Rugby 17.1.2018 02:29 pm

String-puller Zeilinga at the head of Cheetahs’ adaptability

Fred Zeilinga is in good form for the Cheetahs. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)

Fred Zeilinga is in good form for the Cheetahs. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)

The flyhalf has been kicking superbly for the central franchise in the Pro14 and praises the whole team’s ability to play in Europe.

Making tactical decisions and adapting to the conditions have been key for the Cheetahs during the Pro14 campaign, according to flyhalf Fred Zeilinga after he delivered a sterling performance in his team’s clash against the Kings in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.

Zeilinga succeeded with all seven attempts from the kicking tee to contribute 15 points in the 45-21 win.

Competing in his 50th game for the Cheetahs, he was also named Man-of-the-Match.

“The competition has been difficult. We had to think more of a tactical approach,” Zeilinga said.

“We have been working hard on the box kick and chase, and it will be interesting to go up north next month.”

Zeilinga, who formed a great 12/13 combination with Neil Marais, felt the challenging conditions in Europe had prevented him and scrumhalf Shaun Venter from playing typical Cheetahs rugby.

“We have to think more of the territorial game, and me and Shaun know we have some important roles to play,” he said.

After this weekend’s return match against the Kings in Bloemfontein, the Cheetahs were set to face tough away fixtures against the Cardiff Blues and the Glasgow Warriors next month.

“Because of the weather and conditions we expect next month in Cardiff, we will have to carefully weigh up all our different options,” Zeilinga said.

The 25-year-old player, who was born in Ladysmith and played for the Sharks between 2011 and 2015, said the Kings had proven to be difficult opponents last week.

“The Kings were hungry for a win. Luckily we managed to pull it through, taking into consideration the three yellow cards we had to concede,” Zeilinga said.

“But we knew it was going to be tough in Port Elizabeth, so it was great to come away with a win.”

 

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