Languid Cheetahs under no illusions

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 07:39
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The Cheetahs know they have a monumental mountain to climb if they are to end their three-match losing streak on their Australasian tour.

The Cheetahs know they have a monumental mountain to climb if they are to end their three-match losing streak on their Australasian tour.

However, the players and management from last-placed Bloemfontein-based outfit, remain resolute in their believe that the turning point on a bitterly disappointing season is just around the corner.

Assistant coach Hawies Fourie, speaking to this website from the team's training base in Auckland, ahead of their Round Six Super Rugby encounter with the Blues on Saturday, said the Cheetahs will have to "make a big step up" from their recent performances.

Disappointing defeats against the Rebels (14-35), Reds (33-43) and Hurricanes (27-60) - in the wake of their only win of the season, 15-9 over the Bulls in monsoon-like conditions in Bloemfontein - have left the Cheetahs stick at the foot of the standings.

"We know we are under pressure," Fourie told this website, adding: "We had high expectations of the season and the tour and we have not played well at all.

"We are under no illusions that we will have to show massive improvements."

He added that they are well aware that the Blues remain a very dangerous team, despite losing to both the Bulls and Lions on their just completed tour of South Africa.

"Against the Crusaders [in Week Three] they were down 3-17 [after half-an-hour] and won rather comfortably [35-24, after scoring 29 unanswered points in a 20-minute blitz]," the Cheetahs' backline mentor pointed out.

"They are a side against you can't afford to relax for a single moment.

"Against the Lions this [past] weekend it was the same - they were trailing by 20 points [0-20 early in the second half] and came close to winning [eventually losing 36-39].

"They have exceptionally dangerous outside backs."

Fourie said the Cheetahs simply can't afford to allow the Blues any space.

"We will have to improve on defence," he said, adding: "Our one-on-one tackles are simply not good enough and teams all too easily get momentum against us and quick ball at the breakdown.

"We will have to make a big step up in that regard."

By Jan de Koning

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Fri, 01 July 2016
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
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Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Lions v Sharks 15h10 Johannesburg
Kings v Highlanders 17h15 Port Elizabeth
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
Thu, 07 July 2016
Griquas v Pumas 17h00 Kimberley
Fri, 08 July 2016
Blues v Brumbies 07h35 Auckland
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 9 0 4 39
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 13 10 0 3 46
Crusaders 13 10 0 3 45
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9