Cheetahs secure home semi

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Toyota Cheetahs hooker Marnus van der Merwe powers through the tackle of Le Roux Roets for his try against the Sharks.PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The Toyota Cheetahs will have a home semi-final in the Currie Cup this year after they managed to beat the Sharks on Saturday in Bloemfontein in convincing fashion.

The Cheetahs were 44-15 victors at the Toyota Stadium as they continued their purple patch and extended their unbeaten run in the competition to nine games.

The Bulls are the only team that can end higher on the log than the Cheetahs, but the Free Staters’ mission remains to end the tournament unbeaten in order to ensure a home final if they manage to win their semi-final.

For now, the Cheetahs remain second in the standings on 41 points, with the Bulls leading the log on 42 points, but having played one more game than the team from Bloemfontein.
The Cheetahs still have a lot of hard work ahead of them with next week’s away derby against the Griquas in Kimberley before back-to-back home games against the Pumas and the Bulls.

The Cheetahs coach, Hawies Fourie, told Bloemfontein Courant that their mission remains unchanged – that they will not take chances by rotating their team for the last three games, despite already having secured a home playoff.

“If there is one thing – we are well rested. We will definitely not rest anymore. We haven’t played a lot of rugby, as we need to improve by at least 20 or 30%. If we are going into the semi-finals or final, we will probably play against full URC teams.

“As a team we know that there is still a lot of room for improvement and we will work hard towards that over the next four or five weeks towards that goal.”

The last time the Cheetahs made the semi-finals was in 2019 when they went on to win the Currie Cup for a sixth time. – MORGAN PIEK