Top two spot in sight for Cheika

Sun, 20 Apr 2014 07:45
Large cheika and dennis

Michael Cheika says his side is "on track" but must keep turning the screws on opponents to reach the goal of a top-two finish.

Michael Cheika says his side is "on track" but must keep turning the screws on opponents to reach the goal of a top-two finish.
 
With half of the season gone and the Waratahs are in fourth position on the ladder thanks to a gritty 19-12 win over the Bulls, Cheika is turning his attention to the details.
 
"I think we're on track, five wins and three losses, we have a few bonus points and a game away from home in our pocket, we've won all our home games," he said.
 
"This is the halfway stage of my tenure here, one and a half years in, one and a half to go, and what we really want to focus on in the next 10 weeks till the end of the regular season 
 
It is really [making] sure we are an improving side and that all the little opportunities - not just try-scoring opportunities - all our options ... we start to improve on."
 
The Waratahs have two days off before meeting again on Tuesday, leaving just three days to prepare for the Blues in Auckland, their first clash with a New Zealand side this season.
 
Playmaker Kurtley Beale is expected to recover from a swollen ankle but will need the rest.
 
His presence in the back line is not as talked-about as Israel Folau's but his control of the performances alongside flyhalf Bernard Foley can be masterful.
 
Cheika is chasing more performances like the Waratahs' first half effort against the Bulls, in which they dictated a furious pace and kept their opponents on the back foot for the first 35 minutes.
 
"The key statistic in rugby is the conversion rate and not just in tries, but converting the opportunities you make to go further down the field to keep the ball and put pressure on the opposition," he said.
 
"If you score tries or get points and keep them on the back foot, they feel pressure so they can't play their game. Once you let them play their game they have an even shot at it."
 
The Waratahs' pack produced another abrasive performance.
 
Jacques Potgieter and Benn Robinson were cheered off the field in the second half and Will Skelton should have been. The 22-year-old has taken his starting opportunities with both hands and run with them.
 
The Bulls were more dominant in the scrum but the Waratahs were able to neutralise the effect thanks either to the lopsided first-half penalty count or any one of their 16 turnovers.
 
Israel Folau's try was the only five-pointer of the match but Cheika was pleased the Waratahs were able to tailor their game plan on the run.
 
The side used the boot just as much as the notoriously kick-happy Bulls but managed to keep it in the field of play so as to minimise the visitors' line-out opportunities.
 
"The boys thought on their feet a fair bit in the second half and got themselves in the situation where we were still able to keep ourselves nudging ahead," Cheika said.
 
"It wasn't a diamond performance but there was plenty of good, hard work going on out there and sometimes that's just what you need."
Kings vs Jaguares
sast: 17h15 | local: 17h15

  • 12 | 16
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Scotland vs Wales
sast: 16h25 | local: 14h25

  • 19 | 13
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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Cheetahs v Lions 25 | 28
Waratahs v Force 19 | 13
Crusaders v Brumbies 17 | 13
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Reds 1 1 0 0 4
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 0 0 1 1
Force 1 0 0 1 1
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 1 1 0 0 5
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 4
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0