The Cheetahs believe they can reach the Vodacom Super 14 semi-finals next year.
Having finished 10th in this year’s regional competition, the joint-Absa Currie Currie champions want to qualify for the play-offs next season.
“We are aiming at a top four finish,” Cheetahs flank Ryno van der Merwe told keo.co.za. “We are no longer the new boys of the competition and virtually our whole squad has Super 14 experience now. There are no excuses.”
While disappointed with their final log position in this year’s Super 14, Van der Merwe believes there wasn’t that much between them and the semi-finalists.
“We were competitive in 11 of our 13 games,” he said. “We lost by a point or two to the Chiefs, Blues and Force. If we’d won those three games we probably would have made the semis. Hopefully, with more experience we’ll win those close games next year.”
Van der Merwe is also watching the Spears/Lions saga with interest.
“Depending on what happens in the courts, we’ll also be playing to avoid relegation [for 2008]. That will add to the pressure,” he said.