Cheetahs not on same 'wavelength'

Fri, 21 Mar 2014 05:50
Large cheetahs despondent

The Cheetahs have gone from heroes to zeroes in less than 12 months and everybody is looking for answers.

The Cheetahs have gone from heroes to zeroes in less than 12 months and everybody is looking for answers.

The men from Bloemfontein, after reaching the play-offs for the first time in 2013, are currently propping up the table - with just one win (15-9 against the Bulls in monsoon-like conditions) from five starts.

However, it is their three-match losing streak on tour in Australasia - where they have conceded an astonishingly 138 points and leaked 19 tries at an average of just over six tries per match - that showed up the biggest decline in their make-up, defence.

At the heart of last year's success was improved defence and conversely that is their biggest weakness in 2014.

They have a tackle success rate of just 86.6 percent this season, which dropped to 85 percent in the demoralising 27-60 loss to the Hurricanes last week - where they slipped 31 tackles.

Backline coach Hawies Fourie feels that both on defence and attack the Cheetahs have simply not been good enough this season.

He spoke of turning over too much possession, but felt the real problem is in their disjointed approach on defence.

"This [past] weekend we retained the ball better against the Hurricanes in the first half, but after the break we again conceded turnovers too easily," Fourie told this website in an interview ahead of their final tour match - against the Blues in Auckland on Saturday.

However, a far bigger issue for Fourie is that he feels on defence everybody are simply not on the same wavelength all the time.

"It doesn't help when players are under pressure and every player is trying to do his own thing," he told this website.

"You have to work as a team [unit] on defence, work with the guys next to you in units of three.

"It is vital that we get on the same wavelength.

"We worked hard on that [aspect] last week and again this week, so we hope it will improve dramatically [against the Blues] on Saturday."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9