Cape Town - The top two teams thus far in the 2014 Absa Currie Cup - Western Province and the Golden Lions - have sidestepped SuperSport’s television coverage for round eight this weekend.
Scheduling of games in the premier all-domestic competition has been affected by the clash on Saturday with the Castle Rugby Championship Test between the Springbok and Wallabies at Newlands (17:05 kickoff), meaning that two Currie Cup games are down for Friday and another pair on Saturday.
Log-leaders WP face a perilous away match against the fourth-placed Pumas at their Mbombela Stadium fortress - where they are undefeated - on Friday night (19:00), but the televised game at 19:10 will instead be the clash between the Free State Cheetahs and Blue Bulls.
It is far from an irrelevant encounter, given that it affects the chase for semi-final berths and that the Bulls will almost certainly be buried as last-four prospects if they lose in Bloemfontein.
But many fans of WP, traditionally well supported countrywide, and the Nelspruit-based surprise packages this season will be disappointed not to see their meeting, higher up in the table pecking order, overlooked.
The same applies to the second-placed Lions, who go into battle at another potential “banana peel” venue, Kimberley, against Griquas - their match on Saturday (15:00) also takes place without live television cameras present.
Instead the televised Currie Cup fixture on the day is the third-placed Sharks against the wooden-spoon, winless EP Kings (14:00, in time to allow an hour or more afterwards of build-up coverage to the Test).
A SuperSport spokesperson confirmed the scheduling status quo earlier this week; the official listings had not been altered by Thursday.
*SuperSport have confirmed that a cameraman will be present in Nelspruit for the Pumas v WP clash and that highlights will be screened on the SuperSport Blitz channel later in the evening.
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