Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie says it is understandable that the game against the Lions was called off, but has questioned the late notice of the decision.
The Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked match between the sides scheduled for Ellis Park on Saturday afternoon was called off in line with Covid-19 protocols after two more Lions players tested positive on match-day.
The decision to have the sides share the points instead of playing the game, was taken as part of prescribed precautions advised by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) to limit the risk of further infection in the rugby community.
But Fourie was left disappointed at how the decision and at how late his team had been informed about the decision, especially after they had already travelled from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg via a five-four bus trip.
‘We were busy with our pre-match meal around 12.30pm when we got the call at the hotel. We would have had our final team meeting at 2pm and then would’ve departed for Ellis Park,’ he told The Citizen.
‘It leaves a bad taste in the mouth that they came to the decision so close to the game’s start. I think in future certain structures should be put in place [to better deal with this sort of thing],’ Fourie explained.
‘I would say at least 48 hours before the game in order for the team who has to travel to not lose a couple of hundreds of thousands of rands. For me it’s very poor that we received the news so late; four hours before kick off. I don’t think it’s acceptable.’
Fourie added that the three departing Cheetahs players – Walt Steenkamp, Jasper Wiese and Benhard Janse van Rensburg – were especially disappointed since it would have been their final game for the Bloemfontein franchise.
‘They were obviously very disappointed. They desperately wanted to play one last time in the Cheetahs jersey and the team really wanted to give them a proper send-off.’
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