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, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
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MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4