LIVE

    Defence a work in progress for Cheetahs

    2016-03-18 08:59

    Herman Mostert - Sport24

    Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has assured fans that they are working hard at improving their defence.

    The men from Bloemfontein have struggled with their defence in recent times and it was again an area of concern in their clash against the Sunwolves in Singapore last weekend.

    The Cheetahs had to overcome a 31-13 deficit to beat the Japanese team, but four first half tries against them made things difficult.

    Smith, speaking at a press conference in Bloemfontein on Thursday, acknowledged that the team’s defence has not been good enough in the early parts of the competition, but insisted that they have the right structures in place.

    “It’s not system errors. It’s maybe one or two individuals falling off tackles. It’s not like we’re not in a position to make tackles, so it’s just confidence in defence and confidence in the newer approach that we have,” Smith said.

    The more his young players are exposed to Super Rugby, the better they will become at this aspect of the game, Smith believes.

    “Not everybody has the experience. Experience is not what you know, but what you do with what you know. They don’t yet have that ability to block the pressure of the game out and therefore every tackle is a bit rushed.

    "But when they get confidence in their own ability and arrogance in their own capability, I think we’ll fall off less tackles, but that will only come the more we play and the more we work at it.

    “Defence wins finals, we know that, it’s a fact, so we work really hard at it. If somebody feels we’re falling off (tackles), that’s true, but hopefully it will become less and less.”

    The Cheetahs face the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday (17:05 kick-off) and they know full well they can’t afford to slip tackles there.

    The last time the teams clashed at Ellis Park was during last year’s Currie Cup semi-finals, when poor defence and discipline saw the Cheetahs surrender an eight-point lead in the 56th minute to eventually lose 43-33.

    The last time the teams clashed in Super Rugby, the Lions thumped the Cheetahs 40-17 in Bloemfontein on May 23 last year.

    Teams:

    Lions

    15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnal Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx 1 Dylan Smith

    Substitutes: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Cyle Brink, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jaco van der Walt, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg

    Cheetahs

    15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Neil Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais

    Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Boom Prinsloo, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read

    Fixtures

    Saturday, 27 May 2017
    • Highlanders v Waratahs, Forsyth Barr Stadium 09:35
    • Rebels v Crusaders, AAMI Park 11:45
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 15:05
    • Sharks v Stormers, Growthpoint Kings Park 17:15
    • Jaguares v Brumbies, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40
    Sunday, 28 May 2017
    • Lions v Kings, Emirates Airlines Park 14:30
    Friday, 02 June 2017
    • Blues v Reds, Apia Park 09:35

    Results

    27 May 2017
    26 May 2017
    21 May 2017
    20 May 2017
    19 May 2017
    13 May 2017
    12 May 2017
    06 May 2017
    05 May 2017
    30 April 2017
    29 April 2017
    28 April 2017
    22 April 2017
    21 April 2017
    15 April 2017
    14 April 2017
    09 April 2017
    08 April 2017
    07 April 2017
    02 April 2017
    01 April 2017
    31 March 2017
    25 March 2017
    24 March 2017
    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    SA Rugby need to cut two Super Rugby teams for next year's tournament. Help them out!

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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