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VIDEO: SA Cup the perfect trial for Euro-bound Cheetahs

The Cheetahs will make their return to competitive action in the SA Cup on Friday, the start of a new domestic competition in South Africa.

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However, not even the arrival of former coach Hawies Fourie with his new team, Boland, in Bloemfontein can take their focus away from the big picture.

The opening rounds of the SA Cup – the Cavaliers in Bloemfontein and the Leopards in Potchefstroom a week later – are preparation for the Cheetahs ahead of their return to Europe.

New Cheetahs coach Izak van der Westhuizen said it is vital that they avoid getting caught up in the sideshow of facing their former coach – Hawies Fourie.

“We have to focus on Boland, as a team, and ensure we concentrate on the systems we have put in place in the last few weeks,” Van der Westhuizen said.

The next two games are a ‘trial run’ for the Round of 16 Challenge Cup trip to France and a face-off with Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel-Michelin on April 6.

“Clermont is a big game for us,” Van der Westhuizen told @rugby365com.

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“A lot of the work and preparation is going into hitting our straps when we get to Clermont.

“However, we also have to manage the players through the SA Cu so that when we get to the Currie Cup [from July to September] they are not burnt out.

“It is a challenge, but the management and conditioning are working very closely to plan the road ahead.”

(WATCH as new Cheetahs coach Izak van der Westhuizen explains to @king365ed how they will use the SA Cup as preparation for their Challenge Cup Round of 16 trip to France….)

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Van der Westhuizen said they did not throw the baby out with the bathwater when Fourie left last month.

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“We have identified a couple of work-ons we felt we need to improve on,.” he added.

Captain Carl Wegner described it – the next two weeks and the trip to Europe with a new coach – as exciting times.

“The energy and the vibe is there,” he told @rugby365com, adding: “I’m excited about the plan we have for what is ahead of us.”

Springbok Teboho Mohoje also spoke about the “excitement” about the change that happened.

“We can’t wait for the plan top come together,” the 19-times capped Springbok said.

Mohoje hasn’t had much game time this season – just seven minutes against Oyonnax in January and nothing before that – leaving him in desperate need of game time.

“I’m excited for the opportunities I’m going to get,” he said, adding: “I hope I impress the coaches enough so that I can travel [to France in April] and play in the EPCR [Challenge Cup.”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

Cheetahs team to play Boland

Boland team to play Cheetahs

 

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