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Cheetahs get their heads in the game

Mon, 06 May 2013 22:46
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We desperately needed the break
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The Cheetahs will be refreshed after their bye, but they will need to 'switch on' mentally very quickly.

Assistant coach Hawies Fourie, speaking to this website ahead of their Round 13 Super Rugby encounter with the Hurricanes in Bloemfontein on Friday, said that getting their heads back in the game will be vital.

Without too many injury concerns - Pieter Labuschagne won't be available this week as a result of an elbow injury suffered in the encounter with the Kings late last month, while Lodewyk de Jager may well play after suffering a knee injury against the Kings - the Cheetahs will look for a record eighth win.

"We desperately needed the break," Fourie said, when asked if the bye would break the momentum they had built up this season.

"It was a long run [10 consecutive games]," he said, adding: "You could see it in the Kings' game [a 10-72 loss to the Waratahs] this past weekend. They played their ninth consecutive match after their first bye [in Week Three] and it started to take its toll [on them].

"It was the same for us.

"Yes, it is true that a bye can break your momentum, but we needed to give the guys a week off to rest and recuperate - it was a good thing at the right time."

However, now the Cheetahs need to refocus.

"It is important to get everybody's heads right, to ensure they all know what we are in for and where we are heading," Fourie told this website.

"We are playing Friday and today [Monday] was our first training session, so we focussed on getting everybody back into the groove of what we are planning to do.

"We did a bit of conditioning just to get their heads right and I believe we will be switched on, on Friday."

He admitted that tactically there isn't much to work on, as the Cheetahs have a well-established game plan.

At this stage of the season the focus is shifting more to the mental preparation.

"Your head has to be in the game, especially after the break.

"It was a week away from rugby and the routine we have become used to."

By Jan de Koning

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