Cheetahs: Stransky is 'ill-informed'

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 13:08

REACTION: The Cheetahs believe Joel Stransky is "ill-informed" after the Springbok legend said he hoped the Bloemfontein-based side and Port Elizabeth's Southern Kings would be axed from Super Rugby.

The Cheetahs reacted to comments made by Stransky to New Zealand's Radio Sport on Tuesday.

Speculation has been rife that SANZAAR will cut three teams - two South African and one Australian - from the competition.

Stransky said he hoped the Cheetahs and Kings would be axed, leaving four strong South African teams.

"More than a third of the way into the 2017 Super Rugby competition the Cheetahs are ranked in the top four of the South African Super Rugby teams," the Cheetahs said in response to Stransky's comments. 

The Cheetahs also dismissed Stransky's view that they are not financially sustainable.

"The Cheetahs are one of very few South African rugby entities to show a healthy profit in the 2017 financial year and are financially sustainable," the Cheetahs added.

"As an entity, the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd embarked on a five-year financial plan and is realising better than expected results. Furthermore, the only the rugby entity in South Africa to have a sold-out stadium in the 2016 season."

Stransky said that the Cheetahs and the Kings "have very low supporter bases during Super Rugby", but the Cheetahs did not agree,

"Broadcasters viewership numbers [in 2016] show that the Cheetahs have larger viewership numbers than any of the Australian and New Zealand franchises. 

"The Cheetahs combined total unique audience for Vodacom Super Rugby and Currie Cup measures comfortably within the top four positions in South African Rugby," the Cheetahs said.

Stransky also believes that due to the Cheetahs' location they cannot "economically sustain a team".

The Cheetahs responded: "The middle of the country, consisting of the Free State, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape, where the Cheetahs and Kings support bases are based, boasts 26 percent of the active rugby fans in South Africa. 

"Further to that the Mangaung Metro Municipality is growing at a rapid pace with regards to transport and economic development contributing to the overall infrastructure development in South Africa"

According to to Stransky, the Cheetahs are also not capable of breeding a winning culture.

However, the Bloem side replied: "The Cheetahs, the 2016 Currie Cup champions, are the conveyer belt for great young talent, coaches and administrators [Franco Smith, Niel Powell, Brendan Venter, Rassie Erasmus, Jacques Nienaber, Ian Swartz] and boast 10 players included in the 2017 Springbok training squad of which seven players are of colour further highlighting their contribution towards the transformation of South African rugby. 

"By axing the Cheetahs from Super Rugby this conveyer belt will come to a grinding halt, negatively impacting South African Rugby."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28