‘Cheetahs believe we can win Pro14 competition’


Fullback Rhyno Smith says the Cheetahs believe for the first time that they have the ability to win the Pro14 title.

Smith, who was part of the Cheetahs set-up last season, feels they have taken a massive step up and are playing with such confidence that no result is beyond them.

Their demolition of Irish club Ulster last weekend followed a similar big win over last season’s finalists the Glasgow Warriors, but the Cheetahs will face a different enemy in unbeaten Irish side Munster in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Despite question marks over whether they will be able to transport their free-flowing game to Europe, Smith believes they have the confidence to go far.

‘The guys believe now we can win this competition, we’ve won South Africa’s domestic competition and just the confidence combined with that and most of the guys have more than 20 caps in the Pro14,’ Smith said.

‘They know what the weather is going to be like and they know who they are playing against. They know what they can expect. So I think we believe for the first time in three years that we can win.’

Four tries in two games underline the fact that Smith is in red-hot form at the moment and he feels he has settled into a game plan that accentuates his strengths.

‘The Cheetahs are keen to play the ball and to run. Everyone is on the same page and I think it suits my game a bit more than the way we played at the Sharks. The fact that I’m getting picked makes a big difference.

‘The coaching and management staff all back me and want me to play, and that makes a huge difference for a player. I really enjoy that and it helps a lot.’