Wednesday 22 November 2017

South Africans will come good after early hiccups and blips

Munster's Alex Wootton of Munster goes over to score his side's third tryagainst the Cheetahs at Thomond Park. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster's Alex Wootton of Munster goes over to score his side's third tryagainst the Cheetahs at Thomond Park. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

David Wallace

It's two defeats from two games each for Cheetahs and Southern Kings in the Guinness PRO14 but it's not time to start writing them off, says David Wallace.

Both teams were thrown together at a late stage, and when they get fully set up as professional outfits again, they will add massively to the PRO14.

This weekend Zebre go to Bloemfontein where they face the Free State outfit while Leinster are in Port Elizabeth. I do think Leinster will have enough to see off Kings, and they could win quite easily going on current form, but we might start to see what these sides are made of in Round 3.

With Cheetahs at home to Zebre it looks like the first real opportunity for the South African franchises to make a statement and I expect them to win that one.

When the two former Super Rugby teams joined up with the PRO14 there were always going to be teething problems and we have seen that in weeks one and two.

They need to get acclimatised to playing rugby in the northern hemisphere, and there are so many differences to what they are used to down in Super Rugby.

Chief among them would be the referee's interpretation of the game and you both teams have struggled with that so far, but that will come in time.

Another problem is their technical ability when it comes to working a scrum and lineout against a different style from the north, but they will improve too.

Irish Independent

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