Even in the land of the kiwis, they were forced to stop all activities, including the oval. We assess the situation
Despite everything, rugby has never seen such a situation: the NPC and all other domestic competitions were suspended for two weeks, while the All Blacks canceled the matches they were planning to host against South Africa and Argentina. Since the outbreak of the health emergency, the peripheral country has chosen a very strict policy, perhaps the most “difficult” in the world, preventing arrivals by air and stopping completely when positive cases are detected, as is happening these weeks. The NPC stopped after the first two days and the same goes for the Farrah Palmer Cup, a women’s tournament of great importance.
New Zealand Rugby said it is working with different counties to try to safely resume the NPC season, but this will depend on the different levels of preparedness in the regions of the country. On the basis of positive numbers, in fact, an alert is assigned to each zone: 4 are the most dangerous, from 2 to the bottom you can resume normal activities including rugby. So it’s useful to remember that from tomorrow all of New Zealand, except for Auckland and Northland (the upper part of the North Island), will go down from level 4 to level 3, and it looks like some areas could hit level 2 next week. However, nothing has been confirmed, so it is difficult to give accurate answers, even if the New Zealand Federation is trying in every way to organize a contingency plan: “Our goal is to get the teams back on the field as quickly as possible, but we need to do it in complete safety. We can’t anticipate when the alert levels will change, we will probably only be able to play matches in some areas and not in others. Steve Lancaster, New Zealand Rugby Director, said, “However, we have some wiggle room and can go into November with competitions.” on our land.”
What is the actual period until the end of the season? As for the NPC, it takes 10 game weekends, counting the eight that still have to be played in the regular season and the two designated for the semi-finals and finals of the Championship and Premier League. At the moment, the last two were scheduled for October 22-23, but that is clearly a date that is impossible to respect.
A different Heartland tournament mode (the tournament just below the NPC with 12 teams) that hasn’t even started and whose development must be evaluated.
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