Currie Cup

Lions philosophical over flawed Currie Cup points system: It is what it is

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Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen. (Gallo Images)
Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen. (Gallo Images)
  • The Lions have been one of the teams affected more heavily by SA Rugby's flawed log points system going into the Currie Cup.
  • But head coach Ivan van Rooyen believes debating the merits of it is irrelevant.
  • The Lions have "no choice" but to hit the ground running despite being at a slight disadvantage.

Ivan van Rooyen, the Lions' head coach, merely shrugged at a question asking him whether log points from Super Rugby Unlocked should've been carried over to the Currie Cup, which starts this weekend.

His charges are one of the teams that have been heavily affected by SA Rugby's increasingly controversial stance on granting 0-0 draws and two points each for matches that have been cancelled due to Covid-19.

While a stricter system could've seen them receive no points from their meeting with the Cheetahs, they missed out on an expected victory over the Pumas.

As a result, they have to hit the ground running when their Currie Cup campaign commences against Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.

Teams:
Griquas

15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Zak Burger (captain), 8 Johan Momsen, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 HJ Luus, 1 Mox Mxoli

Substitutes: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Andrew Beerwinkel, 18 John-Roy Jenkinson, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Carl Els, 21 Theo Maree, 22 Andre Swarts, 23 Enver Brandt, 24 Bandisa Ndlovu, 25 Ewan Coetzee, 26 Coyi Banda  

Lions

15 EW Viljoen, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morné van den Berg, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole.

Substitutes: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Tiaan Swanepoel, 24 Jannie du Plessis, 25 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 26 Manuel Rass

"My feelings over the points being carried over are irrelevant," said Van Rooyen.

"It was a decision that was made beforehand. 2020 has been the type of year where you've needed to expect the unexpected. We can't control these type of things.

"At the end of the day, there will be a situation where how many wins, losses and points difference will play a role. Is it fair or not? Maybe you're missing out on possible points difference, either positive or negative. Again, I don't know if it's an equitable solution. I can't change that, it is what it is.

"What we can do is go to Kimberley and deliver a performance that takes us forward as a group."

It's that sense of single-minded purpose that Van Rooyen hopes drive his troops to greater heights.

"I believe the players have a pretty clear idea of what's expected of them," he said.

"We've made peace that this is a crazy year. Whatever the challenges, we'll talk about it honestly and tackle them head-on. But every time we run onto a field, we want to perform as best we can. We want to play for each other.

"We have no choice, we have to hit the ground running. Like we saw in the Unlocked series, anything can happen at any time. We have 80 minutes to play the way we want to play and for the player to enjoy themselves."

Kick-off in Kimberley is at 16:30.

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