Cheetahs adapting to summer and winter rugby

Francois Venter (Gallo Images)
Francois Venter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Their 'pre-season' break is shorter than normal, but the Cheetahs are eager to impress when they resume their PRO14 campaign early in 2018.

The men from Bloemfontein are currently enjoying a short break after beating defending champions the Scarlets 28-21 at home on December 2.

The Cheetahs squad will regather shortly after Christmas in preparation for their January 6 date with Italian side Benetton in Treviso.

Captain Francois Venter said it will be a challenge adapting to the seasonal changes.

“We’re going from summer to winter when we play in Europe in January and it will be an adjustment for us. But I believe the team has grown throughout the competition and learnt a few lessons,” Venter told Netwerk24.

The Cheetahs are currently third in the PRO14’s Conference A with six wins from 10 games.

“If we resume our duties in January we’ll have to start afresh and we’ll have to adapt our playing style to those conditions in order to play winning rugby.”

Venter also stressed that they want to improve their away record, having so far only triumphed in one of four matches on the road.

Their win over Italian side Zebre 24-23 in Parma in late October was their only away triumph in the PRO14 to date.

As things currently stand, the Cheetahs are in playoff contention, with the top three teams from each conference advancing to the playoff stage.

The two conference winners qualify automatically for the semi-finals, while the second and third placed sides from each conference will contest quarter-final matches.

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