Jake White’s Bulls crowned Super Rugby Unlocked champions – even if they don’t play

The final round of the inaugural Super Rugby Unlocked tournament will take place this weekend.

However, thanks to Covid-19, there could well be some controversy before the trophy is handed over.

QUESTION MARKS OVER BULLS’ FINAL MATCH

As it stands currently, the Bulls lead the standings by two points, but there are question marks over their Friday night clash against the Pumas at Loftus Versfeld.

This is due to the fact that last weekend’s match between the Lions and Pumas was called off at the last minute after a number of positive Covid-19 cases were reported in the Pumas’ camp.

Players who tested positive were required to quarantine for 10 days. Whether the Pumas have enough adequate replacements remains to be seen.

UPDATE: SA Rugby has confirmed that the Pumas will undergo more Covid-19 tests on Thursday and that the match will now be played on Saturday at a time yet to be determined.

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However, it could all be of academic importance in terms of the Super Rugby Unlocked title race as SA Rugby also confirmed on Tuesday that the Sharks v Stormers match scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled.

This decision was taken due to a spate of positive Covid-19 results among the Sharks’ front-rankers.

This will presumably mean both the Sharks and Stormers pick up two log points – as was the case back in Round 3 when the Lions v Cheetahs clash was cancelled due to Covid-19.

That would mean at best the Stormers and Sharks would finish on the same number of points as the Bulls, with the Pretoria franchise boasting a superior points differential.

However, with points being carried forward into the upcoming Currie Cup, the Bulls will still ideally want to play their final match rather than settle for two points.

Should the remaining matches proceed as planned, Aimee Barrett-Theron will referee the match in Pretoria, with Rasta Rasivhenge and Cwengile Jadezweni her assistant referees. Marius van der Westhuizen will be on TMO duty.

Saturday’s early match (16:30 kick-off) will see the Cheetahs host Griquas in Bloemfontein.

AJ Jacobs will be the man with the whistle and he will be assisted by Griffin Colby and Ben Crouse. Willie Vos will be in the TMO booth.

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