Cheetahs look to 'control the controllables'
Bloemfontein - Cheetahs coach Franco Smith was vocal on the role the uncertainty surrounding his side's future in Super Rugby played in Saturday's 38-30 loss to the Sharks, but he knows they need to put that to one side as the move forward in the competition.
With Super Rugby expected to be down-sized in 2017, some reports have suggested that the Cheetahs and Kings are on the verge of losing their Super Rugby status.
And while Smith gave a heart-felt plea on Saturday defending his side's participation in the competition, he acknowledged that right now the players needed to focus on getting back to playing winning rugby for the fans.
"We started 20 months ago with a plan to become a sustainable, good franchise here," Smith told reporters in Bloemfontein.
"We're only in the second Super Rugby season (after the new-look, 18-team format was launched in 2016), we're five games down, we've been putting up good performances and I think it's unnecessary pressure that's now been added.
"We want to fight that. We want to keep every single Cheetahs supporter happy and give them the best chance to be part of this.
"I know what impact it's having on a lot of decisions and the doubt it's bringing, so hopefully this week with this loss we can look at it and know that the reasons behind it are uncontrollable.
"We need to control the controllables better and keep on winning with the brand that we play and leave our hearts on the field."
The Cheetahs are next in action when they take on the Stormers in Cape Town this Saturday.