We can talk all we like, it is time to go out on the field and do what we keep telling each other
Free State Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie said the time for talking is over.
Speaking ahead of his team's Round Two Currie Cup encounter with the Blue Bulls, Fourie admitted that the quality of their game in last week's 20-43 first-round loss to the Golden Lions was not up to standard.
"It was not the ideal start... we certainly didn't play very well," Fourie told this website, when asked about the team's stuttering start.
He said they were "bitterly disappointed" with both the result and quality of their game.
"However, we have to put that behind us and move forward, improve," the backline mentor said.
"It won't do us any good to sit and ponder over what is past. We have done our video analyses and this coming weekend we will focus on what we want to achieve this coming weekend."
Asked which aspects of his team's game they would be working on this week, Fourie rattled off a list - starting with their faltering scrum.
"We also know that when you face the Bulls you have to stop their mauling, so that will be a huge focus point.
"On defence we also made far too many mistakes, while on attack we simply did not have enough numbers.
"I feel that the work-rate [of the players] was simply not good enough and that means you simply don't have enough options when you attack."
He admitted that an attitude adjustment may be required.
"We have lost a number of senior players [to the Boks and injuries], but that is not an excuse," he said, when questioned about the players' attitude.
"The guys who are playing wanted opportunities in Super Rugby, now they are getting those opportunities in the Currie Cup competition - they must use those opportunities.
"We can talk all we like, it is time to go out on the field and do what we keep telling each other. We certainly owe ourselves a big game."
Fourie confirmed that the injury curse had again struck in the team, with loose forward Johannes 'Boom' Prinsloo ruled out of this week's encounter with the Blue Bulls after he injured his shoulder against the Lions. Although he must still undergo a scan to determine the severity of the problem, he will not feature this weekend.
Frans Viljoen and Lucas Floors are the guys they will be looking at for the starting XV.
Prinsloo joins other key loose forwards like Heinrich Brüssow (knee), Philip van der Walt (foot) and Juan Smith (Achilles) on the sidelines.
Viljoen, Floors, Davon Raubenheimer and Lappies Labuschagné are their only remaining fit loose forwards in the squad.
* Meanwhile, it was revealed that the Cheetahs have managed to lure another Bull to Bloemfontein.
Prop Rossouw de Klerk will join Bulls teammate Johann Sadie in Bloemfontein after the completion of the Currie Cup.
By Jan de Koning