Cornered Cheetahs to lash out

Tue, 25 Sep 2012 10:27
Large cheetahs huddle630 Large sael pretorius cheetahs cha Large heinrich br ssow cheetahs 6

The Cheetahs believe that the only way to save their Currie Cup campaign is to play a positive and attacking brand of rugby in the coming weeks.

The Cheetahs believe that the only way to save their Currie Cup campaign is to play a positive and attacking brand of rugby in the coming weeks.

The Bloemfontein side find themselves on the bottom of the standings with just three rounds left before the play-offs and have resolved to take the game to the opposition in a bid to sneak into the semifinals.

Having been dogged by inconsistent performances which have seen them miss out in a few narrow defeats this season, the Cheetahs find themselves in a desperate situation, and backline coach Hawies Fourie believes that their mental approach to their remaining matches will be key.

He told this website: "It is important for the guys to stay positive and play attacking rugby.

"I think we get into our shells and everyone is scared to put their hand up and if you are scared to make mistakes you will definitely not win the game so everybody has got to come out and contribute," said Fourie.

Their erratic campaign was summed up quite well in their last game, which saw them turn things around after half-time against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versveld only to fall short once more.

Although they enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half, they failed to make it count and played all of their rugby behind the gainline which was a huge frustration for Fourie who admitted that scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn has battled to find enough fluency at flyhalf.

"We just moved the ball from side to side, we had about six or seven phases on the Bulls ten metre line and we couldn't gain one single metre.

"We have given Tewis two games at flyhalf and he made a few decision-making errors so we will have a look at that," he said.

The second-half revival was sparked by the introduction of prop Coenie Oosthuizen and flyhalf Sias Ebersohn, who gave them the kind of attacking purpose they will need to challenge for a semifinal place.

"We played a lot better in the second half, guys like Coenie made a huge difference and Sias Ebersohn as well - he made the right decisions and he got the backline going so that was quite an improvement on the previus two or three weeks on attack," said Fourie.

Oosthuizen has been called up to the Springbok squad, so he is not likely to feature for the Cheetahs again this season, but Fourie said that he can understand why Bok coach Heyneke Meyer would want to call on such a quality player.

"It is a big blow, you could see the difference he makes to the side, especially on attack, he is a very good player and if I was in Heyneke's shoes I would also have called him into the squad," he said.

The first obstacle in the Cheetahs' quest to gain some late consistency and momentum are the Griquas who Fourie believes will be particularly tricky this weekend as they have not suffered any major injuries.

"They [Griquas] haven't got any injuries to key players so they have got a full-strength squad and it will be a very tough game. They need to win to get into a semifinal and we need to win to keep our hopes alive so it will definitely be a tough battle," he said.

Fourie said that although his side will look to be positive, they will not be taking anything for granted against a confident Griquas outfit that have already proven how dangerous they can be this season.

"I think the main thing is to win the game and if there is a chance of a bonus point we will definitely go for that but you can't take Griquas for granted.

They have played good rugby in the Currie Cup thus far and they have beaten teams like the Lions and the Sharks that are on top of the log so they will back themselves to beat any team so we have got to play really well to put ourselves in a winning position and if there is time left for a bonus point try we will definitely go for that," he explained.

By Michael de Vries

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26
RELATED ARTICLES