Fourie: Cheetahs to adjust brand of rugby for Europe
REACTION: Cheetahs head coach Hawies Fourie believes his team has to undergo a major transformation for their demanding task in this season’s European Challenge Cup.
The Cheetahs are no strangers to the international stage.
They delivered some noteworthy results in the then Pro 14 (now United Rugby Championship) – reaching the quarterfinal in their first season – before being axed in 2020.
Speaking to reporters after the win over Griquas, Cheetahs head coach Fourie admitted there are ‘three key ingredients’ that his side needs to add to their overall game ahead of the Challenge Cup season.
“It is a totally different ball game during December and January in the Northern Hemisphere, so we can’t play the normal Cheetahs brand of rugby over there,” Fourie said.
“We would have to work on our kicking game, our defence and set-piece, think that is the three ingredients of a good team in those conditions.
“We have a one-week break and when we return on October 31 we will start with a wet weather game plan in mind and work on all those small details we need to change.”
He added: “For the Challenge Series we decided to play our normal style, we just felt it wouldn’t make sense to do a lot of things differently in Bloemfontein.
“We also had a lot of new guys joining us and tried to keep it simple, but from October 31st and onwards we will focus on how to be effective in the Nothern Hemisphere.”
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The Cheetahs ended their 2022 Challenge Series campaign with a 27-20 win over Griquas in Bloemfontein on Friday.
It was a tightly-contested match with only a late converted try separating the two teams, while the hosts played with 14 men from the 35th minute after prop Cameron Dawson got a red card for a dangerous cleanout on Johan Mulder.
“It is extremely difficult to play with 14 men for 55 minutes, however, we showed great character,” Fourie said.
“The team managed the game very well, especially in the second half and also determined the speed of the match.
“We conceded fewer penalties in the second half, so discipline was much better while our execution was very good.”
He added: “We have to give Griquas credit for their defence, think they put us under pressure.
“However we did well and particular having to scrum with seven players credit has to go to the pack as well.
The coach also confirmed that the scheduled friendly match againt the Griffons is set to go ahead on November 25.
The Cheetahs management is hard at work trying to set up a match for November 18 or 19.