AUDIO: Cheetahs writes new chapter

Wed, 02 May 2018 20:17

PRO14 SPOTLIGHT: When Springbok centre Francois Venter leads out the Cheetahs against the Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday, it will be a new chapter in the game.

It will be the first time a South African team features in a play-off match of a European competition.

Cheetahs captain Francois Venter said they were so busy preparing for the match, that they did not even realise the significance of the quarterfinal showdown.

"I don't think anybody has thought about it," Venter said in a teleconference call from  Llanelli.

"We have been focussed on the process and what we need to do," he said, adding: "This is the first time I have thought about it."

He used a well-worn cliche, when he said they know they won't get another shot at it.

"Anything can happen and we just need to ensure we turn the momentum in our favour and get on top."

He spoke of the Pro14 as a "pressure game".

"It is about who can put the most pressure on the opposition and force penalties.

"The key is finding the balance between running and kicking."

He spoke of how the Cheetahs have matured as a team since they gingerly took their first steps in the Pro14 last year.

"Those first two games, against Ulster and Munster, altered our mindset - in terms of how we attack and how we kick."

Both sides are known for their attacking approach - the Cheetahs have scored a whopping 609 points this season, only Glasgow Warriors have scored more (614), whilst Leinster (601) sits in third in this category.

Scarlets are on 528.

On Saturday Parc y Scarlets will bear witness to a mouth-watering clash, with the home side having finished second in Conference B and the Cheetahs third in Conference A.

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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PRO14
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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 21 15 1 5 76
Munster 21 13 1 7 69
Cheetahs 21 12 0 9 63
Cardiff Blues 21 11 0 10 54
Ospreys 21 9 0 12 44
Connacht 21 7 0 14 39
Zebre 21 7 0 14 36
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 21 14 1 6 70
Scarlets 21 14 1 6 70
Edinburgh 21 15 0 6 68
Ulster 21 12 2 7 62
Treviso 21 11 0 10 55
Dragons 21 2 2 17 20
Kings 21 1 0 20 11