It's the 'low risk' Cheetahs

Wed, 26 Jun 2013 14:56
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The Cheetahs, requiring one win from their two remaining league matches, will adopt a low risk win-at-all-cost approach to their encounter with the Stormers.

The Cheetahs, requiring one win from their two remaining league matches, will adopt a low risk win-at-all-cost approach to their encounter with the Stormers.

The Cheetahs head to Newlands on Saturday knowing that a win will secure them a place in the play-offs for the first time in their existence.

Their last league outing is against the Blues in Bloemfontein next week, a team who is also chasing a play-offs spot.

"It is a very important game for us, as we are just one win away from securing a spot in the top six [play-offs]," Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie said, adding that they simply can't afford to slip up.

That is why they did not hesitate to race back all their Springboks, even though Trevor Nyakane will play off the bench.

"There is a lot of pressure on us to secure our place in the top six in the next two games and if we can get a bonus point out of one of these games we are in a position where we can finish in the top four. "That would mean we will host one of the play-off matches.

"It is no good looking back afterwards and think: 'If we played these players we could have hosted a game in Bloemfontein'," he said.

The importance of the occasion means the Cheetahs will opt for a 'low risk' game plan this week, especially given the Stormers' renowned defensive structures.

"Our goal is to win this game at any cost," Fourie told this website, adding: "We certainly don't have a pre-set game plan that we must go and get five points - we will be very happy to just win and come away with four points.

"This week is vital to ensure we get [a win to get] into the top six and if we succeed then next week against the Blues we can look at perhaps getting five points, which will give us a great opportunity to finish fourth and host a game in the first round of the play-offs.

"Even if we don't succeed with that [getting a bonus point] or lose next week, we are still in the top six [if we win against the Stormers].

"That is why it will be a low risk [approach] this week, where our only goal is to come away from Newlands with four points."

The Cheetahs do have the advantage that they will collect four points four a buy in the final round of league action.

Of all the teams in the running for the fourth, fifth and sixth places on the table, the Cheetahs and Crusaders appear to be best placed.

The Crusaders face the Highlanders, Hurricanes and defending champion Chiefs in their remaining matches. They have the same number of points (46) as the fifth-placed Cheetahs, but the men from Bloemfontein have one more win to their credit.

The Reds, ahead of the Cheetahs and Crusaders with 54 points, play the Waratahs (seventh, 44 points) in both the Aussie teams' only remaining league fixture.

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 March 2017
Crusaders v Force 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Waratahs 08h45 Melbourne
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Sharks 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Gloucester 15h00 Ashton Gate
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 10
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 3 1 0 2 5
Waratahs 4 1 0 3 4
Rebels 3 0 0 3 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Crusaders 4 4 0 0 16
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Highlanders 4 1 0 3 5
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 3 3 0 0 13
Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 9
Bulls 3 1 0 2 5
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 4 3 0 1 14
Lions 4 3 0 1 14
Sharks 4 3 0 1 13
Kings 4 1 0 3 5