Toyota Cheetahs captain Ruan Pienaar knows all too well how tough it will be to attempt to beat Guinness PRO14 defending champions and the only unbeaten side this season, Leinster, in their own back yard on Saturday.
But he also knows that if things go the Toyota Cheetahs’ way in Dublin, it would be a notable victory.
Leinster have been exceptional this season, winning all 10 of their matches so far and racking up a massive points differential of 227 in the process, which has earned them an 11-point lead over the second-placed Ulster and 16-point lead over the visitors in Conference A going into the clash.
Pienaar, however, knows that giants can be slayed, and while few would back his side to win, he believes that if the team plays to their potential, they can create an upset.
“Over the years they (Leinster) have built an identity and culture that everyone buys into,” said Pienaar. “They’ve also got a lot of senior players that have been around for a long time, and who have won trophies.
“All those youngsters that back them up know what is expected of them when they get the opportunity to wear the jersey.”
He added: “They keep the ball really well, their work rate is good, and they work really hard for each other, so it is hard to find a weakness. But there has to be a day where you can pounce.
“For us, we have to focus on our game and what we want to do, and hopefully that is good enough to get a result.”
Despite some Leinster players away on Six Nations duty for Ireland Pienaar insisted that his charges didn’t expect less of a challenge.
“We know they have a big squad of quality players that they can choose from,” said the veteran Springbok scrumhalf. “They have had players away in the Six Nations in the past and they didn’t drop in terms of their quality.
“As a young group of players, we see it as a massive challenge, and we are looking forward to playing them.
“We play in the competition to get challenged every week and that is how we grow as a team.”
Pienaar welcomed the prospect of facing one of the best teams in the competition in their first tour match, saying: “We started (the season) off well and then we went off on a tough tour.
“If we had won in Connacht it would have been a great start to the tour.
“We had a few red cards along the way which made it difficult, but we are slowly finding our feet again.
“It is also a bit disruptive, because you play for two weeks, have a week off, play again, and then have two weeks off. So to go away now on a three-week tour will help the players bond. It is something we need at this stage.
“We are positive, we worked really hard in the last few of weeks and now we have to focus on what we have to do and how to handle the pressure moments and score when we have the chance.”
The Toyota Cheetahs will face Ulster and the Dragons in their remaining tour matches.
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A late penalty goal by Blues flyhalf Otere Black secured the Kiwi-side a last-gasp 23-21 victory against the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon, keeping the home side winless in the competition.
The DHL Stormers clinched their fourth consecutive Vodacom Super Rugby win of the season on Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Jaguares 17-7 at a damp DHL Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.
Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux named a fresh mix of players for the fourth and final SA Rugby U20 alignment camp in Stellenbosch next week, with nine players set to make their first appearances at the camp.
The Toyota Cheetahs and Isuzu Southern Kings will have their sights set on bouncing back strongly from disappointing defeats last week when they line up against Ulster and the Scarlets in their second tour matches in the Guinness PRO14 this weekend.
Emirates Lions coach Cash van Rooyen named a settled squad for their four-match tour of Australia and New Zealand in the next month.
The Springbok Women's Sevens team will revel in the opportunity to take the field again after their historic first appearance at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens in December last year.
Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen will take over the captaincy duties from regular skipper Lukhanyo Am, who is being rested, for the Cell C Sharks' fourth round Vodacom Super Rugby match with the Rebels on Saturday in Ballarat.
The DHL Stormers have made four changes for their home encounter with the Jaguares - which kicks off at 15h05 on Saturday - with Springbok tighthead prop Wilco Louw set to earn his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby cap off the bench.
Jaco Visagie (hooker) and Johnny Kotze (outside centre) will both earn their 50th Vodacom Super Rugby caps when the Vodacom Bulls return to Loftus Versfeld for the first time this season to face the Blues on Saturday (kick-off 17h15).