Pro 14: Connacht v Cheetahs Preview

The Cheetahs travel to the Galway Sportsground to face a strong Connacht outfit on the 4th of November.

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Connacht v Cheetahs | 4 November 21h35| Galway Sportsground

To Win Match
Connacht 1/5 | Draw 22/1 | Cheetahs 7/2

Connacht, fresh off of their spectacular 20-16 victory over the mighty Munster several days ago, welcome the Cheetahs to Galway this weekend. The South African side is on a splendid run of form, having won four of their last five fixtures, and will look to add to that tally on Saturday evening.

The champions of two-seasons ago find themselves eight-points adrift their opponents, and a victory really would serve them well. Currently sitting mid-table of Conference A, Connacht will seriously need to up their game if they are to sneak into the qualifying spots, two wins from seven, just won't cut it for Kieran Kean's men.

Last weekend's home win over Munster was a phenomenal result. The visitors were heavily favoured going into that clash, and the bravery and tenacity that their "little brothers" showed in securing the victory was a joy to watch. Connacht really hasn't had the greatest of starts this term and should use that Munster game as a catalyst upon which to build a respectable run of performances from here on out.

The Cheetahs offer Connacht a unique challenge, and certainly, the way in which they limit the Free Staters' time and space in the backs will have a profound impact on the result. The hosts will back their forwards to front up to the Cheetahs and perhaps allow for the likes of Tom Farrell to turn pressure into points via the boot.

No matter where the Cheetahs end up finishing at the conclusion of their inaugural Pro14 season, the union and its players can keep their heads held high. Considering the lack of preparation time leading up to the tournament, Rory Duncan's men have performed fantastically well against some of the giants of the European club game. For that, I salute them.

This weekend's Connacht clash will be a tricky outing for the men in white and orange. Having scraped through against Zebre courtesy of a late Fred Zeilinga penalty, the journey to Ireland may just about take its toll on the players. Connacht are a physical rugby side, and with the likes of recent Ireland call-up, Bundee Aki, in such fine form, may struggle to win the territory battle. Of course, the Cheetahs are more than capable of springing a surprise (as they have done all season long), but Connacht may just pip this one in Galway.

Verdict: Connacht 1/5
The Irishmen seem to have found some form at the right time, and their morale-boosting win over Munster may lift them to another against the Cheetahs. The South Africans may just run out of gas late on in the contest.

Written by Shaun Goosen for

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