When lightning strikes the Currie Cup
CURRIE CUP SPOTLIGHT: The completion regulations for the Currie Cup and other SARU competitions are written down but may well be filed away and remain pretty well unknown.
Till suddenly something happens as happened in Pretoria on Saturday when the rain poured down in torrents and the lightning came closer.
Then the regulations need to be known.
It was the lightning that was frightening on Saturday. But the well-prepared referee was aware of Regulation 5 below on the abandonment of a match.
Late in the first half, which became the only half, the lightning was getting closer. World Rugby advocates that a match be called off if the time between flash and thunderclap drops under 3 seconds.
But the referee in this unique Currie Cup match, Egon Seconds kept his cool and urged the players to play three more minutes – just to get to half-time, because Regulation 5 stipulates that if the match reaches half-time, the result stands.
If Seconds had ended the match after 37 minutes in the first half, the match would have had to be rescheduled. That could have put great strain on the players and everybody else. It would have meant that players who had played 37 minutes on Saturday would have played, weather permitting, 80 minutes on Sunday, after which they could go home and recover in time for the semifinal.
More on that is below. There are other regulations governing the semifinals this Saturday.
For the semifinals of the Currie Cup and the Under-21 championship, the teams are allowed 23 players each and there will NOT be rolling substitutions. The head injury assessment will be used in the Currie Cup semis but not in the Under-21 semis where the player with a head injury will be required to leave the field.
Should any of the semifinals in each of the competitions end in a draw, there will be extra time of 20 minutes (10 minutes each way with a break of one minute). The winner of extra time will be the winner of the semi.
If there is still a tie after extra time, the winner will be the one scoring more tries than the other.
If there is still a tie, the team with the higher log position will be the winner.
Below are SARU’s regulations for this Saturday’s Currie Cup and Under-21 semifinals:
2.1 If scores are level after the scheduled time, the team that will proceed to the semi-final-/final match will be determined as follows:
2.1.1 the team scoring the most points within a twenty (20) minute extra time (ten (10) minutes each way with a one (1) minute break), and if still level
2.1.2 the team scoring the most tries in the semi-final match, including extra time; and if still level
2.1.3 the team with the highest log position after the pool matches.
For the Division 1 Final in George, tries are not counted. The following applies:
2.2 If scores are level after the scheduled time, the winner will be determined as follows:
2.2.1 the team scoring the most points within a twenty (20) minute extra time (ten (10) minutes each way with a one (1) minute break); and if still level
2.2.2 the team with the highest log position after the pool matches in that competition during the current season shall be the winner.
SARU has regulations that cover what happened in Pretoria where the match was delayed and then abandoned at half-time.
5. ABANDONMENT OF A MATCH AFTER KICK-OFF DUE TO ACT OF GOD OR OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES NOT ATTRIBUTABLE TO ANY OF THE PARTICIPATING TEAMS OR A MEMBER(S) AFFILIATED TO THE CLUB / PROVINCE OF THE PARTICIPATING TEAM
5.1 Should the referee during a match in the pool stages, semifinal- or final match decide to abandon the match during the first half, the match will be rescheduled.
5.2 Should the referee decide to abandon a match in the pool stages, semi-final match or final match at half-time or during the second half, the result at the time of the abandonment shall stand and in the event of a quarterfinal/semifinal match, the team with the most points at the time of abandonment will proceed to the semi-final/final. In the event of a final match, the team with the most points at the time will be declared the winner.
5.3 Should the scores be level at the time of abandonment of the match, paragraph 2 above shall apply mutatis mutandis.