Coach Hawies Fourie – “We Were Our Own Worst Enemies.”

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The Cheetahs dropped to fourth on the conference log as Glasgow Warriors overtook them while Ulster remained second behind leaders Leinster. The Cheetahs will face the Scarlets this weekend in their final tour match before returning home for a string of home games that will determine their playoff spots.

Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie believes his side were their own worst enemies during the match in Belfast.

“I have mixed feelings about the game. There were times we played some brilliant rugby and then there were times that where we were our own worst enemies,” he said.

“In the first half we were in their 22m area for a long time, and we got three penalties there and then lost two lineouts in a row on their line. That ensured that we couldn’t turn that pressure into points.

“The first try that Ulster scored just before halftime was a soft moment. They played through 10 phases and got momentum from every one of those. We didn’t drive them back or come quickly off the line. In the end, they scored rather easily and this was in contrast to the rest of the game where we defended well and drove them back in tackles.”

Fourie said there were positives from his side’s play, including the way they have adapted to the Northern Hemisphere conditions.

“On attack, we made way too many mistakes at crucial times, especially in the lineouts and with some crucial handling errors. But in general, I am satisfied with the way we varied our play at times and how we put pressure on them with our kicking game. Clayton Blommetjies had an outstanding game at fullback and took eight high balls under pressure. The backs attacked well and saw space and attacked in the right areas and with a bit of luck, we could have won this game. It is a bitter pill to swallow to lose like that after we played well.

“I feel if we didn’t turn over so much ball on the attack and that, coupled with our three or four crucial mistakes that we made in the attacking lineouts, then it could have been different. It is bad to let a game like this get away.

“Still I feel we are playing better in the weather conditions and we are busy slowly getting the right combination and balance of when to attack and when to kick. The players are becoming a lot more comfortable with the wet ball and aren’t scared to try things. So there is a lot of positives but I would have liked to have won the game.