Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Cheetahs coach: We need to start PRO14 well

News24
18 Jul 2019, 22:12 GMT+10

Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs have the honour of playing in the opening match of the 2019/20 PRO14 when they host the Scottish giants, Glasgow Warriors, at the Free State Stadium on Friday, September 27.

In rounds two and three, the Cheetahs will also be playing at home when they welcome the two Irish outfits, Ulster and Munster, to the City of Roses. It will be a tough baptism of fire for the new head coach, Hawies Fourie, however, in the past two campaigns the Cheetahs got their seasons underway abroad.

The Cheetahs will play in two three-match tours in Europe this season, with the first tour to be followed by another one-match trip up north a few weeks later. The first tour starts in round four when they tackle the Connacht in Galway. This game will be followed by matches against Scarlets in Llanelli, Cardiff Blues in Cardiff, and Ospreys in Swansea.

"Finishing the PRO14 with six out of eight home games in that last stretch will help us in trying to qualify for the quarter-finals," Fourie said.

"It is still a long way to go and we need to start well. In those three games up front at the end of September and beginning of October, it will be vital for us to get ourselves in the competition. If you start well you've always got a chance to do well in the competition."

Round 10, which starts in January, will see the Cheetahs travelling to Italy where will they face Zebre. At the end of January, the Southern Kings will host the Cheetahs at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the first South African derby. The following week the two teams will lock-horns again, but this time in Bloemfontein.

In February, the team flies up north again where they will start in Dublin, against the PRO14 champions, Leinster, followed by matches against Ulster in Belfast, and against the Dragons in Newport.

From round 14 is where the draw proves to be a very good one for the Cheetahs, as just two of their last eight games will not be played at home. The Cheetahs will welcome Leinster, Edinburgh and Ospreys to Bloemfontein, before jetting off to Scotland, for a one-match mini tour against the Glasgow Warriors.

The Cheetahs will wrap up their Conference games in Bloemfontein with three matches against Zebre, Dragons, Benetton Rugby, before playing against the Kings in Port Elizabeth again in the third and final South African derby.

The PRO14 knockout matches will be confirmed at a later date.

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