The Currie Cup might not enjoy the same status as Super Rugby but for South Africans I think the local domestic competition still ranks at No1 for enjoyment – and prestige.
There’s just something about the Currie Cup competition that gets every rugby fan talking.
There’s passion and there’s history at stake, and nothing can change that.
Despite Super Rugby being around for nearly 20 years, youngsters coming through the system still talk of the Currie Cup and how much they enjoy playing in it and how desperately they want to win it.
Let’s just say, thank goodness for the Currie Cup.
I don’t care what anyone says, but Super Rugby doesn’t do it like the Currie Cup does.
We may not see the best Australia and New Zealand can offer, but so what; we see their best players in the Rugby Championship anyway and do we, as South Africans, really care about how strong their provincial sides are?
I don’t think so, but, boy, do we care how well Western Province, the Blue Bulls, the Lions and the Pumas fare against each other.
And even though we don’t see South Africa’s best players running out for their provincial teams – because of the long Test season, and that is sad – we’re still able to put on a high quality competition, with new players continually emerging.
The action up to now has been fantastic, with plenty of tries being scored, and a team like the Pumas are giving some of the bigger boys an almighty scare.
It’s unpredictable and a joy to watch.
We’re four games in with six to go before the semi-finals take place so it’s also short and sharp, keeping everyone’s attention for just long enough. Super Rugby is way too long, period!
I also like to think that the teams are playing with far more freedom and adventure than is the case in Super Rugby, perhaps because the coaches and players don’t feel under so much pressure.
I’m not saying they don’t take it seriously, but maybe too much emphasis is placed on Super Rugby and without doing it deliberately coaches are thinking too hard about winning at Super Rugby level.
In the Currie Cup it seems more a case of going out on to the field and enjoying oneself. It’s about having fun and trying new things; it’s not a do-or-die matter.
South Africa is blessed with wonderful young talent and they’re certainly making names for themselves at the moment.
A number of coaches, too, have got into the spirit and are allowing their teams to play without fear.
The Currie Cup has been a joy to watch so far and long may it continue. - The Star