Cheetahs welcome back big guns

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 16:06
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SUPER RUGBY REACTION: The Cheetahs will welcome the return of several key players ahead of their next match against the Sharks.

The Cheetahs are coming off the back of a 14-41 defeat at the hand of the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

"Fortunately we do not have any serious injuries. The nice part is that Francois Venter, Ox Nche, Sergeal Petersen, Raymond Rhule, William Small-Smith, Nico Lee, Shaun Venter - who came through the second half well - and Torsten van Jaarsveld should all return for the next game.

"So we have quite a few players who are available again," head coach Franco Smith said.

The Cheetahs were far from their best but the inexperienced side that took to the field would have benefitted from the experience.

"This has been a tough trip and we knew that playing here [in Argentina] was going to be a challenge, especially when you have to put in two big performances in a row.

"The heart of the case is that you look at the team, a lot of them never played Super Rugby before and others who have played very little. We played against a very experienced Jaguares team that closed our space down.

"It took us a while to adjust to that but in the second half, we were a lot better. We had to play catch-up rugby, maybe that is why we over did it with ball-in-hand because we had to narrow the gap with seven pointers and not three.

"At the end of the day, we wanted to improve our confidence with the ball-in-hand," he added.

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10