Cheetahs captain 'touch-and-go'

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 12:30

NEWS: Cheetahs captain Francois Venter is in a race against time to be fit for their crucial Super Rugby Round Six encounter with the Stormers on Saturday.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith, speaking to rugby365 after their arrival in Cape Town on Wednesday, confirmed that Venter is "touch-and-go" to recover from a minor hamstring strain he picked up in the team's loss to the Sharks last week.

"We will delay the call [on his availability] as late as possible," the coach said.

Wing Sergeal Petersen will be back this week, after pulling out last Saturday morning with a hamstring strain.

The Cheetahs team, to face the Stormers at Newlands, will be named on Thursday, but the call on Venter could be made on matchday.

Smith said his team is playing good rugby, despite recording just two wins in five starts, but letting themselves down.

"I am very disappointed in the two minutes and 38 seconds against the Lions [a 25-28 loss in Round One] that we could not hang on for a win," Smith told rugby365.

"The Jaguares [a 14-41 loss in Buenos Aires in Round Four] was always a tough challenge, but in retrospect, we could have performed much better there.

"We just paid them too much respect.

"Despite the late return [from Buenos Aires] we were disappointed not to have won [a 30-38 loss to the Sharks] last week.

"We felt we did enough to win."

The Cheetahs mentor said he is happy with a lot of aspects of his team's game, but also disappointed with other aspects.

He listed the breakdown as a problem area.

"They [the Sharks] capitalised on our mistakes. We need to be more clinical.

"Having analysed the game I realised we did a lot of good things.

"The stats show we won 18 from 18 line-outs, we make the most line-breaks in the competition, we make many offloads and most metres gained with ball in hand.

"We play some good rugby, I just feel we are just not mature and clinical enough."

By Jan de Koning

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Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4