoid become a crapshoot determined by who was lucky enough to get the most matches in.
SA Rugby could put on another exhibition tournament but should not denigrate the proud legacy of the Currie Cup by forging ahead with a farcical summer rugby bash, hammered by the pandemic.
The tight schedule makes it impossible to reschedule fixtures and there is no guarantee that a semi-final or final won’t be cancelled in line with the strict COVID-19 protocols SA Rugby must adhere to, leaving the whole thing to be determined by a log that isn’t a fair reflection of the strength of the participants.
Let us miss something
The Currie Cup is back is a phrase that gets trotted out regularly, usually when the tournament has been altered in some way in a vain attempt to win back public interest.
Perhaps the best thing for the historic tournament would be to take a break and not compromise its traditions for a quick buck.
An exhibition tournament with a totally different format could also be used to trial rule changes or introduce a fresh approach to rugby coverage while protecting the image of the famous Currie Cup.