Super Rugby Promotion/Relegation series coming up
With the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby round robin matches completed we have 3 weeks of interesting rugby left. this coming week it is the play-offs to determine who will face the Bulls and Chiefs in the semi-finals. The lowest placed winner will play the chiefs and the highest placed the Bulls.
Then it is the semi’s and final over the following two weeks. On the side we will also have the promotion/relegation series between the Southern Kings and Lions. This is going to be a very interesting series of matches. One home and one away. The first will be in Port Elizabeth at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and the second at Ellispark in Johannesburg.
To me this is going to be more interesting than the finals themselves.
The Kings has not done to badly in their first year of Super Rugby. They won 3 games and drew one. The Lions in their last season of Super Rugby did just about the same. The problem for the Lions are that they have not played super Rugby this year. True some of their stalwarts played for other teams, but they are either injured or have now signed for those teams.
The Kings might not have won many games, but they have been playing against the best teams in the Southern Hemisphere. The problem for them is they suffered some injuries to key players. Then there is the thing about building winning culture.
The Lions might not have played against the top sides. They have however only lost one game in their “Lions Challenges” and they won the Vodacom Cup. They have created a winning culture. A team playing for each other and the badge. A young team with some stars.
Weigh up the two teams and their current positions and talent and there is not much to choose between them. Most neutrals will probably not care who wins. It will just be a different venue to play against the so called “wooden spoons” of the competition. The supporters of these two franchises will however tell you how good their respective teams are. And they will have a go at each other again over the next three weeks.
In the end it will resolve the matter of fairness and who should actually be in Super Rugby. Both sides have long and rich histories in South Africa. Both have delivered some of our best Springboks ever. For me either side can win. The sad thing is than one will have to stand back for a season to let the other play.
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