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Cheetahs feel 'let down'

Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:01
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Those are guys we wanted to give game time
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The Cheetahs' coaching staff will head into their opening Super Rugby match, against the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday, with a sense of having been 'let down'.

Their pre-season results were a mixed bag - they lost to the Lions, edged the Stormers and got whipped by the Bulls.

However, it is more the performances of certain individuals that left the coaches a touch deflated.

Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie admitted they had not achieved all their pre-season goals.

"We expected a bit more from certain players," Fourie told this website, ahead of the arrival of the star-studded Sharks team on Saturday.

"We were somewhat disappointed, particularly in the game against the Lions, in the performance of some of our players.

"However, the key was to get some quality game time.

"There were some players who showed us they are ready and hungry for Super Rugby.

"We are satisfied with that, but we would have liked to have seen some more from certain players."

The other disappointing aspect is that some players who could not play - like star midfielder Robert Ebersohn, who had a stomach bug and could not play against the Bulls.

Then there was the foot injury that kept Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen out of the Bulls game.

"Those are guys we would have wanted to give some game time before the competition gets underway," Fourie said.

The Cheetahs assistant said they have approached this game like any other, despite being up against a Bok-laden Sharks outfit - which include internationals like JP Pietersen, Francois Steyn, Patrick Lambie, Ryan Kankowski, Marcell Coetzee, Jannie du Plessis, Craig Burden and Tendai Mtawarira.

And there are more on the bench - Jean Deysel, Charl McLeod, Meyer Bosman and Odwa Ndungane.

"We are used to, when we play the South African franchises, that you come up against a third or more of the Bok team," Fourie told this website.

"It is something we have become accustomed to and doesn't affect our preparations - we know what we are in for.

"The Sharks have numerous Boks, plenty of quality players and lots of depth.

"We know that we always have to be at our best if we want to beat them."

By Jan de Koning

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