Death knell of the Currie Cup

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 06:26
Large currie cup trophy with team logos 800

NEWS: Is the South African Rugby Union set to reduce the Currie Cup to junk status?

One of the most revered competitions in the world, South Africa's premier domestic championship is set for a shocking change.

Steeped in history and tradition, the Currie Cup dates back to 1891.

It was, until recently, regarded as the cornerstone of South Africa's rugby heritage and the coveted gold trophy was the most prestigious prize in domestic rugby anywhere in the world.

However, the proposed - and reportedly the preferred - format that will be decided on at a SARU council meeting on Friday will rock the game to its core.

rugby365 has it on good authority that the final nail in the demise of the already badly adulterated Currie Cup will be hammered in on Friday - the result of narrow provincial interests.

The 2018 version of the competition will be reduced to a shortened, single-round format with seven teams in the Premier Division.

After the 2017 version (a seven-team double round) was spoiled by overlapping with the Super Rugby play-offs, it became very entertaining in the latter rounds - especially the play-offs - when a sprinkling of Springboks returned to the competition.

Sadly, the proposed (preferred) version that is on the cards for 2018 will be a smaller competition than the Varsity Cup.

Teams will only play three home games the entire season - which will have an effect on the offering to the public and season ticket holders.

Once the bedrock of South African rugby and continuing to provide a pathway for Springboks, will become nothing more than a tack-on in the domestic season.

It appears to be an unwanted 'necessity', rather than the valuable asset it can still be.

It appears the narrow interests of a few provincial unions.

Top of this list is the Cheetahs, who are miffed at their chances of winning the competition being eroded due to their Pro14 participation.

There are also the minnows - the Pumas and Griquas - who through gerrymandering maintain their Premier Division status.

Arguably the best format is a six-team competition, played over a double round - with a proper promotion-relegation system to afford any of the First Division teams a fair chance to return to the top flight.

Should the seven-team single-round format be pushed through on Friday, it could be the tragic end of one of the game's most revered competitions.

@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26