SuperSport Rugby Challenge replaces Currie Cup Qualifiers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 1 Mar 2017 at 09:58
Tagged with : , ,

The unloved and ill-conceived Currie Cup Qualifying competition has died a swift death, with SuperSport coming on board to launch an all-new competition to replace the Vodacom Cup’s successor. Will the all-new SuperSport Rugby Challenge actually offer us anything different, though, or will this be more of the same?

Now, the format and fixtures are yet to be confirmed, which makes it a little difficult to really get to grips with what is planned here. What we do know is that this all-new competition will kick-off late in April (the 22nd), but will feature the same old teams as the CCQ and Vodacom Cup, namely one from each of the 14 provincial unions as well as Namibia. This time around, the 15 teams will be split into three pools with home and away fixtures within the pool. SuperSport promises us that fixtures will be grouped together at community stadiums and televised. These triple-header experiences will take place on Sundays, thus moving the competition away from the already-crowded Friday and Saturday slots towards an up-until-now unutilised day in the rugby week.

It sounds good in theory – take this level of rugby away from big, empty stadiums with nobody watching and go out into the community. Stack matches together so that it becomes worthwhile to bring out a TV crew and hold them on a day when there’s no other rugby on. This worked well for Varsity Cup, who grabbed the Monday slot. Is the traditionally religious and conservative South African rugby public really ready for Sunday rugby, though? This part remains to be seen.

The fixture list should be announced when the competition is officially launched in PE on 11 April. The only real details we have as of now are the pools, which are as follows:

• North: Vodacom Blue Bulls, Xerox Golden Lions, Falcons, Steval Pumas, Namibia Welwitschias.
• Central: Toyota Free State Cheetahs, Down Touch Griffons, Tafel Lager Griquas, Leopards, Cell C Sharks XV.
• South: Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, EP Kings, SWD Eagles, DHL Western Province.

What do you think, fans? Could this be a winner, or will it be yet another attempt to revive something that really should be abandoned altogether in favour of a proper club competition?


  • Not so sure about the Sunday thing. Some players might even object. If they are taking it to regional stadia, keep it on a Saturday or Friday. Locals will come. What was the turn-out for the Sharks warm-up games?

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.03.17 10:10:02 by T-Shark Reply
  • I am on the side of proper club competition, but the smaller unions do need something to do while the big boys (and Kings) are playing Super Rugby.

    This does look like the least bad idea they’ve had in recent times. Hell, if a Sharks game comes to Polokwane I’ll make plans to go out and see it, even if it is just the Sharks XV.

    As for the Sunday slot, can’t speak for the ‘religious and conservative’ but I think it’s a great idea

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.03.17 10:29:49 by Die Kriek Reply
  • Ja must say not sure if anything will change by “renaming” the old competitions. Maybe shake things up by having a knockout competition like the old Lion cup?

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.03.17 10:45:50 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Sounds better than the CC qualifiers at least

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.03.17 12:23:09 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Not the worst ideas ever, lots of other sports play games on Sunday with great success. Pietermaritzburg could do with a game as the sharks never play there..

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.03.17 13:10:27 by RuckingFun Reply

  • @JD (Comment 3) : I agree… Knockout cup on a Sunday afternoon doesn’t sound too bad!

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.03.17 15:48:49 by Karl Reply

  • @JD (Comment 3) : I have always been a little bit pissed off with the Super Rugby format of a league that then turns into a knockout elimination.
    A league is a league ,every one playing everyone and when they’ve all played the one with the most points is the champion.
    It works like this in every soccer league in the world.
    Can you imagine the Premiership if at the end of the league stage the top 6 go into an elimination.
    Sharks have won the super league on a number of occasions ,only to be knocked out of the semipro final by a lower finishing team.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.03.17 15:59:01 by The hound Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    The hound
  • “Community stadiums”, I would love to know what the definition of this is. I think these tripple headers are going to be competing with soccer for the live Sunday crowd.

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.03.17 16:38:39 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @The hound (Comment 7) : actually only won it once.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.03.17 16:50:53 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Just a rebrand. Same old.

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.03.17 16:06:37 by coolfusion Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 7) : problem is teams in those soccer competitions plays every other team home and away. Implementing that in Super rugby will result in (without bye weeks and international break) Super rugby taking 34 weeks to complete!!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.03.17 16:47:32 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator

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