Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan believes two yellow cards proved costly in their PRO14 defeat to Ulster in Belfast on Friday night.
The Cheetahs went down 42-19 in their opening game in the competition as the Irish side racked up six tries to claim a bonus-point win.
Two Cheetahs players - flank Henco Venter and prop Johan Coetzee - received yellow cards and Duncan believes it played a role in their demise.
“We conceded some tries during the yellow card period of time which put us under pressure and obviously it’s not ideal playing with 14 men for 20 minutes in the game, but that’s also part of the game,” Duncan told the Irish Times.
Duncan nevertheless remains upbeat about the Cheetahs’ prospects going forward.
The PRO14 is a lifeline for the men from Bloemfontein, who earlier lost their Super Rugby status.
“It was an experience getting the first game out of the way,” Duncan continued. “Obviously the end result was not quite what we wanted. Still it’s great to be part of this competition.”
Ulster had six South African-born players in their starting team, with former Springbok flank Jean Deysel producing a man-of-the-match performance.
The Cheetahs will remain in Ireland where they next tackle Munster at Thomond Park (Saturday, September 9 - 18:15 SA time).