Cheetahs shot themselves in the foot

Wed, 15 May 2013 19:32
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The Cheetahs are determined to bounce back with a vengeance when they face a very dangerous Reds side on Saturday.

The Cheetahs are determined to bounce back with a vengeance when they face a very dangerous Reds side on Saturday.

Having slipped out of the top six places, after almost two months in the play-off positions, the team from Bloemfontein knows another defeat like last week's loss to the Hurricanes could spell trouble as they chase their first-ever play-off spot.

The bonus-point loss did have some consolation - with the Cheetahs still second in the South African conference (seventh overall) - with the Bulls carrying the SA flag (on 41 points), followed by the Cheetahs (36), Stormers (30), Sharks (29) and die Southern kings (20).

The Cheetahs have a tough run-in to the play-offs - with the Reds (in Bloemfontein) this week, the Southern Kings (away), Bulls (at home), Stormers (away) and Blues (home) as their remaining fixtures.

That is why last week's loss could prove to be so costly.

"We shot ourselves in the foot," Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie told this website.

"We didn't play well and threw away a golden opportunity to improve our position on the standings.

"As a result we have now placed ourselves under additional pressure."

Fourie said having an off day happens to any team in the competition and pointed to the Kings - who had an very bad day against the Waratahs (a record 10-72 loss) and then bounced back the last week to beat the Highlanders.

"We require a similar reaction," Fourie told this website, adding: "We are facing a team that is much better than the Hurricanes.

"The Reds are a very good team, well coached and with no weaknesses.

"However, this year we have had some good wins against quality teams like the Stormers and the Sharks.

"We believe we can do it and we must bounce back immediately."

The Cheetahs backline mentor admitted that the team's defence was well below the standards they had set earlier in the season, but didn't feel that was the main reason for their loss.

"For me it all started with our kicking game," he said, adding: "Tactically we kicked very poorly and did not stay with the tactics we planned ahead of the game.

"Everybody knows the Hurricanes are a very dangerous team from turnovers and deadly with their counter attacks.

"The plan was to kick the ball out into the stands and not give them a chance for quick restarts, or to launch counter attacks.

"Also, between the 22-metre line and halfway we needed to kick contestable kicks.

"We didn't stay with the plan and also our execution wasn't good enough.

"That put our defence under pressure.

"Later in the game, when we went behind, we started playing in our own half to get back into the game and ended up conceding another try to Victor Vito, which just added to the pressure.

"Tactically we weren't very good and made plenty of errors."

By Jan de Koning

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Sat, 22 October 2016
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 12h00 Thomond Park
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 14h00 Bloemfontein
Clermont Auvergne v Bordeaux 14h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Castres v Northampton Saints 15h15 Stade Pierre Antoine
Saracens v Scarlets 16h30 Allianz Park
Ulster v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sun, 23 October 2016
Montpellier v Leinster 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Toulouse v Wasps 15h15 Le Mans
Zebre v Connacht 15h15 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 16h30 Welford Road
Fri, 28 October 2016
Ulster v Munster 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Edinburgh v Zebre 18h35 BT Murrayfield
Cardiff Blues v Scarlets 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Northampton Saints v Gloucester 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 22 October 2016
New Zealand v Australia 37 | 10
Fri, 21 October 2016
Sale Sharks v Toulon 5 | 15
Sun, 16 October 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Clermont Auvergne 8 | 35
Bordeaux v Ulster 28 | 13
Sat, 15 October 2016
Scarlets v Sale Sharks 28 | 11
Connacht v Toulouse 23 | 21
Northampton Saints v Montpellier 16 | 14
Blue Bulls v Western Province 36 | 30
Toulon v Saracens 23 | 31
Leinster v Castres 33 | 15
Free State Cheetahs v Golden Lions 55 | 17
Wasps v Zebre 82 | 14
Fri, 14 October 2016
Glasgow Warriors v Leicester Tigers 42 | 13
Sun, 09 October 2016
Saracens v Wasps 30 | 14
Sat, 08 October 2016
Scarlets v Dragons 31 | 27
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9