LIVE

    The Kings and Cheetahs conundrum

    2017-07-22 07:14

    Cape Town - It's no secret the Kings and Cheetahs have been the worst-performing South African teams over the last couple of seasons, but Oscar Sanders believes they deserve to remain part of the southern hemisphere's flagship franchise competition. 

    Yes, it is true that Super Rugby needs a reduction of teams to improve the overall product that has seen live match figures down and viewership numbers at an all-time low. But why not axe the Jaguares and Sunwolves, as Lions coach Johan Ackermann contested earlier this week. 

    It is incredibly short-sighted to want to kill off the Kings after only a three-year history in the competition. There has never been national support from the South African Rugby Union to promote Eastern Cape rugby, which is a veritable goldmine for talent. 

    And as we have witnessed in 2017, this goldmine has exploded into life. After two previous attempts finishing 15th and 17th, the Kings have greatly improved to finish 11th on the table. They secured wins in Australia, Argentina and Singapore for the first time.

    But more notably, they beat the Sharks at home and the Bulls away before narrowly losing to the Cheetahs, once again at home. They have endeared themselves to the rugby world as one of the most entertaining sides in the competition, playing scintillating ball-in-hand attacking rugby. 

    A number of Kings players were rewarded with SA 'A' call-ups. And Deon Davids, as head coach, has been a revelation. Quietly going about his business, his influence has been understated as he has done an exceptional job and is surely a mentor that SARU need to invest in for the future. 

    If SARU are serious about transformation, they cannot continue to neglect the Eastern Cape, a haven for black talent, in favour of the rest of the country. 

    Just like the Kings, the Cheetahs are a franchise that regularly churn out some of the best talent in the country. 

    In fact, the Cheetahs have been treated as nothing more than a feeder team to the wealthier South African franchises, especially the Sharks. But besides the culling of Cheetahs talent, there is the small (or not so small) matter of them being Currie Cup champions which shows they are still a highly competitive outfit.

    It is high time the provincial agendas, politics and protection of old ways is consigned to history in South African rugby so the sport can thrive across the country.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

    Results

    05 August 2017
    29 July 2017
    22 July 2017
    21 July 2017
    15 July 2017
    14 July 2017
    08 July 2017
    07 July 2017
    01 July 2017
    30 June 2017
    09 June 2017
    03 June 2017
    02 June 2017
    28 May 2017
    27 May 2017
    26 May 2017
    21 May 2017
    20 May 2017
    19 May 2017
    13 May 2017
    12 May 2017
    06 May 2017
    05 May 2017
    30 April 2017
    29 April 2017
    28 April 2017
    22 April 2017
    21 April 2017
    15 April 2017
    14 April 2017
    09 April 2017
    08 April 2017
    07 April 2017
    02 April 2017
    01 April 2017
    31 March 2017
    25 March 2017
    24 March 2017
    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017
    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The 2017 Super Rugby tournament has reached its quarter-final stage. When all is said and done, who emerges victorious?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.