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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Tue, 06 October 2015
Canada v Romania 15h45 Leicester
Fiji v Uruguay 19h00 Milton Keynes
Wed, 07 October 2015
South Africa v United States 15h45 London
Namibia v Georgia 19h00 Exeter
Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Golden Lions v Griquas 12h00 Ellis Park
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 14h05 Bloemfontein
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
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