Durban humbling won’t fuel Cheetahs
WP forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot says the Free State Cheetahs won’t be fuelled by "negative motivation" in Friday’s match in Bloemfontein.
Western Province forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot says the Free State Cheetahs won’t be fuelled by "negative motivation" in Friday’s match in Bloemfontein.
The Cheetahs head into the crunch clash fresh off a resounding 26-50 defeat to the Sharks in Durban.
However, Proudfoot doesn’t believe the seven-try thrashing will be a source of motivation.
“They’re a professional outfit and they don’t need negative motivation,” Proudfoot said on Monday.
“They want to win every game like every team. This game is an important game for them. It’s crunch time in the competition for everybody, so everybody is highly motivated as this stage.”
Proudfoot said the real boost for the Cheetahs would be playing in Bloemfontein, but he warned that the venue would also serve as motivation for the unbeaten visitors.
“They’ll want to go out and put on a good performance because they’re at home. They play well at home, we haven’t won there this year, so it’s a big motivation for both sides.”
Proudfoot said accuracy, negating the halfback pairing of Sarel Pretorius and Elgar Watts and matching the Free Staters physically will be key.
“This part of the competition is all about execution and taking our chances and that’s what we’ve been focusing on,” he said.
“Nine-10 control the game well. We have to take care of Sarel, he’s a good attacking player, and Elgar is playing well, [using] little kicks over the top, so they pin you back and then run on the edges and stretch you defensively.
“They’ve got good physicality. Lood de Jager has been massive for them and Trevor [Nyakane] is playing well.”
Proudfoot also stressed the importance of striking a better balance between attack and defence than the team showed in last Friday’s narrow 19-13 win over struggling Griquas in wet Cape Town conditions.
“We have to get the balance right. Irrespective of the conditions, we’re not going to change the why we play, we just have to vary it better,” he said.
“In patches we played a lot of rugby [against Griquas] and maybe got our balance a little bit wrong. In the first half we carried a lot of ball. In patches we were playing some good rugby in the circumstances [but] we created a lot of errors and that allowed Griquas to get momentum.”
Proudfoot added that they’ll be refining technical aspects of their scrummaging and mauling in preparation for Friday’s fixture.
“I’m really happy with the intent at scrum time. We conceded a lot of penalties [last Friday] and I wasn’t happy with that, so we’re having a look at those issues and I’ll be discussing with the referee how he felt because it’s not great if you have a lot of intent but you’re inaccurate, you put yourself under a lot of pressure.
“There was a little bit more consistency in the line-out but we didn’t get reward for our mauling, so we spent a lot of time mauling this afternoon.”