Talk of Super Rugby axe affecting Cheetahs

    2017-04-24 14:25

    Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Franco Smith feels uncertainty regarding their Super Rugby status is negatively impacting his players.

    It was recently announced the Super Rugby tournament will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year, with South Africa losing two teams and Australia one.

    SA Rugby is yet to announce which South African teams would be axed from the tournament, but there have been several calls for the Cheetahs and Southern Kings to be the two teams to drop out.

    Following their 20-14 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria at the weekend, the Cheetahs boast only two wins from eight matches in 2017.

    Speaking after the loss at Loftus Versfeld, Smith said talks of the Cheetahs being axed from the tournament have made things tough.

    “It sounds like we’re putting an excuse out there, but anyone who knows the mental side of the game would know... it’s like having to stop at a traffic light. If it’s orange, you either go or you stop. There’s no right or wrong, you must just do one. And if you doubt it leads to accidents. That’s where we’re at, we’re doing the great things right and at the vital period of the game we start looking at the scoreboard...”

    Mentally, it’s been tough on the Cheetahs players, Smith stressed.

    “Unfortunately if you talk about it from Monday to Saturday, then subconsciously it starts to become a threat. And we are playing not to lose instead of continuing to win,” he said.

    “And unfortunately at this level it’s a tough thing to deal with, but the way we start every game, the way we play, the way we physically put ourselves out there means that there’s a lot of belief and a lot of good rugby players developing. And it is a process.

    “We are unfortunately now staring into the barrel. We had a three, four year plan... look where we’ve come from two years ago, with young players in Varsity Cup, then Currie Cup... all the right things are happening and now unfortunately the mental aspect is hindering us a little bit.

    “We’re trying to deal with it, we’ve done a lot of work with our mental coach and we try and really put that to one side, but unfortunately it’s big monkey sitting on the back."

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    Friday, 26 May 2017
    • Blues v Chiefs, Eden Park 09:35
    • Reds v Force, Suncorp Stadium 11:45
    Saturday, 27 May 2017
    • Sunwolves v Cheetahs, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 07:15
    • 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


    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


    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!

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