Bulls contribute R100 000 to Sharks fundraising campaign for violence-affected KZN communities
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CAPE TOWN – The Bulls may feel that the momentum gained from beating South Africa A last Saturday will be lost due to the cancellation of Wednesday’s Currie Cup clash against the Sharks, but that hasn’t stopped them from lending a helping hand to the KwaZulu-Natal union.
The violence and looting in KZN and parts of Gauteng have resulted in at least 212 deaths, with 180 of those coming in the east-coast province.
That led to SA Rugby, the Sharks and Bulls discussing and deciding to call off the Currie Cup encounter that was scheduled for Kings Park on Wednesday night, due to safety concerns.
🚨 CANCELLED 🚨— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) July 19, 2021
The Cell C Sharks & Vodacom Bulls have agreed to play the return leg of their cancelled Carling Currie Cup clash in Durban next month, while the Vodacom Bulls have also pledged towards a @TheSharksZA fundraising campaign.
Read more: https://t.co/Iq9DhyIqEd pic.twitter.com/9dSnbrJZdb
But later on Monday, Bulls chief executive Edgar Rathbone said in a statement that they have chosen to play the return Currie Cup game – which was set for August 6 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria – in Durban.
SA Rugby said that “a decision on the result and log points will be made at a later stage”.
Rathbone said: “We have had extensive chats with the guys at the Sharks and SA Rugby regarding the fixture, and we all agreed that the cancellation would be safer and better, not only for us in the rugby industry, but also for emergency personnel in KZN.
“Police and security companies, together with other emergency services, have their hands full at the moment, and we believe that last thing they need is to worry about a rugby match.
“We fully understand the pressure on the Sharks at the moment, having three of their last home games cancelled, so we have agreed to play the return leg of this fixture, which was scheduled to take place in Pretoria on 6 August, in Durban.”
In addition, the Pretoria-based union have pledged R100 000 to a Sharks fundraising campaign to assist affected communities in KZN.
“We understand that this contribution is merely a drop in the ocean, but we sincerely hope that it makes a difference. We’d like to call upon our fans and the rugby community in general to support this initiative,” Rathbone said.
The Carling Currie Cup Premier Division match between the Cell C Sharks and the Vodacom Bulls scheduled for this Wednesday has been called off due to the security concerns in KwaZulu-Natal. A decision on the result and log points will be made at a later stage🦈#OurSharksForever pic.twitter.com/HUVWAnUrDB— The Sharks (@TheSharksZA) July 19, 2021
Last week, the Sharks’ showdown with the Pumas was also called off due to the unrest, which saw a 0-0 result being recorded and four log points awarded to each team.
The Lions also had their game against the Cheetahs called off after the Bloemfontein side expressed their reservations about travelling up to Johannesburg due to the violence in Gauteng. The Lions were prepared to go down to Bloemfontein to fulfil the fixture, but the Cheetahs chose not to agree to that request.
SA Rugby have yet to decide on a result and log points for that match.
The Bulls’ Currie Cup game against Griquas in Kimberley did not take place either, as Jake White’s side were roped in to face South Africa A in Cape Town – and both teams received four log points.
There are two other matches taking place on Wednesday – the Lions will face Griquas (2.30pm kickoff) in Johannesburg and the Cheetahs will host Western Province in Bloemfontein (4.45pm).
The Sharks are next in action on Saturday against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein (2.30pm), while the Bulls have a Gauteng derby against the Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday (3.15pm), which is preceded by the Pumas and WP in Mbombela (1pm).