Pro14's intensity surpasses Super Rugby
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ‘Super Rugby is all about entertainment and getting the crowd on their feet.’
This is a statement made by Cheetahs coach Franco Smith.
The Bloemfontein side was axed from the Super Rugby competition in 2017 and joined the Europe circuit along with fellow South African team the Southern Kings.
While the Southern Kings have struggled to adapt the grueling seasons, Cheetahs managed a to make the quarterfinals last season.
However, this season was a different story.
They failed to make the play-off phase – they concluded the season with just eight victories from 21 matches and finished sixth in Conference A.
The Cheetahs opened their campaign with defeats to Munster (0-38) and Ulster (29-30) and only managed to record their first season win in Round seven against Glasgow Warriors in Bloemfontein.
Smith, rumoured to take up the role as Italy’s head coach, revealed that unlike Super Rugby which all about entertainment Pro14 requires you to be more tactical against the top Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Italian teams.
“First of all, Super Rugby is about entertainment and getting the crowd on their feet,” Smith told the Pro14Official website.
“A turnover or a bit of liberty with the ball excites them, and then you can lose four or five games on the trot.
“But with that brand, you can still fight back and score a lot of points and win the competition. Over here you never know what the weather is going to be like so you have to make the most of every opportunity,”
🚨 R21 STAT ATTACK 🔢
Nick Williams – 3️⃣ turnovers
Will Connors – 3️⃣3️⃣ tackles
Dries Swanepoel – 1️⃣1️⃣0️⃣m made
Who else stood out for you? 👀
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) May 1, 2019
Meanwhile, Cheetahs captain Shaun Venter compared the Pro14 to Test Rugby.
“It’s a different type of rugby, a lot more like Test rugby.
“In Super Rugby, you can throw the ball around and guys try everything.
“In the PRO14 it’s a lot more tactical, like Test rugby. I think it’s easier to come here and play in the cold than it is for the boys to come here and play in the heat. I think we’re adapting quite well – a lot of things to learn, but still quite good.”
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