Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    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.



    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


    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


    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 10:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 11:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 15:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 19:30


    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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