Cheetahs target ball retention


Smith stepped in to his new role as coach as Naka Drotske finished up with the Bloemfontein side at the end of May.

It left Smith with the unenviable task of finishing the season strongly with a Cheetahs team which has lost 10 times in their campaign this year.

“We will want to keep the ball for longer periods, and not give it away,” said Smith.

“We will want to match the intensity that is in the game. We will also want to use our first phase ball better and make sure it is good ball to work with. There are small goals that we have set for ourselves, it isn’t necessarily about the result.”

Having tasted victory just four times from their 14 fixtures, the last two games for the Cheetahs could prove especially difficult said Smith.

“We need to get the positivity back, we need to enjoy playing rugby again. And that won’t be easy, especially against teams like the Waratahs and Bulls, who also will approach the game with a certain mission.”

The Waratahs, meanwhile, succumbed to a highly motivated Lions side in a 27-22 defeat at Ellis Park last week. Despite that loss, the New South Wales outfit top the Australian conference and occupy third place on the overall log.

Waratahs flank Michael Hooper said his side would target an improved performance against an unpredictable Cheetahs team.

“We’re still in a good position and we’re excited to take on a solid team in a game we really need to win. The guys really want to try to make amends,” said Hooper.

“We fell one try short last week and have been putting together decent performances but not the one where we’ve opened up.

“We’re chasing that performance where things happen and it just clicks for us. The cheetahs won’t let that happen easily.” - ANA

Original source: Cheetahs target ball retention