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
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 11h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
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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