Naka believes in young guns
Cape Town - Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské backs his young side to come up trumps against a star-studded Sharks outfit in their Currie Cup semi-final in Durban on Saturday.Click to BUY the Rugby World Cup Final 2007 DVD
The Cheetahs are up against a much more experienced Sharks outfit - who will start with 12 Springboks and one Frenchman in their starting line-up.
The Sharks' starting line-up have a combined age of 27 compared to the 23 years of the men from Bloemfontein. However, the Cheetahs coach told the Volksblad
newspaper that experienced players could also panic at times.
"Experience is not everything. You also get experienced guys that panic in tough situations. Then you get young chaps like Johan Goosen (Cheetahs flyhalf) who has shown that he can play under pressure. He is 19 years old, but knows how to handle pressure.
"Experience will play a role, but the character we have in key positions on the field is enough for me.
"We can't do anything about the fact that the Sharks boast a whole lot of players who have played 60 or 70 Tests. All that we can do, is to go out and give everything for 80 minutes."
But Drotské nevertheless insists the pressure is on the home side to perform as they are the favourites.
"The pressure is definitely on the Sharks. We are playing in Durban and the Sharks have a lot of Springboks back. I'm full of confidence that we could surprise them."
15. Patrick Lambie, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche, 12. Marius Joubert, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Frederic Michalak, 9. Conrad Hoffmann, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Keegan Daniel (captain), 5. Ross Skeate, 4. Jean Deysel/Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Marcell Coetzee, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Ross Cronje, 21. Adrian Jacobs, 22. Lwazi Mvovo
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Ashley Johnson, 6 Pieter Labuschagne, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Philip van der Walt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Marcel van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Johan Wessels, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Nico Scheepers