Franco Smith has cautioned against raised expectations for the Cheetahs following their 48-14 win over last season’s finalists the Glasgow Warriors.
The Cheetahs opened the game in style against a depleted Warriors side, missing 16 players at the Rugby World Cup, but dominated every facet of the game in Bloemfontein on Friday evening to give themselves a perfect start to the competition.
However, Smith was wary of tougher matches coming their way in the future and warned that supporters’ expectations may have to be tempered.
‘We are still a work in progress, and we know that if we want to be competitive away from home, then a few things still need to happen,’ Smith said.
‘I want to make it clear. We haven’t won anything yet, we simply had a good game. There is a lot to build on and we got better. We won’t read much into it other than what we can take out of it for ourselves. We are happy with the result but there was a lot of reasons for them not to be on par tonight and they will bounce back.
‘The five points were important but the next two weeks will be just as important. No matter who we face, we want to get five points. But the how is important, to stay focused on what we do and not to focus too much on the results. The next two weeks is going to be really important for us.’
They thrill the crowd at Toyota Stadium with a 48-14 win over @GlasgowWarriors
How about this for a great team move finished off by Sias Koen! pic.twitter.com/F89z2wjw9X
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) September 27, 2019
The Cheetahs coach praised the side for their defence, one of the aspects that was lacking in last year’s PRO14.
‘We are happy with our defence. We have been defending well, but we still have had soft moments, even in the Currie Cup. From January our emphasis has moved a little more towards defence. Our strategy and how we want to defend is coming together,’ he explained.
‘The confidence these players needed we gained in the Currie Cup and winning without the ball is one of the components teams need. You can win with the ball by scoring tries but you also need to win without the ball. That is slowly growing and is becoming part of our DNA.’
The Currie Cup champions host Ulster and Munster in Bloemfontein over the next two weekends. They begin their first overseas tour of the season against Connacht on 26 October.