Vodacom Super 14

Attacking woes worry Cheetahs

2010-02-02 07:53
Hawies Fourie (File)
Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – Fewer penalties at the breakdowns and more invention on attack.

That is what the Cheetahs will be focusing on in the next two weeks in the build-up to their opening Super 14 match against the Bulls.

Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie said that Friday’s contact sessions against their second stringers and the Griffons showed that there is still uncertainty over the stricter application of the laws at the breakdown.

“The players and the referees are not on the same wavelength yet about the application of the laws,” said Fourie.

On several occasion the players couldn't understand why referee Mark Lawrence blew his whistle.

Referees will be stricter on tacklers that have to release the ball-carrier immediately and give him time to place the ball. Ball-carriers are therefore being advantaged more than was the case in the past.

Fourie believes that referees will make mistakes and that is why it is maybe better to remove the risk of penalties completely.

“Maybe it’s just better to compete less on the ground and better to clean the ball and win possession in that manner.”

Fourie believes the Cheetahs conceded too many penalties in their warm-up games and cannot afford to do the same against the Bulls.

It will be particularly problematic against Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn whose goalkicking was spot-on again in Saturday’s warm-up against the Lions.

Fourie also believes the Cheetahs will have to do more on attack if they want to win. They had to be satisfied with a 13-9 victory against Eastern Province and they also were not convincing on Friday.

“We’re not getting enough momentum on attack. We’ll have to get a lot sharper. It’s as if we’re still attacking in bunches and that makes it easy for the defence to shift and tackle,” said Fourie.

While he credited his team's solid defence, Fourie feels it is a concern that the team could not score a try against the second-stringers.

“Last year one of the Free State Cheetahs’ strengths was our ability to score tries, but the Cheetahs are still struggling with that,” he said.

Meanwhile, the team’s attacking arsenal will be boosted this week by the return of some of their most important backline players.

Meyer Bosman (centre, knee), Louis Strydom (flyhalf, knee), Corné Uys (centre, cut to face), Tewis de Bruyn (scrumhalf, shoulder) and Lionel Mapoe (wing, knee) should all join up with the team.


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