Sports Reporter
2 minute read
9 Jan 2021
7:54 am

Covid challenges force Currie Cup playoffs to be pushed back

Sports Reporter

The semi-finals and final will now be contested a week later than originally scheduled to ensure all the teams are well prepared and at full strength.

A paramedic looks on during a Super Rugby Unlocked match earlier in the season. For the new season teams will only be in action every 10 days to help with Covid testing. Picture: Getty Images

COVID-19 precautionary measures have triggered the adjustment of the Currie Cup playoff dates, with both semi-finals and the final now scheduled for a week later than initially planned. The change is to ensure tournament integrity and allow the participants to manage COVID-19 challenges.

The Currie Cup final has been moved to Saturday, 30 January, with the two semi-finals scheduled for the previous weekend – when the Bulls will host the Lions in Pretoria, and Western Province taking on the Sharks in Cape Town – with both matches on Saturday, 23 January.

The final two matches of the regular season will play out in Kimberley and Nelspruit this weekend.

“The integrity of the Currie Cup was key in our discussions and the communication and co-operation between the four teams in the semi-finals is appreciated,” said Rassie Erasmus, Director of Rugby.

“During the season teams affected by COVID-19 also had options to move their matches if they could agree on an alternative date – such as the recent clash between the Bulls and the Lions – even though it didn’t always materialise.

“We’ve agreed to move out the dates of the semi-finals and the final by a week to give all the teams the best possible chance to be ready for their matches, bearing in mind we did not have the option to move it out by weeks.

“I would like to thank the semi-finalists for their co-operation in ensuring that we can see the season play out the way it should – in spite of these challenging times – with a champion being crowned in the next few weeks.”

Should a team not be able to participate in the semi-final because of COVID-19 infections, that team will forfeit the match and the opposing team will progress to the final.

If neither team is able to compete, the side with the most log points at the conclusion of the pool stage will progress to the final.

In the event of the final having to be postponed, an alternative date will be agreed between the teams.

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