The Toyota Free State Cheetahs will be targeting an improved performance on Friday when they tackle the Tafel Lager Griquas in Bloemfontein.
The two teams will battle it out in the second of two derbies ahead of next week’s Super Rugby Unlocked.
Despite beating the Griquas 40-7 a week prior in Kimberley, the Currie Cup champions weren’t happy with their second-half performance.
Cheetahs coach, Hawies Fourie, told Bloemfontein Courant that they need to be more clinical.
“The second forties’ quality wasn’t that good. We conceded a lot of penalties at the breakdown, made a few handling errors, and didn’t make the correct decisions all the time. We still played with a lot of intensity in the second half, but we didn’t execute that well and lost a number of try-scoring opportunities, but in general I’m satisfied with the improvement that we have made.”
The Cheetahs depth will, however, be put to the test, as numerous players will be involved with the Springbok Showdown at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
The Cheetahs boast with six players in the Green and Gold teams for Saturday’s game in the shadows of Table Mountain.
The players who will be in action in the Mother City are Luan de Bruin, Oupa Mohoje, Junior Pokomela, Frans Steyn, Malcolm Jaer and Rosko Specman.
In addition, there are several injuries, but Fourie feels that it will lead to valuable game time for the rest of the members in his squad.
“We’ve got six players in that Green and Gold squad, and we are very proud of them.
“I’m really glad that the guys are getting recognition for their hard work. We hope that they have a good game on Saturday, and we are looking forward to seeing them perform against players from the other franchises.
“Then there are still four or five players who are injured, so they won’t be available to play. We will be without about ten players for Friday’s match.
“But, it will also be good preparation for the other guys. We need everyone in our squad for the Currie Cup, so it will be a good run-out for them as well.”
Friday’s warm-up match at the Toyota Stadium kicks off at 11:00, and will be closed to the public. – MORGAN PIEK