Currie Cup still a good testing ground
REACTION: For more than a century the Currie Cup has been a testing ground for South African talent and a great source of entertainment.
The 2020 edition of South Africa’s premier domestic competition is no different.
Despite the anomalies of COVID-19-enforced game cancellations, the current season is developing into an intriguing and close contest.
With the table-topping Bulls having joined the COVID-club and the Lions knocking over the Sharks this weekend, there were some dramatic changes on the standings.
With just three rounds to go before the semifinals, the Bulls still sit pretty at the top with 35 points.
However, the Lions – who have yet to lose a Currie Cup match this season, are now second on 29, followed by the Sharks (28), Western Province (26) and the Cheetahs (21).
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The Lions, who have had two games cancelled because of COVID, and the Bulls both have just two matches remaining.
They are scheduled to meet in Pretoria this coming Saturday.
The Sharks, WP and Cheetahs all have three matches remaining.
It makes for a very interesting and testing run-in to the play-offs.
Sharks coach Sean Everitt, speaking after his team’s 12-27 loss to the Lions, admitted the play-off race is suddenly ‘very unpredictable’.
“Obviously, along the way, games have been affected [by COVID-19],” Everitt said, adding: “We’ve been affected by one where we had to call it off against the Stormers in the first round [Super Rugby Unlocked half of the season] and then the Bulls this past week.
“The Lions, probably the form team at the moment, had two games called off.
“It has been a bit disruptive and the teams have all had their challenges along the way, as far as picking consistent teams is concerned.
“However, the Currie Cup is still one the top domestic competitions in the world and it’s not known as that for nothing.
“I’m glad that its closely contested, as it means the teams have to be on top of their games every week.
“And it’s a good learning curve for young players.
“If they want to play international rugby then that’s what’s expected of them – coming through in the Currie Cup.”