Super Rugby

Dobson: We wouldn't want to win Super Rugby because of a Covid-19 case

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John Dobson (Gallo)
John Dobson (Gallo)
  • Stormers coach John Dobson says he would not like to win Super Rugby Unlocked because of other matches being postponed. 
  • The Bulls will win the tournament if they beat the Pumas this weekend, but that match is in doubt. 
  • There have already been two matches lost in Super Rugby Unlocked as a result of the coronavirus.

The Super Rugby Unlocked trophy, unveiled by tournament sponsors Vodacom last week, should make its way safely to Loftus Versfeld by the end of the weekend.

The Bulls, under Jake White, have emerged as the form side in the one-round competition and sit comfortably on top of the log heading into this weekend's final round of fixtures.

The Bulls will bag the Unlocked trophy with a win over the Pumas at Loftus on Friday. 

The problem, though, is that that fixture might become the third lost this season as a result of the coronavirus. 

Confirmation is expected on Tuesday, with the Pumas' latest round of coronavirus testing crucial to whether or not the match goes ahead, while it could also potentially be moved to Saturday. 

There have already been two matches lost - including the Lions v Pumas last weekend - as a result of sides experiencing coronavirus cases, so there is an acceptance that the Currie Cup trophy at the end of the domestic season is a more accurate reflection of who the best side in the country has been. 

Still, silverware is silverware. 

The Bulls are currently on 19 points while the Stormers and Sharks, who meet in Durban on Saturday, are on 17. 

It means that if the Bulls v Pumas match is called off, and two points are awarded to each side, then the Sharks v Stormers at Kings Park could become a potential title decider and if either side secures a bonus point victory, they will be crowned Super Rugby Unlocked champions. 

Dobson was asked about that possibility after his side's 30-13 win over the Cheetahs on Saturday, and he said that winning that tournament that way was not something he wanted. 

"That might be the technical situation, but that's not how we would want to win the competition," said Dobson.

"If we beat the Sharks and the Bulls beat the Pumas, they've won it fair and square and I wouldn't want to win it because of a Covid case in Pretoria or something like that.

"Our focus is that we want to be playing playoff rugby here at Newlands on 16 and 23 January. In a one-round competition where we've played four away games, with Covid postponements, I don't think is going to be a fair yardstick of how the teams are.

"Let's speak again in January about that."

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard

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