- Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse is upset over Gert Smal's comments that the Currie Cup should be put in a museum.
- After his side's semi-final loss to Griquas, Smal suggested shelving the Currie Cup and "call it the Vodacom Cup or something else".
- Griquas and the Pumas will contest Saturday's Currie Cup final in Kimberley.
Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse has hit out Bulls counterpart Gert Smal's suggestion that the Currie Cup is being "devalued".
After the Bulls lost 30-19 to Griquas in their semi-final in Pretoria, Smal complained that their campaign was disrupted by players constantly switching between the URC and Currie Cup.
"It's a massive challenge to get the team going and get some simple plan in place to see that the players are comfortable with the way we want to play. We really try our best to make the Currie Cup as prestigious as possible and try and get a [team] combination to respect the Currie Cup," Smal told reporters.
He added: "Whoever is going to make the calls in future... if it goes on like this... I think we're the only big union that's got so far - Sharks, WP, Lions are all not here (in the semi-finals).
"There's a lot of guys putting sweat and tears into winning it. If we devalue the Currie Cup and don't respect the times and don't play our best players there, then we must rather put the Currie Cup in a glass box in a museum or something and just call it the Vodacom Cup or something else, if that's the case."
However Stonehouse, whose Pumas outfit stunned the Cheetahs 38-35 in their semi-final in Bloemfontein, believes Smal's criticism is not justified.
"There is a very sad thing that I read in the media where Gert Smal said the Currie Cup belongs in a museum," Stonehouse told reporters.
"If the Bulls would have won on Friday, it would have been they are a great union and have a great squad and are in two finals.
"Furthermore, when they played the previous games with loads of URC guys nobody complained."
Stonehouse noted that the Bulls were still able to field a strong team despite missing their URC players.
"I do understand the teams like Lions (Sharks, Bulls and Western Province) have to play two tournaments," Stonehouse said. "But even the Bulls team that played against the Griquas on Friday cost more than the Griquas.
"I think what the Griquas brought this season was just amazing to see - especially with a bunch of new Varsity Cup players."
Griquas will host the Pumas in Saturday's Currie Cup final in Kimberley. It will be Griquas' first Currie Cup final since 1970, while the Pumas are into their first-ever final.
Currie Cup finals - match details:
First Division: Griffons v Eastern Province
Venue: HT Pelatona Projects Stadium
Date: Friday, 24 June 2022
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
Assistant Referees: Griffin Colby, Ruhan Meiring
TMO: Egon Seconds
Premier Division: Griquas v Pumas
Venue: Windhoek Draught Park, Kimberley
Date: Saturday, 25 June 2022
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant Referees: Morne Ferreira, Griffin Colby
TMO: Quinton Immelman