Toyota Cheetahs coach, Rory Duncan, has called on his charges to build on a good performance, but mainly limit the penalty count in the Guinness Pro 14 second clash against the Kings on Saturday. The Cheetahs host the men from Port Elizabeth in Bloemfontein following a win in the Friendly City last week. The story of the side in orange has been discipline, after conceding five yellow cards in their last two matches. Despite a comfortable 45-21 victory against the struggling Kings, the Cheetahs received three yellow cards, but went on to register their seventh victory in 12 matches thus far.
It was the same case at Benetton Treviso, but they were made to pay heavily as the hosts capitalised on the numerical advantage to win 27-21. However, Duncan believes it is not an issue of discipline, adding the more they reduce the number of penalties they concede, the less chances of being cautioned. “We want to cut down the penalty count. Against the Kings, we conceded 18 penalties in total, as a result, we ended up with yellow cards," Duncan tells Dumelang Sport. “We played well in that situation and that's a sign of a team that's maturing.” He adds: “It's something that we've taken a look at and put a plan in place on how we're going to get that penalty count down."
Duncan is confident of their chances on their own turf, but would like the team to be more composed this time.
"We showed a lot of promise in that first game. In every game you're going to make a couple of errors. At the same time, we did a lot of positive playing in the last game." "If we can build on that and maybe finish one or two more opportunities, I think as a team we'll be satisfied," he concludes. Kick-off at the Toyota Stadium is at 5pm.
Meanwhile, Cheetahs captain and Springbok centre Francois Venter was named Player of the Year at the union’s annual awards ceremony on Wednesday night. It is the second consecutive year that Venter has scooped the prestigious award. He was also named as the Cheetahs’ Backline Player of the Year. The Players’ Player of the Year award went to loose forward Henco Venter, as well as the Currie Cup Player of the Year.
Prop Aranos Coetzee was rewarded with the Super Rugby Player of the Year award. Vice-captain Torsten van Jaarsveld was named Forward of the Year, while promising young lock Sibabalo Qoma was named as the Free State XV’s Player of the Year. The Under-21 Player of the Year award went to scrumhalf Dian Badenhorst, while winger Athenkosi Halom received the Under-19 Player of the Year accolade.