After being humbled at Newlands, the Vodacom Cheetahs aim to get their campaign back on track with a big win against the Pumas.
The Free Staters came into last week’s game as favourites, but were given a hard rugby lesson by a dogged Vodacom Western Province side, who never relinquished their lead at any stage of the game.
“Tactically, they were very impressive,” Cheetahs prop Ollie le Roux told keo.co.za. “We learnt a lot from this game that we can now use to further our chances in the competition. We need to take this loss on the chin and move on.”
Back in Bloemfontein, the Cheetahs will be striving to iron out their deficiencies in the somewhat easier game against the Pumas. It should also provide a great opportunity for them to recapture their momentum built up from their big wins in the first three weeks of the competition.
At the other end of the spectrum, the men from Witbank have yet to win a game, and will be staring down the barrell once again when they play the champs on Saturday.
“I think you have to respect every side you play in this tournament,” explains Le Roux, “but we’ve shown that if we play to our potential and everything goes right, we are capable of racking up a big score.
“Despite the loss against WP, there is still a lot of confidence in our side.”
Coach Rassie Erasmus may look to rest a few of his key players for this encounter, as the following match against the Sharks in Durban may decide whether or not they maintain their positon at the top of the log.
By Jon Cardinelli