Pro 14: Treviso v Cheetahs Preview

The Free State Cheetahs return to the playing field this Saturday as they take on Benetton Treviso out in Italy.

The Free State Cheetahs will be looking to make their first appearance of the year a good one when they take on a Treviso outfit that has boxed well above their weight division this term.

The visitors are still in with a sniff of qualifying for the Pro14 play-offs, and that's all the motivation they'll need for Saturday's game.


Benetton Treviso v Free State Cheetahs | Saturday 6 January | Stadio Comunale di Monigo | 15:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Treviso 15/20 | Draw 17/1 | Cheetahs 23/20

Benetton Treviso

The inaugural Pro14 has proved a rather good thing for Treviso who are enjoying a solid campaign and currently sit fifth on the Conference B standings. While they're extremely unlikely to make the play-off this term, a mid-table Conference finish will be viewed as a success for a side who were known as the Pro12 whipping boys.

The Italian side head into this one off the back of successive victories over fellow Italians, Zebre. They won the first of the Italian derbies 27-14 and the second 16-20. Prior to those two fixtures, they were handed a bit of a hiding by Leinster, going down 10-36 at this weekend's venue.

Free State Cheetahs
The men from Bloemfontein will take to the field for the first time in just over a month when they run out at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo. The lengthy break probably came at the most inopportune of moments as the Cheetahs were on a two-game winning streak that saw them beat Edinburgh (33-13) and the Scarlets (28-21).

There is a bit of concern that the Cheetahs may come into this one rather undercooked. They've had little game time recently, and while the friendly fixtures they've played in South Africa would have kept them somewhat fit, those fixtures cannot simulate the intensity of a proper match.

Verdict: Cheetahs 23/20
The weather conditions for Saturday look ideal for running rugby which will be music to this Cheetahs side's ears. I can see them starting slowly and then putting in a much-improved second-half showing that sees them claim a victory.  

Written by Darry Worthington for

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