Cheetahs captain Tian Meyer believes the pressure is on his side to return to their standards in this weekend’s derby against the Kings in Port Elizabeth.
The Cheetahs last PRO14 outing was a poor one by their own standards, as they slumped to a 41-13 defeat by Italian side Zebre, sending shockwaves through a side hoping to make this year’s Championship playoffs.
Combined with the renewed confidence the Kings took out of their win over the Stormers last Friday night in Knysna, and a fixture that has traditionally been close in Port Elizabeth, the Bloemfontein side need to up their own play if they are to keep their aspirations on track.
Meyer believes the side were ‘terrible’ in the Zebre game and will need to take a massive step up this weekend.
‘It doesn’t matter if you performed well or badly in the previous game, each week will be a challenge. You can’t rest on your laurels and take any game for granted,’ Meyer said.
‘We were terrible in the last game and we were very hard on ourselves. We trained hard the last two weeks and mentally we are trying to take a step up to put out a better performance than last time.’
Meyer said the team had an ‘honest talk’ and only they can answer the lingering doubts the Zebre defeat brought to the surface.
‘We were very hard on each other. There were a lot of stones thrown from outside on the performance but we took it very personally. It never looked like us on the field. We needed to stand up as brothers in the team and answer if we were up to our own standards in the game and the frank answer is that we didn’t. We will stand up and in the next games we want to rectify it.
‘It is a derby game and whatever happened against Zebre, we would have approached this game in the same way. Our previous games in the PRO have been close and we expect the same on Saturday. I feel the pressure will be on us, and we can just do the best that we can. If we can play the game we want to play, it will go well.’
The Cheetahs will name their side for the clash on Friday.
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