Cheetahs aiming for more ‘surprises’

Oupa Mohoje (Gallo Images)
Oupa Mohoje (Gallo Images)

Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs’ pre-season victory over the Bulls might have surprised rugby fans, but flank Oupa Mohoje believes there’s much more to come from the Bloemfontein-based outfit.

The Cheetahs managed a 28-10 victory over the Bulls in their warm-up game in Harare, Zimbabwe earlier this month. While it’s noted that not much can be read from pre-season scores, the result was a big confidence booster for the Cheetahs, who head into Super Rugby with a relatively young squad under the tutelage of head coach Franco Smith.

Mohoje, who is part of the leadership core in the squad, said the win in Zimbabwe was the result of all the hard work put in during their pre-season preparations.

“It was a great result for the guys, but I wouldn’t call it a surprise. It’s the desired result following all the hard work we put in during training. The guys are really putting in the effort to ensure we are successful during Super Rugby in 2016,” Mohoje explained to MyPlayers.

But what would the Cheetahs deem as successful?

“We are not here just to make up the numbers and compete. We believe we have the talent and ability to win games and build the necessary momentum. We want to qualify for the playoffs and go all the way,” answered Mohoje.

“We have a new coach, who is working very hard with the players. We have many new ways of doing things and the players are responding well to these plans.

“The vibe is really good in the team at the moment. We’re heading into Super Rugby as one unit. We have plenty of young guys in the squad, but we all get along. There’s no divide between senior and junior players. We all treat each other with the same respect, which adds to the team cohesion.”

Mohoje is currently recovering from a knee injury he suffered last year. He tore his PCL ligaments, which will keep him out of the opening rounds of Super Rugby. However, the 25-year-old is confident he will make an effective return to the field. He’s expected to be back in action in three weeks.

“My recovery is going really well and I’m grafting hard. I plan to come back and build some good form and momentum,” said Mohoje. “I’ve achieved some great milestones over the past two seasons, but I want to continue my growth and development as a player.

“I want to make a big impact for the Cheetahs during Super Rugby and perform consistently well. I also want to play my way into Springbok contention and continue my experience at Test level.”

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