Covid-19 has wreaked havoc in the Toyota Cheetahs camp over the past week and it has ultimately led to the scheduled Currie Cup match on Wednesday against the Bulls in Bloemfontein being cancelled.
This saw the defending champions being awarded all four points for the game, while the match was declared a 0-0 draw, according to the rules of the competition.
The Cheetahs will count themselves as somewhat unlucky. In the past, competitors had travelled all the way to Johannesburg for a match against the Lions, only for it to be called off mere hours before the game. On that occasion the Cheetahs and the Lions shared the points, and when it counted most, those extra two points could have seen the team from Bloemfontein in the semi-finals.
Last week, several key players in the Cheetahs camp were unavailable for the match against the Tafel Lager Griquas who could have made a difference during their 31-10 loss in Kimberley. One of the players who had tested negative before the match, was indeed positive, and the knock-on effect of that was significant as he had been in close contact with several of his teammates on the field, in the hotel and in the bus.
Including injuries, the Cheetahs had 18 players unavailable for the match against the Bulls, and they weren’t able to field a front-row for the game. Apart from the players being infected, several of the management team also tested positive. Hence the decision to play it safe and concede the points to the defending champions.
The Cheetahs will report for duty again on Monday, and they will begin preparing for next Friday’s match against the Pumas in Bloemfontein. – MORGAN PIEK