Cheetahs must hit the road running

Wed, 12 Feb 2014 15:49
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The Cheetahs, like they did last year, will head to Australasia very early in their 2014 campaign. That is why it is vital that they get off to a winning start.

The Cheetahs, much like they did last year, will head to Australasia very early in their 2014 campaign. That is why it is vital that they get off to a winning start.

Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie said they can't afford a repeat of the losing start that marked their campaign in 2013 - when they had to bounce back from defeats in the first two matches.

An unprecedented three-match winning streak on tour put them back on track and ultimately contributed to the Bloemfontein outfit reaching the play-offs or the first time.

However, they can't afford another 'slow' start, according to Fourie.

"We have just two games at home and then we head abroad," he told this website in an interview ahead of their opening match of the season - against the newly promoted Lions in Bloemfontein this Saturday.

That is followed by another home game, against the Bulls, before they hit the road - where they face the Rebels, Reds, Hurricanes and Blues.

The Cheetahs have a bye in Week Seven and return home to face the two-time defending champion Chiefs in Bloemfontein.

Last year the Cheetahs started with a home loss to the Sharks, before going down heavily to the Chiefs in Hamilton. Victories against the Highlanders, Waratahs and Western Force put their campaign back on track.

"It is vital that we have a couple of victories behind us, before we go on tour," the Cheetahs backline coach told this website.

"You can't afford to take too long before you get some momentum going.

"Every point you drop you can't just make up, because the teams are all good. That is why it is vital to play well from the outset and get your wins at home."

The Cheetahs showed last year that they have the ability to win on tour and, according to Fourie, they are determined to have another good tour.

"However, we start with two home games which are vital to us - it is important to take momentum into the tour."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19