Cheetahs need clear goals
Eugene van Wyk (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs should not only aim to be competitive in the Super14, but have to believe that they can win it.
That is the view of team manager Eugene van Wyk about how they should approach a competition in which they have never been able to achieve much.
Van Wyk, who was involved at the Blue Bulls for about 13 years and won the Currie Cup as coach in 1991 and 1998, believes the Cheetahs have the ability to win the competition. However, they need to set themselves clear goals.
“They should not just focus on making the semi-finals or doing better than the Lions, but rather on winning the series,” he said.
Van Wyk, who is the team manager for a second straight year, believes the Free State Cheetahs’ success in last year’s Currie Cup is down to a similar goal and believes it can do the trick in the Super14.
The Free Staters fought back after a miserable start to last year’s Currie Cup and reached the final, where they lost to the Blue Bulls.
The Cheetahs have not been able to achieve much in the Super14 in spite of repeated success in the Currie Cup.
Van Wyk believes it’s a psychological matter.
“When I was at the Bulls it went just as badly early on. I believe the Cheetahs will have a better year this time,” he said.
He believes continuity plays a part and the region has lost a lot less players than usual.
“It’s the second year where we will play with virtually the same side,” he said.
Van Wyk believes the Free State Cheetahs and Griquas’ Currie Cup performances in 2009 can lead to a better Super14 performance.
He also believes they will be up against virtually the same sides of the Bulls and Sharks in the Super14 that they played against in the Currie Cup.
“The players showed in the Currie Cup that they can do the business against these teams.”
Van Wyk believes the Free State Cheetahs’ scrumming power, the cohesion in the pack, a more direct approach by the backline and team unity worked in their favour in the 2009 Currie Cup campaign.
These elements now have to be carried over into the Super14.