Cheetahs and Kings deserve sympathy
Both the Cheetahs and Southern Kings will explore 'other international competition opportunities'.
Coyi Banda had a fine game at fullback for the Kings. Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images.
One has to feel for the Cheetahs and the Kings after the worst-kept secret that they would not be playing in Super Rugby next year was finally confirmed yesterday.
The two South African franchises, plus either the Melbourne Rebels or Western Force, will not play in Super Rugby 2018 after the competition’s 18 participants were reduced to 15. Rising costs, exhaustive travel, dwindling crowds and TV audiences, and a hard-to-understand format are just a few of the reasons put forward to shake things up.
Both the Cheetahs and Southern Kings will explore “other international competition opportunities” after reaching settlement agreements over their future participation in the southern hemisphere tournament.
Whether it is the right decision remains to be seen, but on paper the pair have only recorded a pathetic eight wins in a combined 27 matches this season.
The Cheetahs are sitting in third spot in Africa Conference 1, with only the stuttering Sunwolves below them, while the Kings are bottom of Africa Conference 2. The Cheetahs have conceded the second most points this season at an average of almost 38 points a game.
However, the Cheetahs are applauded by fans for their brave, running style of rugby, while the Kings have played their best rugby since rumours of their exit surfaced earlier this year.
We hope both franchises find their feet.