FILE - Wesern Province coach John Dobson. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
FILE - Wesern Province coach John Dobson. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Currie Cup fixture cancellations are disruptive, says WP coach John Dobson

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Jul 22, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – Western Province coach John Dobson has raised his concerns over the credibility of the Currie Cup competition considering the cancellation of match due to Covid-19 protocols.

Speaking after his team lost 21-38 to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Wednesday, Dobson said that the cancellation of matches are disruptive and also took issue with the way log points are awarded.

So far, five of the 18 scheduled matches this season have been canned. Dobson went on to highlight the points system, which has seen the Bulls, for example, be awarded points for three matches they didn’t play.

He said if games keep getting cancelled at the current rate, SA Rugby may have to revisit the situation and the competition.

“We must be mindful that our Springboks won’t be playing much in the United Rugby Championship until the new year,” he said.

The United Rugby Championship will feature South Africa’s four main franchises in competition with top European teams. The competition will kick off on September 25.

“We have to rely on our home players and I have to be disciplined not to flog certain home guard guys,” he said, adding that he runs the risk of “breaking” players if they are not properly managed. It is a tricky balancing act at the moment.”

Dobson, whose team has now suffered back-to-back defeats, also spoke in favour of a single-round competition.

“Perhaps it is worth it, after this first round, to say: ‘Let us reset and perhaps restart with a single round’.

“The idea of the double round was to give exposure to the game, but given the number of cancelled games, it is worth revisiting it. The whole situation is perhaps inequitable.

“We benefitted from the first round – when the Bulls were [playing in the Rainbow Cup Final] in Treviso. That was tough on the Bulls. It is worth a macro look at where this tournament is now, after the first round.”

Province, now fifth on the log, next face the Pumas in Nelspruit on Sunday.

@WynonaLouw

IOL Sport

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