Fleck wary of dangerous Cheetahs
Western Province assistant coach Robbie Fleck says the Province side is under no illusions about the toughness of the task awaiting them in the Currie Cup semifinal against the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday
Vodacom Western Province assistant coach Robbie Fleck says the Province side is under no illusions about the toughness of the task awaiting them in the Absa Currie Cup semifinal against the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.

Fleck said while last weekend's victory over the Natal Sharks was a welcome boost to the confidence, the Cheetahs will pose a different challenge. "The win was great for the side.

" Having the Springboks back lifted the spirits on the pitch. We knew we had to be physically up for it and we felt the Boks brought that back. The mood in the camp after being physically bullied by the Sharks in the last two games was upbeat.

"The guys were happy with the way they performed and so was the management team. We are, however, not over-confident. The win against the Sharks was a major boost for us, particularly from a mental aspect.

"We stepped up physically and we dealt with the bogey against the Sharks. It brings a bit of a spring in the step, but we know exactly how tough a challenge it is. The Cheetahs have been in six, seven finals in the last seven years and the guys have been there and done it.

"They also beat us in the last game at Newlands, so it is a big challenge for us again, but we are happy with the way this team is growing at the moment."

Fleck acknowledged that another tough battle awaits the forward pack. "Yes, they would have to be at their best against the Cheetahs. That is unfortunately the way it is for any pack. "If you want to win the big games against the big teams your pack has to front up. We showed a little bit of it against a very capable Sharks pack and we hope that set the tone for this weekend.

"The Cheetahs pack like to put the opposition under pressure in the scrums. They also compete well on the opposition's line-out ball. They put pressure on your set piece and they believe once they dominate up front they will get the upper hand.

"So it will be another tough challenge for our pack, but Matt Proudfoot has done an unbelievable job with them this year. "The only way you are going to win the big competitions like the Currie Cup, Tri-Nations and the World Cup is when your pack delivers and it is important they do on Saturday."

The former WP and Springbok centre said good front-foot ball was going to be vital in Saturday's semi-final. In Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Gio Aplon and Juan de Jongh WP have potent attackers, but Fleck said they need good ball to do damage.

"I think the most important thing is how good and quick that ball is. We can have the best backline in world and the best individuals in the world, but if they don't get good ball it means nothing.

"Last week the pack provided that and the backs thrived on it. There were several opportunities we didn't use. I would not say they stuffed up, but they didn't have the finished product.

"There were a few line breaks, for instance those of Jean and Gio, that we didn't quite finish. We believe we created enough opportunities, but were not clinical enough. We were happy from a backs point of view, but also hard on ourselves and know that was not quite what we were looking for, but believe it is coming."

Fleck said the Cheetahs have a proven Currie Cup record lately and said Province have to take every opportunity that comes their way and need to put in a good 80-minute performance if they want to win.

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