Pro 14: Cheetahs v Connacht Preview

The Free State Cheetahs will return to South African shores this week to take on Irish Province, Connacht.

The Cheetahs may not be playing Super Rugby this year but fans of the Free State side will still be able to watch their boys do battle in March as they have a Saturday date with Irish outfit, Connacht. The men from Bloemfontein return home after a rather harrowing tour of Europe which saw them lose all three of their tour games.

Cheetahs v Connacht
Saturday 3 March
Toyota Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Cheetahs 1/4
Draw 24/1
Connacht 3/1

Despite their recent run of woeful form, the Cheetahs still remain in the play-off spots as they currently sit third on the Pro14 Conference A ladder. They will need to pick up points here, however, as they face a rather tricky final five games, including a clash at home with Munster and an away date with the Cardiff Blues.

As I touched on earlier, the Free Staters have endured a three-game losing streak which has seen them go down 27-26 to the Ospreys, 37-23 to the Glasow Warriors and 25-20 to the Cardiff Blues. They did play some good rugby during those defeats and were bitterly unlucky to go down by just a point to the Ospreys last weekend.

The Irish Province have produced a mixed bag thus far in 2018 winning two of their last five fixtures. There three defeats have come at the hands of Munster, Leinster and Zebre, while their two victories came over the Ospreys and Treviso.

Connacht head into this one off the back of a morale-boosting 19-22 victory over Treviso. They also beat the Cheetahs 23-15 when the two sides met for the first time in early November. So, you could say that the Irish side has the psychological advantage headed into this one.

Verdict: Cheetahs 1/4
Rory Duncan's men have been brilliant at home during the inaugural Pro14 campaign and I can't see them being upset by a hit and miss Connacht side.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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