Cheetahs to 'attack' the Chiefs
The Cheetahs are determined not to get left behind in the starting blocks again, when they face the defending champion Chiefs in a Super Rugby showdown.
The Cheetahs are determined not to get left behind in the starting blocks again, when they face the defending champion Chiefs in a Super Rugby showdown in Hamilton on Saturday.
Despite opening the scoring with a Philip van der Walt try in the ninth minute, the Cheetahs found themselves trailing by more than 20 points early in the second half.
They then produced a 17-point blitz to narrow the gap to just four points, before Patrick Lambie kicked a late penalty to seal the win for the Sharks.
Against the hard-running Chiefs they simply can't afford to give the hosts another 20-point head-start.
Cheetahs team manager Eugene van Wyk, speaking from their training base in Sydney, said there will be a change in approach this week.
"The guys have decided they want to play more attacking rugby, because they tend to be overly cautious at the start of games and don't play instinctively enough," Van Wyk told this website.
"Now they want to, from the outset, give the ball more air," he said, adding: "We will see how that works this week."
The Cheetahs hope to improve on their 2012 tour record - when they collected 11 points from two wins and two losing bonus points.
However, they readily acknowledge that it will be a tall order - given that the four-match trip starts against the defending champions in Hamilton, followed by encounters with the Highlanders in Invercargill, the Waratahs in Sydney and the Western Force in Perth.
"The Chiefs are a powerful team, and showed [last week, with a 41-27 win over the Highlanders] why they are the defending champions," Van Wyk said.
"However, the guys trained hard this week."
The Cheetahs stopped over in Sydney to break the trip from Bloemfontein to Hamilton, a trek of almost 20,000 kilometres.
If they had done it in one go, they would only have arrived in Hamilton late on Tuesday afternoon.
"We have now had three good days of training here in Sydney - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - and we travel to Auckland tomorrow [Thursday], after which we will travel by buss from Auckland to Hamilton," Van Wyk told this website.
By Jan de Koning