Currie Cup

Benjamin: More to come from Cheetahs

2016-09-20 17:00
Rayno Benjamin (Gallo Images)

Bloemfontein - Cheetahs flyer Rayno Benjamin believes there’s still plenty of room for improvement, although they’ve enjoyed an unbeaten start to the 2016 Currie Cup campaign.

The Free State-based union has made a notable impact on the domestic scene this season, putting together a six-match winning streak in the Currie Cup Premier Division to date. These victories include triumphs over Boland (44-16), the Blue Bulls (43-20), Western Province (32-25), EP Kings (57-25), Sharks (38-30) and defending champions the Golden Lions (37-29).

This great run of form has secured the Cheetahs’ a semi-final berth with two league rounds still remaining.

However, Benjamin stressed that the players can’t rest on their laurels at this stage of the competition.

“We’ve done very well so far, but there are still areas we need to improve in. We haven’t won anything at this stage, so we need to continue building momentum if we want to achieve our goals this season,” Benjamin told MyPlayers.

“It’s always nice to secure the win week after week. However, we haven’t been perfect. Last week, we made mistakes during our game against the Lions and we need to ensure we rectify this during the league phase before the semi-finals.”

Benjamin explained that the Cheetahs were looking to carry their impressive form right through the Currie Cup campaign, with the hopes to setting a good platform for next year’s Super Rugby season.

“There were many things we did right during Super Rugby this season. But things haven’t always gone our way and the scoreboard wasn’t a fair reflection of all the hard work we put in,” Benjamin said. “We are happy with the way we’re gelling and growing as a team during the Currie Cup. And it’s important that we use this platform as an opportunity to become more consistent going into next year’s Super Rugby tournament.

“Our team goals are to continue improving during the Currie Cup. We want to go as far as possible. We want to maximise our strengths and gain as much control of the areas of the game that we can control. The big goal is setting the momentum for next year’s Super Rugby competition. We believe we can be very competitive at that level.”

Benjamin - who is one of the most experienced players in the Cheetahs squad - recently signed a new deal with the union. He admires the young talent coming through the structures and believes every player has a role to play as the team develops into a tighter unit.

“There’s always talk about leaders and senior players, but at the Cheetahs, every player has a role to play as we collectively steer the team in the right direction. As a squad, we’re all chasing the same goal, so we need to push together in the same direction.”

Personally, Benjamin is happy with the way he’s returned to the field after recovering from serious injury earlier this season.

“It was really disappointing when I picked up a serious injury earlier this year. This hampered my chances of competing for a spot in the Springbok Sevens Olympic squad for Rio,” said Benjamin. “However, it’s important to keep looking ahead and make the most of the next opportunity that comes your way. I want to make a valuable contribution to Cheetahs rugby as the team aims to achieve its goals going into next year’s Super Rugby campaign.”

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