If We Deserve A Place In The Pro14, Give Us The Opportunity To Play

Photo Credit: Speedshots.co.za

In a statement by Free State Cheetahs, management said that they can see no reason why the current Super Unlocked and Currie Cup competitions cannot be adopted to determine the teams to represent South Africa in next year’s PRO16.

" If the Cheetahs don’t end up amongst the top four teams, so be it.  At least fairness would prevail and ensure the continued development of the five major SA franchises.  It would also deliver the best possible talent for supporters and Springbok selection.

We, therefore, salute Toyota’s solid support for the Cheetahs. They have made an invaluable contribution to rugby in the Free State and in South Africa, are a strong international brand and a progressive, solid, dependable partner. The Free State Cheetahs management are extremely thankful and appreciative of Toyota South Africa’s strong statement over the weekend that they are eager to continue their nine-year-long sponsorship of the Free State Cheetahs. We also support them in their belief that the South African Rugby Union (SARU), should adopt the principle of play-offs to ensure that the best four SA teams participate in the PRO16 international competition.

COVID-19 has in the meantime disrupted the Super Unlocked series.  The Lions’ games against the Cheetahs and the Pumas were cancelled, as well as the game this weekend between the Sharks and the Stormers. There is also a possibility that the Bulls’ game, currently scheduled for Saturday, might be cancelled.

Should that be the case, the Bulls will end up as the first winners of the Super Unlocked trophy. We believe they are deserved winners, having lost only against the Cheetahs.

After last weekend’s unfortunate loss against the Stormers, the Cheetahs are currently fourth on the log and will stay there if we beat Griquas on Saturday. The cancellation of the match between the Stormers and the Sharks is unfortunate, as it has ruled out the Cheetahs’ chance of moving up to third place on the log. The cancellation means that the Sharks and the Stormers will now both get two points, moving them to 19 points on the log, which is beyond the Cheetahs’ reach.

A win against Griquas, even without a bonus point, will ensure that we end up amongst the top four teams. This is by no means going to be a walk in the park. Griquas have advanced/ by leaps and bounds since the start of the competition and were extremely unlucky not to pull off a win against the Sharks last weekend.

The Cheetahs have everything to play for, even though the Griquas are going to be a tough nut to crack, we will do our best!