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Chiefs expect much improved Cheetahs in Bloem

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie expects the Cheetahs to be a much better side this week

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Article Published: Thursday 3 April 2014|

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Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has warned that the struggling Cheetahs were a different animal at home and his side would not underestimate the hosts in their Super Rugby match in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

"A couple of years ago when we played them in Bloemfontein we won in the end, but with about 15 minutes on the clock the game was even," Rennie said.

"They are way better at home and we are well aware of it. Their Australasian tour didn't go as well as the previous year's one, but they are a different creature at home."

Rennie said his side underestimated the Force a fortnight ago when they suffered their only defeat of the competition so far and they would not make the same mistake.

"They (the Cheetahs) beat the Bulls in Bloemfontein earlier in the competition. You can't underestimate any side in this competition. We didn't pay enough respect to the Force and played poorly and got beaten.

"So we've learned a lesson from that and know that we need to be at our best this weekend."

The Chiefs are fresh off a creditable draw with the Bulls last weekend where they diminished a 16-point deficit to enforce the stalemate.

Rennie said his side would have to be sharp with their kicking game and lineouts.

"Obviously they (the Cheetahs) are different than the Bulls, but most South African sides give the ball a lot of air while also being able to go through the middle," he said.

"So we need to be pretty sharp in those areas."

The Cheetahs are coming off a bye -- after their abysmal overseas tour where they lost all four their matches -- and will be well rested for the clash against the visitors.

The home side are yet to impress this year after a good run of form last season.

Rennie has pinpointed the Cheetahs' driving mauls as one of their most potent weapons.

"We have some strategies on how we are going to deal with their driving mauls," he said.

"Once they get the ball at the back and they have seven guys in front, it is just about impossible to stop them."

Rennie said the Cheetahs' defence may have let them down this year but may have addressed the problem during their bye.

"They score some great tries, but they've leaked a lot of points and that is maybe their biggest issue," he said.

"The Cheetahs have come home and had a week off, so they've had ample time to prepare for this game. They'll be pretty hungry and we will definitely be mindful of that."

 
 
 
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