Vodacom Super Rugby
Cheetahs to lay ghost to rest
Coenie Oosthuizen (Gallo)
Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs still have not registered an overseas victory in five seasons of Super rugby, but they will lay that ghost to rest in 2011.
That is the view of Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen, who believes the Cheetahs are on the right track to finally win in Australia and New Zealand.
The Cheetahs finished last year’s Super14 strongly and achieved their best log-position of 10th. However, they just missed out on the taste of success overseas.
However, Oosthuizen believes the 25-all draw against the Chiefs in Hamilton in 2010 was a definite step in the right direction.
“Last year we drew for the first time overseas. It does not say much, but for us it was like a trophy or prize,” he said.
“Prior to that we had never won or drawn overseas and we managed the draw last year. This year we are going for the win. These are small steps in the right direction, but we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
Cheetahs supporters will hope that Oosthuizen’s prediction is correct and that their team can build on last year’s good effort in the expanded competition with more local derbies.
The Cheetahs play the Waratahs, Reds, Blues and Highlanders on tour this year.
They also have not lost many players and have been team-mates for longer than a season.
Oosthuizen says they have a strong squad.
“We probably have a little more depth than last year and a bigger variety of players. We have some fresh faces that can benefit the team and bring something new.”
Oosthuizen became a Springbok at the end of last year and his contribution will be important if the team wants to perform well and win overseas.
The 21-year-old will start as a first-choice player after Wian du Preez joined Munster.
If Oosthuizen can build on his excellent performance in the 2010 Currie Cup, he should be a strong contender for the Boks’ World Cup squad.
But he’s aware of the hard work that lies ahead.
“I know there are older players that are more experienced than me, but I’d like to show in Super Rugby that it (experience) is not the only thing that counts.”