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VIDEO: 'We made the road a bit more difficult for ourselves'

The Cheetahs must reset and remedy the wrongs before their visit to Stade Charles Mathon and a Challenge Cup Round Four crunch match with Oyonnax.

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Flyhalf Axel Desperes fired Section Paloise to a stunning 33-20 victory over previously unbeaten Cheetahs in a thriller at NRCA Stadium in Amsterdam this past Sunday – a result that saw the Durban-based Sharks overtake their Bloemfonteimn-based compatriots at the summit of Pool One.

In a tight pool, the Sharks are top with 12 points, followed by the Cheetahs (nine points), Zebre, Section Paloise (both eight) and the Dragons (seven).

Section Paloise hosts Zebre at Stade du Hameau in Pau, while the Dragons host the Sharks in a mad scramble for play-off places.

Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie said it was difficult to pinpoint why the players lost their composure in the second half in Amsterdam, after coming back from being 0-14 down in as many minutes and closing the gap to just three points (17-20) on the hour mark.

However, the final quarter saw lock Rynier Bernardo yellow carded for repeated infringements and allowing Section Paloise to race clear – even denying their Bloemfontein rivals a losing bonus point.

Cheetahs-v-Section-Paloise-match-stats

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Fourie played down the suggestion that the dramatic change in conditions – from 30°C in Bloemfontein to -7°C in Amsterdam – played a role.

“It is not easy [to adapt], but it is not an excuse,” the coach said.

He said they could have won the game if they were more clinical and used their chances.

“In the second half we created opportunities, but the last pass on two occasions let us down and there were a few wrong decisions,” Fourie told @rugby365com.

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“It [the loss] made the road a bit more difficult for ourselves to get where we want to be.

“However, we are still in it and the game against Oyonnax now becomes a bit more important for us.

“We have to fix what went wrong,” he said, adding that training starts on Tuesday and then they fly to France on Wednesday.

“We have enough time to fix it and ensure our focus does not let us down again.”

(WATCH as Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie chats to @king365ed about the road ahead in Europe after a bad day at the office.…)

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The Cheetahs have also lost star wing Cohen Jasper, who left the field early in the second half with an ankle injury.

He will undergo assessment during the weekend, but is on the ‘unlikely to play’ list.

Fourie said they will make a call on a possible replacement once they know the extent of Jasper’s injury.

On the flip side, hooker Marnus van der Merwe and utility outside back Daniel Kasende will be available for selection – both having arrived too late in Amsterdam for this past Sunday’s encounter.

That will give the team more depth for the encounter with the French outfit.

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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