Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster believes the lengthy 2012 season is the reason for his team's poor showing in this year's Currie Cup.
The Free State Cheetahs lost 36-15 loss to WP at Newlands last weekend, a result which saw them finishing at the bottom of the table. This means that they will now face the Eastern Province Kings in promotion/relegation play-offs over the next fortnight.
Verster feels his team's woeful Currie Cup campaign was because the tournament followed the Vodacom Cup and Super Rugby, and took place during the Rugby Championship.
The Bloemfontein-based outfit lost 13 players to injury during their Currie Cup campaign amongst them Springboks Heinrich Brussow, Johan Goosen and Coenie Oosthuizen.
"Any team with that kind of injury crisis would struggle in the Currie Cup," Verster told keo.co.za.
"The year has too many fixtures, and it's the cause for all these injuries. The season structure needs a relook.
"Even the Wallabies are struggling on the Test scene as many of their top players are injured. It's a general and clear belief that the season is too long.
"But we'll head into the promotion-relegation play-offs with no excuses. The Kings have been very impressive in the First Division and will be a challenge, but we'll need to stand up and show our worth over the next two weeks."