Cheetahs boss opens up about 'chaotic' Currie Cup prep
REACTION: Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie has painted a bleak picture regarding his team’s readiness for the upcoming Currie Cup season.
The Cheetahs have not enjoyed any luck in the last two years.
The Bloemfontein team were dumped out of the Pro14 competition last year and also failed to qualify for the Currie Cup play-offs – courtesy of a narrow 29-31 defeat to Western Province.
Fast forward to June 2021 and it seems like their bad run has not slowed down in any way.
The Cheetahs suffered their second pre-season loss when an inspired Griquas beat them 23-19 in Kimberley at the weekend.
The result followed the upset 35-43 defeat the Cheetahs suffered at the hands of a rag-tag Invitational XV in Bloemfontein last month.
Their pre-season camps in Stellenbosch and Potchefstroom have been cancelled – giving them limited time to train.
Speaking to @rugby365com, a disappointing Fourie opened up about the disastrous pre-season caused by Covid-19.
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) June 13, 2021
“The Pre-season program has not gone as planned. Everything we planned has not happened,” Fourie told @rugby365com.
“We scheduled a camp at the end of May in Stellenbosh.
“We were set to play two friendly matches against the South African Under-20 team, but they [Junior Springboks] cancelled.
“We set up a match against the Invitational XV in Bloemfontein, but failed miserably against them.
“We also scheduled a training camp in Potchefstroom and was set to play against the Leopards.
“However, they had a COVID-19 outbreak.
“[Last] Friday’s friendly against EP Elephants were also cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak [in the Elephants camp].
“Also, our squad was unable to train on Tuesday and Wednesday [last week], because we had to test our players.
“So basically we tested all the players on Thursday had a quick training session and played Griquas this past Friday.
“Our preparation has been very disruptive and certainly not what I was hoping for,”
The Cheetahs have a bye this week, before their Currie Cup campaign against the Griquas on June 26.
“Our bye in the first week is a blessing in disguise,” Fourie said.
“It gives us an additional week to work on the problematic areas, which was evident during the pre-season match against the Griquas,”
The coach also added that there are nine players currently sidelined due to injuries.
However, he is hopeful that the majority of them will be up for selection just in time for their first Currie Cup match in Round Two.