Vodacom Bulls assistant coach Joey Mongalo says their game against the Pumas must go ahead, while Hawies Fourie has questioned the integrity of Super Rugby Unlocked amid the Covid-19 disruptions.
Earlier in the season, the Cheetahs’ match against the Lions was called off after a spate of positive Covid-19 tests within the Lions squad, resulting in the teams having to settle for a share of the spoils in terms of the log points.
The decision to cancel instead of reschedule the fixture significantly set the Cheetahs back in the Super Rugby Unlocked title race. Since then, the Lions fixture against the Pumas has been postponed and the Bulls’ forthcoming clash with the Pumas is also in line to be rescheduled due to national Covid-19 protocols.
The Bulls are currently top of the table in Super Rugby Unlocked with one round remaining and, if their last match were to be called off, the winner of the showdown between the Sharks and Stormers would be crowned champions.
But the Bulls are adamant that SA Rugby will decide to reschedule their last match instead of cancelling it in order to allow them to challenge for the title.
‘We’re training with the assumption that the match is still going ahead,’ Mongalo said on Monday.
‘It’s also a way of limiting uncertainty. The only thing that can change then is that we receive bad news [in terms of a postponement]. But I’m sure the Pumas will be very eager themselves to play this game as they’ve now been inactive for almost three weeks [due to a bye as well].’
But according to Fourie, the rescheduling of games now would be unfair towards the Cheetahs, who’ve had to accept the cancellation of their match through no fault of their own.
‘I can understand that the Bulls and Pumas game could still go ahead, but I don’t think the Lions game against the Pumas should be rescheduled. It would be unfair,’ Fourie lamented.
‘I don’t think it would be fair that some games be played over and others not. It would put the integrity of the competition in the balance.
‘We had communication from the Lions CEO about playing their game over, but I believe that communication should come from SA Rugby, and they ruled the game was cancelled.
‘I can’t see how they can treat other teams differently. SA Rugby never gave us alternative options to replay the [Lions] game. The only communications I have seen from SA Rugby is that the game is a draw.
‘I feel it is only fair if the same happens to the other teams. I don’t think you can make an exception and allow some teams to replay their games and others don’t have that option. It could have an influence on the integrity of the competition.’
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