Solomons, Ackermann outspoken as SARU remains silent
Alan Solomons touched a couple of nerves after the relegation of the Southern Kings from Vodacom super Rugby on Saturday night. His counter part, Johan Ackermann echoed some of his sentiments.
Solomons called on stronger leadership in South African Rugby and not without cause. As he put it: “I think it is an absolute disgrace that we are not in Super Rugby and if we are interested in truly transforming this game the Eastern Cape has to be there.”
“We need some leadership here and leadership has got to decide what they want to do about South African rugby. Do they want to move it on or do we want to stay where we were prior to 1994?”
“I look at it from our franchise’s point of view and we’ve had a fantastic debut season,” Solomons said.
“We got the rough end of refereeing decisions in the first match and it cost us our Super Rugby status. To say the least it is unsatisfactory.”
Although I do not agree with Solomons on the referee in the first game, he has a valid point. Peyper made mistakes but it went both ways. For that matter the Lions can call the yellow card they received in to question as it was a marginal call.
Johan Ackermann echoed Solomons sentiments in a way.
could have been a better solution,” Ackermann said.
“Tonight there is no winner: We win, so we are all smiles and they lose, so all the work they’ve done there, will be on hold now.
“From a South African perspective, if I was Heyneke Meyer and I had six franchises to choose from, I would be smiling.”
“There are many changes that happen – you plan to sign coaches for your Super Rugby, your Vodacom Cup and your Under-20s – then suddenly things change and you have to adapt,” he said.
“There are many implications…I honestly can’t say how you find a solution for it now.”
“We couldn’t commit to a Super squad until we knew the results after these two games,” Ackermann said.
“We worked on a plan B where the focus was on youngsters and now we can start looking at Franco van der Merwe, Elton Jantjies and all those high-profile players.”
Ackermann went further and said they were now in the same boat as the Kings were in 2012. They have limited time to assemble a squad for 2014 and the transfer window is basically already closed.
Solomons call for the Kings to be promoted to the Currie Cup Premier division is justified. But it should have happened prior to this season already.
“The Kings have got to do everything in their power to keep things going, the South African Rugby Union have to ensure that we are in the Premier Division of the Currie Cup at the very least,” Solomons said.
In my view SARU is ultimately to blame for this whole situation. A year has gone by and nothing has been done to assist the franchise that doesn’t make it into Super Rugby. True they are giving the losing franchise money, but that doesn’t help. They need proper competition to play against if they want to remain competitive.
The Lions were left to fend for themselves and now the Kings are in that same position. Many are against the Kings for the way they gained promotion originally, but now we can look back and see it was not all their making.
SARU made promises they couldn’t keep and when the proverbial paw paw hit the fan, they took cover and left others to clean up the mess. This mess is building to a position where Super Rugby in a whole might be gone soon.
A wise man once said: “Penny wise and pound foolish.” Well we are heading that way. The money Super Rugby is bringing to the SARU coffers might be gone come 2016. That is according to reports out of Australia. Already we have a rift in SA rugby and it will just keep growing. Unless Oregan Hoshkins and his team start looking at what is best for SA Rugby and not just the money.
If we lose the money and do not put rugby first, we will soon be in a situation where rugby will be a game played by overseas teams. Ultimately the Springboks will suffer as it did in the past. All due to politics and administrators that is looking after their own interests rather than that of the game.
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