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Lions vs Cheetahs match cancelled

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The points for the draw will see the Cheetahs maintain their second place on the log while the Lions jump from fifth to third.

Picture: Frikkie Kapp, Gallo Images)

JOHANNESBURG – SA Rugby confirmed on Wednesday that the Super Rugby Unlocked match between the Emirates Lions and Free State Cheetahs has been cancelled and declared a draw.

The statement from the national union was curt in its reading, simply justifying the cancellation due to “a result of the inability to reschedule the match.”

The game, scheduled for October 24, was postponed at the time due to a batch of Lions players testing positive with Covid-19 ahead of the encounter at Emirates Airline Park. In all 11 players from that union were withdrawn throughout the week in the buildup to the Lions’ first home game, with a final two players testing positive on matchday.

Those positive tests triggered the National Institute for Communicable Diseases’ (NICD) protocols relating to the virus and after consultation between the two teams, SA Rugby and the NICD, the game was indefinitely postponed. It has now been confirmed, however, that the match will not be played and both teams handed two points in the standings.

The points will see the Cheetahs maintain their second place on the log with 11 points, four points behind the first-placed Blue Bulls, while the Lions jump from fifth to third with nine points, leapfrogging the Stormers on eight points and settling above the Sharks due to points difference.

Notably, the Cheetahs, Stormers and Sharks all have a game in hand over the Johannesburg-based team, having now played three matches to the four of the Lions.

Both the Cheetahs and the Lions will be in action this weekend, and will play the Sharks (Friday, kick-off 7pm) and the Blue Bulls (Saturday, kick-off 7pm), respectively.

They will also get another bite of the pie to face each other and secure bragging rights next month when they play in Round 3 of the Currie Cup on December 12.

@FreemanZAR