With the Guinness Pro 14 playoffs certainly starting to harbour in the players' minds, the Toyota Cheetahs have now started ‘strategising’ should it become a reality, according to coach, Rory Duncan. The competition is just a few rounds away from the knockout stages and the home side currently sits at the third spot in Conference A with 47 points from 17 matches (four remaining).
The men in orange are 10 points ahead of Cardiff Blues, who have a game in hand, and a win for the latter this weekend against would narrow the gap - the result that will undoubtedly force the Cheetahs to go into the last clashes with guns blazing in attempt to either cement their third spot or perhaps even go further. However, Duncan maintained they are still taking it one game at a time, but admitted they should ready themselves should anything happen.
“We're still taking it one game at a time, but I can tell you the playoffs are definitely in the minds of the players," he told Dumelang Sport. He added: "It's become a point of conversation, because at this stage of the competition you need to start strategising as to how you can position yourself best in the playoffs. In the back of our minds, we know playoffs could well be a reality, but we still have a lot of hard work to do before we get there and I'm glad the players are positive."
Duncan said the previous win, a narrow one against the Connacht in Bloemfontein, gave his charges a breathing space following a trio of defeats on tour. “To be able to turn the game around like that in the last minute and get the win puts the players at the different mindset. It took a lot of pressure off them and now we're looking forward to the trip," he highlighted. The Cheetahs are still on a break and will return to action next week, March 23, when they travel to the Dragons in what will be their last tour of the season.