Pro14 Preview: Toyota Cheetahs v Leinster

The Cheetahs take on a Leinster side who had a strong win against the Kings last week in Port Elizabeth.

Team Overviews


The Cheetahs have had a disappointing start to their first ever season in a Northern Hemisphere league. They have won just one of their first three games and lie in fifth place in Conference A with five points to their name.  


Leinster currently sit in first place in Conference B of the Pro14 having won all three of their games earning a bonus point in each. Not much more you can ask for from the 3x European Cup winners.

Key Aspects

Leinster’s strong run of form

Leinster have been in fine form so far this season. The Eastern Irish team are yet to lose a game and lead the Pro14. Leinster began the South African experiment as the first team from the Pro14 to play in the Rainbow Nation as an away side and they came away with a 31-10 win. Leinster has momentum behind them and they will no doubt be confident going into the game on Friday evening.

Cheetahs home advantage

The Cheetahs were never the strongest team in Super Rugby. It is worth noting, however, that all of their wins in the 2017 Super Rugby competition and their only win in the Pro14 so far have come at home. As Leinster are in such unfamiliar territory, they could be caught off guard if the Cheetahs come out in an inspired mood. 

The attacking power of Leo Cullen’s men

Leinster have scored 14 tries in their first three games of the season. While that isn’t the most tries scored by a team in the Pro14 (Munster lead the way with 16) it is impressive nonetheless. Ross Byrne has been fantastic with the boot, kicking  14 of his 18 attempts at goal and he is the second highest point scorer in the competition so far. Number 8 Jack Conan also seems to be going from strength to strength, having provided Leinster with 33 carries so far which have done no harm to their gain line success rate. Leinster have also had a great amount of success with their young players this season as 9 of their 14 tries have come from players aged 25 or under.  


Although the Cheetahs have the home advantage here, I can’t see them winning the game on Friday. Leinster have started the season strong and I think they will grab their fourth win of the year against the Cheetahs. The South African side have already lost by large margins to both Munster and Ulster this season and I believe the Leinster attack will overpower the Cheetahs porous defence. 

What do you think? Can the Cheetahs spring a surprise? Let us know below!

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Sacha McElveen