Cheetahs have a lot to offer to SA Rugby

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:56

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Cheetahs feel they have too much to offer South African rugby to be axed from Super Rugby.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith, speaking to rugby365 ahead of his team's trip to Pretoria for a Round Nine encounter with the Bulls, admitted he is having to work very hard to get his players in the right frame of mind.

Smith said he is getting tired of all the talk that his team is "competitive" and bitterly disappointed that they squandered a healthy 24-0 lead after a blistering start against the Chiefs last week.

Despite suffering their fourth consecutive defeat (their fifth in seven matches), the Cheetahs mentor felt his team was making progress every week.

However, they are not kicking on and finishing off the opposition.

"In five of the seven games we were still in the contest going into the last 10 minutes," he told rugby365.

"That mental issue is something we have to address and something I am working very hard at with our mental coach - to eradicate these barriers from our game," Smith said, adding that the reality of the Super Rugby axe that is hovering over his team is not an excuse, but an issue they have to deal with.

It will not get any easier against the Bulls, who are coming off an impressive win against the Jaguares last week - a result that halted a three-match losing streak by the Bulls.

"The Bulls will target all their home games to get their campaign back on track," the Cheetahs coach said.

"We will continue with our goal of walking off the field [after a game] as a better team.

"I feel we have a lot to offer South African rugby and playing the Bulls at Loftus [Versfeld] and winning will be fantastic."

By Jan de Koning'
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10