Cheetahs hope to build on 2019’s momentum


The Toyota Cheetahs want to build on their momentum heading into 2020 early in the year with another mini-tour to Europe where they will face Zebre in Parma, Italy.
The Cheetahs capped off 2019 with a hard-fought 18-13 win over the Ospreys at the Gnoll in Neath on 30 November.

This broke the three-match losing streak the Cheetahs had to endure during their previous trip to Ireland and Wales where they suffered defeats to Connacht, Scarlets and the Cardiff Blues.

The Cheetahs now have an outstanding opportunity to record back-to-back wins overseas; something that they have not managed to do to date.
The coach, Hawies Fourie, who celebrated his first victory with the team during the win over the Ospreys, said they now have what it takes to turning winning overseas into a habit, but first the team needs a break.

“I think we have the recipe right on how we should play – in terms of when to attack and when to kick, and our defence has become better in the past few months as well. We know how to play in Europe and we were unlucky not to get a win in those first two games on our tour but we know we can.

“In the second half of the competition we have seven games in Bloemfontein and two against the Kings, so we have nine games in South Africa and we can then play the kind of game that the players are used to and which they enjoy.

“Everyone has made the head-shift on how to play in the Northern Hemisphere. What has been better for me, has been the breakdowns. We still give away too many penalties and turnovers at the breakdowns. That is the most important thing to work on when we get back from the holidays, to get our breakdowns right and to keep our ball in the process.
“We gave the guys off for around three weeks. They obviously have training programmes to complete in this time, but I think it is a good time to give them a mental break. We played Currie Cup and then Pro Rugby and from January our schedule is more cluttered than it is now.

“You always feel a bit nervous giving the guys off at this time of the season, but I think time with their families will do them good.”
The Cheetahs will reassemble and atart preparing for the match against Zebre after Christmas.

Morgan Piek