Opposition View: Cheetahs

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This week’s Opposition View comes courtesy of Cheetahs superfan @DJRossouw87 once again, who offers his thoughts on a slow start to the season in Bloemfontein, and how he hopes South African sides will join European rugby competition at some point.

Our game at the Arms Park was a close one last month, is that a game you look at that Cheetahs really should have won?

The game against Cardiff Blues was in my view the most realistic chance of winning an away game and Cheetahs did slip up big time by not pulling through in that game.

Cheetahs are still without a win in the first six games of the season, what do you put that done to?

Inexperienced players and the new players coming into the team. The players outside of the Cheetahs coming in must first find their feet, especially the new players, and most players need to get accustomed to how Franco Smith coaches.

The Springboks had a good Rugby Championship campaign but Cheetahs and Kings are struggling in the Pro14. Are the two teams treated worse than the Super Rugby sides by the SARU?

Yes, unfortunately.  The superstars and better players are all contracted to the South African Super Rugby teams. Most of them sit with 70-100 contracted players whereas the Cheetahs sit with just under 60.

And the bigger sponsors sponsor the bigger teams. Both Kings and Cheetahs are sponsored by car manufacturers while the big companies or businessmen look at the more successful teams.

Also, when players at Cheetahs or Kings start getting named and everyone is talking about them, the bigger Super Rugby teams offer that player a contract that Cheetahs or Kings can’t match or beat. They are financially stronger.

Sibhale Maxwane Cheetahs
Cheetahs are sponsored by Toyota

Cheetahs have had two weeks off after the rest of the Pro14 teams played in European competition. Is that something you’d like to see your team join in the future?

Definitely. Most supporters, and myself included, after last season success are asking when and how Cheetahs can get into the European competitions. Even Cheetahs top management are talking about Cheetahs wanting to get there.

Who has been the standout Cheetahs player so far this season?

It’s a real struggle to point one player out. Nobody to date has really consistently played well in six games. But one player who in my view is on form is Cheetahs wing Rabs Maxwane. The top try scorer in the league so far.

Finally, what is your prediction for Saturday’s game?

I expect again a close game like when Cheetahs were there and the same as when Cardiff Blues were last in Bloemfontein. A close game with not more than 5 in it. Cardiff just to edge it.

But I feel this game may also see Cheetahs swing there season around. At this stage, it’s anyone who can take it.

Thanks again to DJ, if you need to know anything Cheetahs or South African rugby he is your man!

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