PRO14

Historic win boosts Cheetahs’ confidence

2017-11-03 10:25
Junior Pokomela (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Cheetahs loose forward Junior Pokomela says the Bloemfontein-based team is aiming for more success on tour following their first PRO14 away win last weekend.

The Cheetahs made history during Round 7 last Saturday as they became the first South African team to record an away win in the PRO14.

Their 24-23 win over Italian club Zebre was their first victory abroad on their third attempt, having lost to Ulster (42-19) and Munster (51-18) during the opening rounds.

Speaking from the team’s base in Ireland, where they are preparing for their match against Connacht on Saturday, Pokomela said the players are in good spirits.

“Winning our first away game definitely brought about an uplifting mood within the team. The players’ confidence and belief was boosted after that result. We find ourselves in a positive environment as we prepare for our next game,” Pokomela told MyPlayers.

“The PRO14 has been a big adjustment for all of us. Personally, I’m still getting used to the immense physicality! That’s something I’m noticing during my recovery sessions. The European teams put a lot of emphasis on their forward play, so I’m learning to adapt. I’ll definitely be putting more work in between training sessions.”

Nearing the halfway stage of the PRO14 league phase, the Cheetahs are currently third in Conference A, which would see them qualify for a playoff place.

Pokomela said the Cheetahs players and management are making the necessary adjustments to life in a new competition as they’re learning many new lessons, especially on the road in Europe.

“At this stage, I think we have done very well so far and we are just beginning to make our mark in the competition. As a squad, we are aiming to make the most of every opportunity that lies ahead,” said Pokomela.

“The structure of the matches and the travel between South Africa and Europe has been well-organised. Adapting to the different weather conditions in different regions can be challenging, but it’s something we’re getting used to. We are focused on putting in all our energies to ensure we perform to our potential on every match day.”

Off the field, Pokomela is also putting in the work. The former Junior Springbok is determined to get an accounting qualification during his rugby career.

“I’ve always found it important to ensure that I maintain my studies after matric. I’m currently enrolled at UNISA for an Accounting Science diploma and I’m determined to finish it. My rugby schedule does make it tough, but I’m willing to put in the sacrifice... even if it takes me 10 years!” explained Pokomela.

“Otherwise, I really enjoy spending time with the friends I’ve made in Bloemfontein. They’ve made my move from Port Elizabeth to the Free State much easier.”

For more exclusive player content, check out MyPlayers.co.za

Read more on:    cheetahs  |  pro14  |  junior pokomela  |  bloemfontein  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which of the two South African teams competing in the inaugrual PRO14 tournament will fare best?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.