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    Cheetahs defence is geared

    2014-02-05 10:29
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    Cape Town - Cheetahs defence guru Michael Horak is convinced their defence will stand them in good stead in this year's Super Rugby competition.

    With only three tries conceded in 200 minutes during their pre-season games - against Shimlas, Kings and Pumas - Horak believes they are ready for the coming season.

    "When the full-strength team played in the first half against Shimlas, we conceded no tries. We concede three tries against the Southern Kings and had to make adjustments after that when the opponents gets turnover ball.

    "Against the Pumas we didn't concede any tries. There are still a few things that need attention and we made a number of small adjustments since last year, but I'm truly satisfied," Horak told the Volksblad website.

    The Cheetahs beat Shimlas 66-19 but led 26-0 at the break when their first-stringers played. They beat the Kings 36-21 in Port Elizabeth the following week before beating the Pumas 31-6 in Bloemfontein last week.

    One of Horak's biggest challenges before their first Super Rugby game - against the Lions in Bloemfontein on February 15 - was to get new recruits like Francois Venter (centre), Jean Cook (flank, both Bulls), Shaun Venter (scrumhalf, Kings and Pumas), Cornal Hendricks (wing, Blitzbokke) and Maks van Dyk (prop, Sharks) accustomed to their defensive structures.

    The Cheetahs reached the Super Rugby playoffs for the first time last year with an 87,6% tackle success rate and will be eager to maintain that in 2014.

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