2 minute read
5 Sep 2014
11:53 am

Free State Cheetahs to use homeground advantage

Free State Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan has called for a more-rounded performance, and making use homeground advantage, when his side face the Pumas in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.


The Cheetahs lost by a small margin in Nelspruit four weeks ago, and have improved in their performance since then, beating the Griquas twice and coming close against the Sharks in Durban.

Although the Pumas have momentum following a couple of surprise victories – which included the Sharks scalp – Duncan was adamant his charges could produce the goods if they took the opportunities presented to them.

“The Pumas are a good team. They are the in-form side at the moment but, if you look at the scoreline of the last game in Nelspruit between us, we lost by only seven points,” he said.

“We had a lot of scoring opportunities and our intentions this week are to convert those chances into points. Hopefully, this time the scoreline will be different.”

The Cheetahs would have the homeground advantage, something Duncan felt had favoured the Pumas in their home games this season.

“The Pumas have definitely picked up a lot of confidence playing the first three of their four games at home. They surprised a couple of teams because it is never easy to go and play those guys down in Nelspruit.

“Many of our upcoming games are home games and we’re now hoping to build some momentum.”

The Cheetahs had been working on their scrums after struggling in Nelspruit and considered themselves up for the challenge on Saturday.

“You can’t compare our scrums from game one to where we are now. We are well aware of their strength in the scrums.

“We have prepared for it. It is something we have been working really hard on and have been getting better and better every week.

I just look at our performance against the Sharks and we matched them up front so we’ll take a lot of momentum from that.”

Travelling for only the second time since beating the Sharks in round two, Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse said while his side was in a good position, the Cheetahs would pose a different challenge on their home turf.

“We have some good momentum from the last couple of weeks but, in saying that, we aren’t over confident arriving in Bloemfontein,” Stonehouse said.

“We know that the Cheetahs are a different team at home and we are well aware of the threat they pose.”