Super 15 hurting Currie Cup

2011-07-10 17:40

Ken Borland

Johannesburg - It will be a tough errand for whoever is sent to do the job, but the future wellbeing of the ABSA Currie Cup may well ­depend on the South African Rugby Union (SARU) convincing their Australian and New ­Zealand counterparts that the current format of Super Rugby needs to be changed.

One of the oldest provincial rugby tournaments in the world has survived perfectly happily for 119 years and through two world wars, but its prestige is being seriously threatened by the new, expanded and ­thoroughly imperfect Super Rugby competition.

This year is also a World Cup year, so the full Springbok squad of 30 will not be involved, while SARU has plans to reduce next season's Currie Cup from eight to six teams in order to fit it into a schedule that has been squeezed by Super Rugby.

"The length of the Super ­Rugby competition has affected our local competitions and that is something we have to ­address," SARU CEO Jurie Roux admitted.

"But it's unlikely two-versus-one [South Africa and New Zealand against Australia] will work; at Sanzar level we need consensus," Roux said.

Australia are highly unlikely to want to tamper with a format that is heavily weighted in their favour, both in terms of the conference system and in giving them the prestigious domestic tournament they have never had.

In terms of this year's Currie Cup, a competition without the Springboks could favour a team like the Bulls, who have top-class structures and depth in place.

However the 2009 champions may be on the wrong side of their peak, with the Stormers and Sharks overtaking them in this year's Super Rugby event.

The Bulls, Stormers and Sharks will all have large contingents of Springboks absent, ­creating a window for the Lions and Free State ­Cheetahs.

But the Lions need to ­overcome a lack of star quality - flyhalves Butch James and Elton Jantjies are the only players in the preliminary Springbok squad - as well as an ­increasingly nasty battle ­between their board and former investors GumaTAC if they are to make an impact.

Coach John Mitchell is in a bullish mood however.

"While investment is important, what happens upstairs doesn't affect us. We'd like to improve on last year, when
we gave ourselves an opportunity right at the end before falling just short, and we have some continuity from Super Rugby," Mitchell told City Press.

The Cheetahs played some typically audacious rugby on the way to their best Super Rugby season ever and their exciting side will be looking to build on their excellent Currie Cup record of reaching five of the last seven finals, winning two and sharing one.

For the likes of Griquas, the Pumas and Leopards, they will be looking to secure as many big-name scalps as possible before their possible exit from the limelight thanks to a boardroom decision.

City Press

  • Duncan - 2011-07-10 18:14


  • Crawfords - 2011-07-10 18:15

    Take note SANZAR!

  • George - 2011-07-10 18:40

    Pull out of the Super 15!

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-07-11 08:03

      Agree, long, long overdue.

      NickArmstron - 2011-07-11 09:35

      Well said George! The Currie Cup is the heart and soul of SA rugby - the pride, love, history and tradition - created over 120 years - 120 years of pure rugby emotion and stories - a history and tradition that ensures it's 'survivability' - with the love and aspiration there-for, by players and fans alike, enshrined by the above values - genuine values that cannot be 'bought' or 'sold'... Super Rugby has had to 'morph' itself into a conference system - based on local derbies (ie - 'tapping into' the history and tradition of local derbies - ie the Currie Cup here in SA) - in order to maintain interest... Other than being a good revenue-generator in the professional era - and being good TV-rugby fare - it is meaningless. It was borne in the need to generate money in the professional era - unlike the Currie Cup - which was borne 120 years ago out of pure love for the game... Like The Ashes in cricket; Wimbledon in tennis; The Masters and The Open in golf - tournaments steeped in history and tradition - the Currie Cup will live for as long as the game of rugby is played in SA... :) Stuff SANZAR!!

  • mike - 2011-07-10 18:58

    Either drastically reduce the length of the Super 15 or pull out. CC deserves to be protected and we want our provinces at full strength for the CC battle. Else its nothing more then a glorified Vodacom cup! Maybe the Super Rugby should be a knockout competition from the start... or untill there are 6 teams left.

  • David R - 2011-07-10 19:13

    Viva Currie Cup Viva, NZ and the Aussies are using us to help with their lack of a local competition.

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-11 07:56

      NZ has a local competition, idiot.

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-07-11 08:04

      Rugby is not even a top sport in Oz, they should stick to Ozzie rules footie.

      BCC - 2011-07-11 09:29

      NZ has over 20 teams in their domestic competition. The CC is going to have six. This is a pathetically small, nothing-like competition.

      Zion - 2011-07-11 11:38

      BCC, Do you really want palooka teams like Boland, leopards, Pumas and Griquas in a top division. They will always be the underdogs and milchcows and give nothing back to the game. These backward teams only serve as a liability for the best teams.

  • Stompies - 2011-07-10 19:13

    PULL OUT!!!!!

      Zion - 2011-07-11 11:40

      easy to say pull out but Aust. and NZ are the external forces which set the pace and standard for our rugby. Just look back on this past Super 15 series and ask who was best.

  • Kratos - 2011-07-10 19:39

    Surely they should have seen this coming with the new format? The top 5 unions play each other twice before the Currie cup even kicks off? How did they miss the fact that new format would hurt the local competition! Genuinely agree that we need to internationalize the Currie for Super two sides, north and south and use it as a backbone of developing and blooding future Boks who excel in the CC...just saying....

  • piet4545 - 2011-07-10 19:42

    Turning the Currie Cup into some sort of Premiere League is an intrestring thought.

  • Georgp2 - 2011-07-10 19:42

    Must say Springbok rugby is boring. Super Rughby took the stage. Curry Cup only in the end if all the good players are available

  • SpicemaN - 2011-07-10 19:51

    The sooner we get rid anything tainted with ABSA, the better.

  • - 2011-07-10 19:58

    The UN should declare the Curry Cup as a orld heritage event that should be preserved forever, or as long as mankind roams this planet. Even if we have to sacrifice the 3N or S15, we can do with out is. Any true rugby lover realizes the importance of the CC. Perhaps the sheep shaggers are purposely expanding the S15 and 3N to kill off the CC, to destroy our rubgy heritage and the breeding ground of future Springbok stars. Destroy the CC, destroy the Bokke. Something to think about. - 2011-07-10 19:59

      I ment world heritage event

  • Andre - 2011-07-10 20:19

    I am sure SARFU should have seen this coming when they negotiated the new format. Why don't they somehow make some of the local derby games between SA games also count for the Currie Cup? I know the squads are not exectly the same but I am sure something could be worked out?

  • ozwald - 2011-07-10 20:35

    extend the super rugby season and have all teams playing for longer- playing for places down to the bottom of the log so we will have quality rugby to watch every weekend! the currie cup can used as a back-up...super rugby is where the money and attraction is! as the unions get more cash so their development 'should' improve i.e.e their structures and styles of rugby-that will make currie more attractive and increase the strength of our countries rugby over all

  • BigD - 2011-07-10 20:38

    I read some comments that we must pull out of S15. I think that will hurt our rugby. Maybe back to S12 format and the T3 to be every second year. The Curry Cup could replace the Voda Cup. Then we can enter Bok B side in the 6 nations. The Curry cup first round can be all the teams play each other the split top and bottom for next round. For me this year I will not be going to any Curry Cup games. just too much rugby with RWC coming up.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-07-10 20:49

    This article starts off talking about the structure of the two competition then goes on about the various team's chances and so on. How odd.

  • Bill - 2011-07-10 20:52

    Reduce the S15 to S9 - Top 3 provinces/franchises from previous domestic season to represent their respective countries. Don't care if the Aussies do not have a domestic programme worth talking about - it is about the survival of domestic rugby in South Africa, and strengthening the game from club level upwards. Bring the players back home and generate the interest at the grass roots level. The S15 is too long, too convoluted and too much physical demand on the human body. The Reds had it easy in their domestic competition - The Rebels and the Force are walking bonus points and no great demand on the competition, nothing like a Bulls/Stormers/Sharks/Cheetahs/Lions derby.

      BardofAvon - 2011-07-10 21:28

      Spot on.

      OZNOB - 2011-07-10 22:27

      I AGREE with you though what all the nay sayers forget is the super 15 is one of the best selection areas for the tri nations and also gives room for younger player who otherwise would not be noticed or would not have had an opportunity to play in the currie cup

      Stuart - 2011-07-11 06:53

      I agree but rather S12, 9 is a little too small

      Nico - 2011-07-11 07:36

      I agree! And then make the 3N every two or four years instead of every year, then its something to look forward to again.

  • BOKBEFOK - 2011-07-10 21:47

    Withdraw from Super 15. Currie Cup is the best.

  • Ken J May - 2011-07-10 22:33

    The Lions should easily win the Currie Cup this year! They are well rested!

  • Batonage1000 - 2011-07-10 22:33

    Geez guys, half the country has been saying the new Super rugby is not good for the CC since the format was announced last year. NOW Jurie Roux wakes up?!? Jirre tog, there's no hope.

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-07-11 08:09

      @Batonage - not that I'm a fan of Jurie Roux but in his defense he has inherited this mess from the likes of Hoskins and Marinos. Lets hope he ( Mr Roux ) can steer us out of this one. I don't see either of them ( Hoskins or Marinos ) offering any solutions.

  • birdman - 2011-07-10 23:23

    The CC should revert to the old format of top of the log wins. It is BS that there is a semi final & final when teams that have just squeeked in have a chance to beat a team that has done well all season and head the log only to loose when they have a lousy day at the office playing in the final. This would also cut down the number of games that the players have to endure. Some of the players are dead on their feet at the start of a game. Too much rugby is played currently and when the Sharks play the Bulls again - boring!

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  • Craig - 2011-07-11 06:23

    Bv our rugby has improved alot now that we play the super rugby compition As far as im concernd the springboks should be left out of the curry cup as it gives them a much needed rest it gives other players a chance it gives other teams like the cheaters a chance as well they dont have any bok players at all now look how well they did

  • montecristo - 2011-07-11 06:56

    Get out of that exploitative Murdoch Sanzar agreement!!!

  • DirtyDog - 2011-07-11 07:22

    I don't agree with the statement. When the CC teams realise that the Currie Cup is the breeding ground of future Boks the whole perspective changes. Seeing Botha, Smit, Burger, Matfield and co play weekend after weekend becomes so ho-hum. It's the young talent that must shine. SA has one of the most intense rugby formats in the world. I love Super-rugby - in any format! But seeing these guys play their hearts out week after week takes its toll on them. Years ago, before the professional game it was something that could be played right up into the high ages. These days, the physicality has become such that the body cannot take the pressure of SR much past 35 - there are a few exceptions but not many. I'm a rugger-bugger that suffers from depression when the end of year hiatus takes place. Love my rugby, but also love watching the Vodacom Cup and Varsity games, because THAT is where the real talent is trying to be recognised.

  • Hein - 2011-07-11 07:34

    Scrape the Super 15 - we don't need them, they need us. If they don't want to fall in with us, say goodbye and move North. The Currie Cup is THE RUGBY EVENT IN SA next only to Springbok tests. I am just afraid that our powers to be in SARU is to slapgat and will bow over to Australian demands. Should that happen we as spectators should vote with our feet and just boycott Super15 matches. No spectators = no Sponsors = no Super 15.

  • Tooguy - 2011-07-11 07:45

    The CC is much more important as a rugby competition to me and most South Africans. So I don't see why Saru is allowing themselves to be bullied by OZ and NZ. In fact the games played in SA are all better attended than any of the Aus and NZ super 15 games. So who is pulling the most revenue, SA. So SARU needs to start calling the shots and don't allow our currie cup to be fizzelled away by them for their benefit.The super15 must be played like how the super 12 and 14 were played, same format not this long drawn out K@k that is going on, because it is definitely made in favour of OZ.

  • Claude - 2011-07-11 07:57

    If we pulled out of Super Rugby our best players would be leaving to play elsewhere as we could not afford to pay them what they currently earn. But we should first find an alternative to Super Rugby or at least something that would detract from Super Ruby and that would give us a bargaining chip.

  • htiek - 2011-07-11 08:42

    Use the Curry Cup to blood new talent, goodness knows we need it. Don't allow the Bok players back into the CC sides once their season is over. Super Rugby should be here to stary - just need to establish the correct format; maybe it's time to drop the number of teams from Super Rugby.

  • JoggieM - 2011-07-11 08:59

    Joggie I disagree totally with the statement! If w not participate in the Super Rugby, the up and coming (younger) players will not have the chance to gain experience in "first class rugby".

  • JoggieM - 2011-07-11 09:01

    I disagree with the statement that we are being hurt by Super Rugby. The younger players are gaining much needed experience and exposure to "First Class Rugby".

  • Auds - 2011-07-11 09:25

    You are all starting to think and sound like Malema (these bloody agents from Aus and NZ) and I agree with all you numb nuts go play with yourselves, then there will be no more arguments and everybody will be happy.

  • BCC - 2011-07-11 09:27

    South Africans are all talk. You just can't admit that the S15 is a way better competition than you Curry Cup. It pulls bigger numbers and makes bigger money. You crap on about NZ and Aust needing SA more than vice versa but you are dreaming. SA rugby would suffer massively without our entertaining play. Just try breaking into the six nations, your rugby would suffer and they wouldn't want you anyway. Seriously, you Africans need to stop whinging and put some effort into winning the trinations or S15 because your record isn't great.

  • Byron - 2011-07-11 09:38

    why not have the top three teams from each domestic cup( Oz will have to pull finger) quailify for the following years Super 9?

  • chucky123 - 2011-07-11 10:57

    We cant let Super Rugby and Australia dominate us and kill the best provincial rugby tournament in the World. SARU get some balls and stand up or fire yourselves and bring back Dr Louis Luyt who do anythng for his Country's Rugby and people. One more Question why is everyone so affraid of the Aussies Rugby board? Maybe they are paying our Rugby Board Salaries.....

  • Zion - 2011-07-11 11:31

    Change super 15 to super 12 on the original format and reduce the Currie Cup to 6 teams only. A 6 team format for the Currie Cup will give only 18 games semi and final included and can be played over 11 weeks while the last two weeks are for the semi's and finals. Super15 (12) can be a single round format with 68 games plus a "shortened final". (no semi-final)

  • praxis - 2011-07-11 11:48

    I cannot understand why South Africa is still involved in SANZAR. We are constantly at the receiving end and it always appears that we have to comply with the rules they force down on us. What Jurie Roux says is true but what are we going to do about it! Take the S15 final. NZ ref and australian linesman; where is the neutrality aspect of it?

  • theunsvw - 2011-07-11 13:40

    Ken, How about all the rugby competitions are increasing the depth of South African Rugby by giving more players exposure..! Remember we are talking about different levels of competitions.

  • Brand Inc - 2011-07-12 12:44

    This ABSA Currie Cup 2011 season is going to be a season of yet no other, a very special season to determine the potential of future springboks and hidden talent, besides the financial crises of most teams , the My Team My Passion campain is there to put the ABSA Currie Cup back on the Map in SA Rugby and up the game of professional local tournament Rugby in South Africa. To come to final climax....What Would you do for your team ??

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