Pro 14: Cheetahs vs Ospreys Preview

The Cheetahs will be looking to make it three in a row when they take on the Ospreys at the Toyota Stadium on Friday 29 September. 

Following on from two fantastic back-to-back victories, the Cheetahs will look to make it three on the trot when they host the Ospreys on Friday evening. Given the Free Staters confidence at present, they will be going full-tilt to ensure that they are, incredulously, spoken about as playoff hopefuls as the tournament wears on.

Cheetahs vs Ospreys | Friday 29 September | Toyota Stadium | 17:00

To Win Match
Cheetahs 7/20, Draw 21/1, Ospreys 23/10

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Rory Duncan’s boys can certainly be proud at the way they have gone about their business over the last fortnight. It just goes to show how well they have fared that they go into this Friday’s game as favourites to claim victory over the 2011-12 champion Ospreys. If their 54 – 39 result over Zebre deserved plaudits, last week’s 38 – 19 thrashing of the mighty Leinster should earn the Cheetahs players knighthoods! The brand of football they produced in that encounter was awesome to watch, and the way they closed the game out was special – especially considering how accustomed we are at seeing the Cheetahs blow big leads.

Ospreys will offer up a different sort of challenge, and they themselves will be playing with something to prove after last week’s dismal loss to lowly Benetton Treviso. Springboks Francois Venter and Teboho Mohoje were particularly superb in the Leinster win, and the duo will look to keep up their good work this weekend. A win here would mean the Cheetahs will go into next weekend’s home tie against Glasgow with three-wins from five… now who could have predicted that at the beginning of the campaign?

The Welshmen have a lot to answer for following their meagre loss at the hands of Benetton Treviso on the weekend. A side with five-British & Irish Lions in it should never succumb in the manner in which they did, and their senior players need to put their hands up and be held culpable. With just one-win from their four-games so far, Ospreys need to start putting in performances quick and fast if they are to put themselves in a position to qualify for the playoffs.

The likes of Gareth Davies and Dan Biggar need to dictate play if they are to pull off a win in Bloemfontein, and they really have no excuses for not doing so. The duo play behind a capable pack, and will need to start finding some kind of early season form if their side is to have a say in the competition. Forcing the Cheetahs to play rugby in their own half this Friday would be a start.

Verdict: Cheetahs 7/20
The Cheetahs really seem to be enjoying the challenge of playing in the Pro14, and the way they are expressing themselves on attack has been wonderful to watch. Another inspired showing will be all too much for Ospreys to handle in the Free State.