Cheetahs not clinical enough

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 10:31
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CURRIE CUP REACTION: Free State Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan admitted his side have plenty of work-ons despite their 47-12 win over the Sharks.

The defending Currie Cup champions kicked off their campaign on a good note but Duncan’s huge concern is his side’s ability to exit their own half.

Before the break, the Cheetahs were forced to defend inside their 22, even their kicks failed to get them out of the danger zone.

Fortunately for them, the Sharks' attack could not punish them and hosts took a 17-10 lead at the break.

"It is the first game of the tournament and it is a platform to build on. Nonetheless, I certainly felt like we left some points out on the park," Duncan said.

"There are a couple of work-ons which we should address. We have to look at our exit strategy. It is about getting the timing right, for instance when do we want to play it out of our half or when do we want to kick it downfield.

"We also need to be more clinical in terms of finishing off our attacking opportunities.

"If you look at our backline, we got a very matured group of players. If we can work on those few areas we can be a dangerous team."

Captain Francios Venter shared his coach's sentiments and said that the side has potential but the lack of game management prevented them from truly firing on all cylinders.
"We have to learn how to manage the game, knowing when to play in the right areas," Venter said.

"Furthermore, individual errors got the better of us. Guys made mistakes which were out of character. Like coach [Duncan] said, we have to look at the positives and the win was a good start for us.

"The team can only get better from here. [But] there is a lot of work ahead."

The Free State Cheetahs' next fixture is against the Western Province in Bloemfontein on Sunday, July 30 before heading to Nelspruit to take on the Pumas on Wednesday, August 9.

By Leezil Hendricks


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Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26