Cheetahs must treasure ball

Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs have to avoid turning over possession to the Chiefs if they are to beat the New Zealand franchise in their Super Rugby encounter at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Poor ball retention has been the undoing of the Cheetahs on their recent overseas tour and, knowing that the Chiefs thrive on counter-attack, the hosts will be mindful not to give away any possession on the day.

Cheetahs' backline coach Hawies Fourie said the Chiefs showed against the Bulls last weekend that they can run rampant if their opponents allow them to.

"Our biggest problem in the last couple of weeks has been ball retention," Fourie said.

"Turnover possession is one thing we want to avoid at all cost against the Chiefs.

"We'll need to be very conservative and keep the game tight and take them on with our forwards."

Fourie said they would need to do what the Bulls did for 70 minutes of their match against the Chiefs when they placed them under pressure.

"The Chiefs are one of the better attacking teams in the competition," he said, pointing to the visitors' recent match against the Stormers.

"If you look at that game, the Chiefs attacked from their own half and managed 12 line breaks against them.

"That is against a side that South African sides struggle to score tries against.

"So we need to make sure we don't give them any turnover ball."

The hosts will again field veteran fullback Hennie Daniller at wing in the place of the injured Raymond Rhule.

Chiefs' coach Dave Rennie hopes his side can produce the same mental approach they took in the closing stages of their match against the Bulls, which ended in a 34-34 draw.

"Attitude-wise, we were pretty happy with last week's performance," Rennie said.

"The Bulls were 12 points up with just five minutes left and not many sides would storm up and grab a draw from that.

"We've got a very special group.

"There's a lot of character and we need to see that again against the Cheetahs."

Rennie said his side had to produce a better kicking performance than was the case at Loftus Versfeld last week.

"We lost the kicking battle against the Bulls.

"There were lots of opportunities to kick and find space, especially because of the way they defend.

"We kept a lot of ball in hand and we did enough to create space to kick and create pressure from that, but we didn't. That was disappointing and we need to be better over the weekend.

"The kicking game must be better, but not just Aaron Cruden, everybody else as well," Rennie added.

"We want to kick the ball, but we want to attack as well."



15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Hennie Daniller, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Lappies Labuschagné, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4, Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), Trevor Nyakane

Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Howard Mnisi


15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Tom Marshall, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Michael Fitzgerald, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Pauliasi Manu

Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Tanerau Latimer, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Mils Muliaina

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