The team will assemble for their next round of fixtures after the festive season break, and Fourie believes the fresh minds will do them well.

“We gave the guys around three weeks off, although they have training programmes to complete in that time, but the time off will give them a mental break,” said Fourie. “We played in the Currie Cup and then went into the Guinness PRO14, and from January our schedule will be more cluttered.

“One always feels a bit nervous giving the guys off this time of the season, but I think the time with the families will do them well.”

Casting an eye to the New Year Fourie knows that much of their playoff hopes will be pinned on a handful of games in South Africa where they will be able to employ the free running style of rugby that steered them to the Currie Cup crown a few months ago.

The Toyota Cheetahs opened their campaign with three morale-boosting victories, but found themselves stuttering on their overseas tour – losing three on the trot before bouncing back against the Ospreys in their last tour game – which left them in third spot in their group and well placed for a fresh charge in the New Year.

“I think we got the recipe right on how we should play, especially in terms of when to attack and when to kick, and our defence has improved in the past few months as well,” said Fourie. “We know how to play in Europe and we were unlucky not to get a win in those first two games on tour, but we know we can.”

Looking ahead to the next stage of their campaign he said: “We have seven games in Bloemfontein and two against the Isuzu Southern Kings in the second half of the competition, which makes it nine matches at home, and that will allow us to play the kind of game the players are used to and which they enjoy.

“Everyone has made the mind shift on how to play in the Northern Hemisphere.

“The breakdowns have been better, but we are still giving away too many penalties and turnovers at the breakdowns, and that is the most important thing to work on when we get back from the holiday.”