England vs Uruguay

Cheetahs bank on the Venter factor

Fri, 17 Jan 2014 07:11
Large francois venter ball Large francois venter bulls Large francois venter 630

Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie chatted to Jan de Koning about the most dramatic change in the team - the departure of Robert Ebersohn.

Francois Venter seems to be following in the shadow of Robert Ebersohn - always just a year behind at various teams.

They both played for South African Schools (Ebersohn in 2007 and Venter in 2008) and both played for SA Under-20 (Ebersohn in 2008 and 2009, Venter the following two years).

Now, with Ebersohn off to French club Montpellier, Venter has arrived at the Cheetahs - ironically again the year following Ebersohn's last appearance for the team.

While they have taken a similar route so far, the big difference between the two players is their skillset.

Many pundits feel this could be the Cheetahs' biggest problem, replacing the skills they lost through Ebersohn's departure.

However, Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie does not agree with that verdict.

He confirmed that Venter, who transferred to the Cheetahs at the end of 2013 after he made more that 50 appearances for the Bulls (Super Rugby) and Blue Bulls (Currie Cup) between 2011 and 2013, will most likely play at No.12.

"So far he [Venter] has slotted in very well in our style and game plan - he has great skills and runs great lines," Fourie told this website.

"I am excited about him, I feel the gap left by Robert [Ebersohn's departure] he will fill very well."

Fourie admitted that Venter's skillsets are different to that which Ebersohn offered, but felt his combination with former Bulls teammate Johann Sadie will benefit the Cheetahs.

"They [Venter and Sadie] played together a little at the Bulls," the Cheetahs backline mentor said, adding: "They may not have had many games together, but they spend some time together."

Fourie also addressed the different skillsets by Venter and his predecessor at the Cheetahs.

"Robert [Ebersohn] was a very good defender and made a big impact at the breakdown, where Francois [Venter] is a great attacking player, runs great lines and distributes the ball well," the Cheetahs mentor told this website.

"He can also step into the playmaker role, so I am sure he will supplement [Johann] Sadie very well.

"There are aspects that Robert [Ebersohn] was very good with, that he [Venter] may not be so good at, but in return he has skills that he is better in that Robert was.

"The key for me, always, is to utilise the players' strength and bring that into your game plan as much as possible."

By Jan de Koning

England vs Uruguay
sast: 21h00 | local: 23h00

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Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Fri, 16 October 2015
Blue Bulls v Western Province 17h00 Pretoria
Connacht v Zebre 18h30 Sportsground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 18h35 Scotstoun
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Sat, 17 October 2015
Munster v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Irish Independent Park
Treviso v Ospreys 13h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 15h05 Johannesburg
South Africa v Wales 16h00 Twickenham
Sat, 10 October 2015
Australia v Wales 15 | 6
Golden Lions v Griquas 29 | 19
Samoa v Scotland 33 | 36
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 34 | 34
Fri, 09 October 2015
New Zealand v Tonga 47 | 9
Western Province v EP Kings 45 | 14
Pumas v Blue Bulls 24 | 25
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
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England v Australia 13 | 33
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26