This week’s Opposition View comes all the way from Bloemfontein thanks to Cheetahs super fan @DjRossouw87. Get DJ’s views on his side’s involvement in the Pro14, future South African expansion and why the Cheetahs have started slowly this season.
How did you enjoy Cheetahs first season in the Pro14?
Our first season was very, very good. We played above our potential and with a Super Rugby season before the Pro14 and only knowing a week before the Pro14 started we will be playing there, we managed really well.
There is talk of the Griquas and Pumas joining the league next season, do you think they would be good additions?
To be really honest, they are not on the level of the Super Rugby teams, don’t have great depth and aren’t so financially strong. They will struggle to cope. It’s totally different playing Currie Cup compared to the Pro14.
There’s been lots of player changes this summer, what impact has that had on the team as a whole?
I was at Cheetahs HQ this morning for a meeting with management. It’s been an real struggle. We lost nine of our games, three in the Pro14 and all six in the Currie Cup, due to losing experienced players. The team is full of youngsters and must adapt. It will take time. The building up phase is not easy and success doesn’t come easy. We are in that phase now.
It’s been a slow start for Cheetahs this season but last week’s draw with Ulster got you on the board, how do you see the season going?
With the Ulster draw there were a lot of signs that the team are start to click as a team. It’s only the beginning now. If the Cheetahs can build from that game, it can only mean we are getting our game together.
Who would you say is your best player?
We’ve got a few. Ox Nche (prop), William Small Smith(wing but he is a centre) and we’ve got potentially great players who on the bench in Daniel Maartens who is fetcher type and Nico Lee (centre).
What is your prediction for Friday’s game?
My honest view, Cardiff to win due to it being an away game. I feel we will improve more in each game to get where we were last season though.
Thanks again to DJ for his insight ahead of what promises to be a good game at the Arms Park on Friday night.