Stormers want to top Super Rugby log, win Currie Cup ’fair and square’ - Dobson
CAPE TOWN - Stormers coach John Dobson has made no secret of their goal as far as domestic rugby is concerned - they want to play in the Currie Cup final on January 23.
Playing the final at Newlands would of course be first prize, and while their focus is on building towards and competing for their 35th title, finishing top of the log in the Super Rugby Unlocked is an honour that the Stormers certainly wouldn’t turn down.
But they want to emerge winners of the competition because they deserve it, not because of Covid-19 intervention, Dobson said after their 30-13 win over the Cheetahs in their last game at Newlands.
As things stand now, the Bulls - who are top of the Super Rugby Unlocked log with 19 points - will have to lose their game against the Pumas in order for the winner of the Stormers-Sharks game (both on 17) to take the trophy or, and this is where the integrity of the competition could be questioned, if the Bulls game is cancelled (which would then be declared a draw and give them two points), the winner of the Stormers-Sharks match will take the trophy, as normal competition rules apply. The winner of the competition is determined by whoever secures the most wins, despite the Bulls’ far superior points difference (and the fact that a cancelled game would be through no fault of their own).
At the weekend, the Pumas’ game against the Lions was called off because of three positive tests in their camp, and a large number of the Pumas forwards were put into quarantine. This of course puts the Loftus fixture in doubt.
After their 30-13 win against the Cheetahs, Dobson made it clear that he didn’t want any help from Covid-19 to secure the Super Rugby Unlocked title.
“We’ve gone nine weeks in a row without a positive Covid case, our team has been clean every week, so it’s not something we’ve really gone into at all (the rescheduling of matches), it hasn’t affected us, touch wood, with this or the opposition, so I really don’t know anything about it,” he said.
“The dream is to be playing on the 23rd of January (Currie Cup final), so it’s a long tournament and I just hope that doesn’t get decided by these situations.
“Say we beat the Sharks, that’s not how you want to win it. If we beat the Sharks with four points and the Bulls beat the Pumas, they’ve won it fair and square, and I wouldn’t want to win it because of a Covid-19 case in Pretoria or something like that.
“As I said before, our focus is to be playing play-off rugby at Newlands on January 23. A one-round competition where you play four away games, with Covid-19, I don’t think that’s going to be a fair yardstick with how the teams are. We’ll speak again in January about that.”
The Stormers’ match against the Sharks is scheduled for 7pm at Kings Park. These are the only two teams - other than the Bulls - that have a chance at Super Rugby Unlocked glory.