Cheetahs of the past - long gone

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 14:06
Large jean de villiers presser2 Large piet van zyl cheetahs Large jean de villiers presser Large andries bekker stormers tr2

Stormers captain Jean De Villiers knows that the prospect of taking the Cheetahs on in Bloemfontein is not the same as it was a few seasons ago.

Stormers captain Jean De Villiers knows that the prospect of taking the Cheetahs on in Bloemfontein is not the same as it was a few seasons ago.

The Stormers travel to the City of Roses to take on Naka Drotské's confidence-laden Cheetahs outfit in what is going to be a massive fixture in the context of the tournament.

De Villiers noted cautiously: "We are under no illusions as to what we are facing this week.

"We will need to improve if we want to go there and get a win," he added.

Looking back on the Crusaders game, De Villiers did manage to find a hint of positivity.

"In reviewing the game, the attack - I thought, was pretty good. After the game it didn't feel like that because we had so little ball but at the times that we had the ball it was pretty good.

"Getting into our general attack was the issue, more than the attack itself," the captain mentioned.

The attacking prowess of the Cheetahs is something that the Stormers are going to have to be wary of and understanding that if they cannot execute, the Cheetahs will capitalise.

"They have exciting backs that have done really well for them and they have pounced on errors and have scored a lot of tries thus far."

A player like Robert Ebersohn has been instrumental for the Cheetahs this season and De Villiers understands the threat that he and a number of the other senior players pose.

"He [Ebersohn] has shown that he has always had the talent and obviously with the team winning at the moment, he has been instrumental in that.

"Then a guy like Adriaan Strauss is a fantastic leader and he keeps the squad together and [Heinrich] Brüssow brings a lot of experience," De Villiers said.

The Cheetahs are chasing their fifth win in a row and the Stormers are trying to remain afloat after registering two wins from their opening five games.

"It is still a long way to go and you have to look at the opposition and the games that we have played - it's been against quality sides."

"The top two teams in the current standings - we have beaten them, which shows that we are not an average side," he explained.

This will give the side from the Mother City a definite boost because they know that they can play the brand of rugby that can beat the top sides. The question is - can they do it away from home?

The squad seems to be in good spirits and De Villiers understands situations like this in team set-ups.

"It is easy to contribute and be positive when it is going well, but it's in the testing times and the tough times that you find the guys willing to go the extra mile and that is where you can learn a lot from your team-mates."

This Saturday will be a great yard-stick for both sides because it will be an huge indicator as to whether they are both contenders for top honours, or not.

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26