Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie expressed his relief after the team claimed their first win of his tenure against the Ospreys in Swansea on Saturday.
Their 18-13 win saw them break a run of three away defeats and also gave them their first win away from home this year against an Ospreys side that was condemned to their sixth straight defeat in all competitions.
But the nail-biting nature of the match, and the grit and character that the Cheetahs showed to win the game pleased Fourie, especially as they defended four penalty lineout maul drives in the dying seconds to defend their line and claim the victory.
‘We are very relieved after the win,’ Fourie said. ‘The last three to four minutes on our own tryline really had my nerves on end. It feels sometimes as if the referees feel you can’t win away from home. There were a number of strange decisions, especially at the scrums for both sides which I didn’t agree with.
‘Saying that I’m very impressed with the character of the team to keep them from scoring on our own tryline. To stop some of those mauls on our own tryline was impressive and in general our defence was exceptional on the night.
‘On attack we had our opportunities but didn’t use them and gave them easy turnover ball at times. They kicked behind us very well to turn us around and gain a lot of territory that gave them chances to score points.
‘It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch, but that is how it goes in these conditions this time of year. The fields are wet and it is cold. It isn’t the nicest conditions to play rugby in, but you also need to win ugly at times.
‘I’m just thankful that after these four games overseas we could finally get the win. We were unlucky not to beat Connacht on the previous tour. But from this win we can build, and we now have a break and play Zebre on 4 January in Italy. We will take a break now and then regroup for that game.’
‘But we are thankful for these four valuable points.’
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