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, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19