Among my IOL Sport Rants is a Super Rugby structure that gives a team hosting play-off rights to the final when it actually finishes with the fourth most points. I also rave about how Warren Whiteley’s comeback is gaining momentum.
Warren Whiteley’s comeback is gaining momentum. Whiteley’s been bedeviled with injury for the past year but that’s now three successive matches in which the knee, groin and ankle have proven strong enough. Whiteley’s leadership will be essential to the Springboks’ collective in the Rugby Championship, but his form also means he will be the obvious choice at No 8 to replace the unavailable Duane Vermeulen. It was great to see Springboks Whiteley and Malcolm Marx playing with authority.
There is still one more season of the farcical conference system to endure, but from 2020 it simply has to change. No tournament can have integrity or credibility when the team that finishes on 46 league points is given all the advantages of potentially two home play-offs (because of conference nationality) and the team that finishes on 51 points has to travel for the next fortnight to make a final. The Sharks, with just seven wins from 16, have made the quarter-finals. They travel to Christchurch to play the Crusaders, who have won 14 from 16 and who have 27 league points more. What a contrast in reward for the magnificent and the mediocre