SWD Eagles coach Rynard van As says his team deserved to qualify automatically for next year’s Currie Cup Premier Division. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
SWD were crowned First Division champions for the first time since 2007 after beating the Valke 36-27 in the final last Friday.
By contrast, the Free State Cheetahs were the worst performing side in the Premier Division, losing all six of their league matches to finish bottom of the log.
That means SWD and Free State will fight it out in a promotion-relegation game next Tuesday in Bloemfontein to determine who will play in the 2019 Premier Division.
It is understood that Free State will turn to their Pro14 players for the one-off game as they look to avoid Currie Cup relegation.
Van As believes SA Rugby should scrap the promotion-relegation match.
‘We should have been promoted automatically,’ he told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘That would have been special and just reward for the good season we had.
‘Free State lost all their games and finished last on the log, but get rewarded with another chance to retain their first-tier status.’
That Free State are set to strengthen their lineup and will host the game also doesn’t sit well with Van As.
‘We understand that they will play their best team, the Pro14 guys. That’s not fair on us. We should be playing against the guys they used in the Currie Cup, those who couldn’t win a game and ended last.
‘Most of their Pro14 players will not play in the Currie Cup in the near future because the union has obviously prioritised the new competition they are in. So why are they allowed to play in the promotion-relegation match? And why do we have to play in Bloemfontein?
‘This system is unfair. It’s not right.’
The match will kick-off at 6pm in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.