Vodacom Super 14
Cheetahs aim for historic win
Naka Drotské (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs appear to be strong contenders to hold onto their Super 14 wooden spoon, but still have a crack this week at enjoying their most “successful” Super 14 tour to date.
If the Cheetahs manage to beat the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday, they will get the consolation prize of their first tour victory.
The Chiefs are struggling, but even die-hard Cheetahs supporters will admit that a miracle will be required for the visitors to achieve victory.
Losses of 17-40 against the Waratahs, 15-61 to the Brumbies and 6-45 against the Crusaders are enough to put a dampener on the enthusiasm of any optimist.
That is why the Cheetahs must regret not using the services of psychologist Christo Spies.
Spies, who helped Free State reach the Currie Cup final last year, has not been part of the Super 14 management team.
There is a clear lack of confidence among the players and his advice might have been invaluable now.
Cheetahs hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss said that his team can still achieve something in their final tour game.
“It has been a very disappointing tour so far. But if we beat the Chiefs it will be our most successful tour to date and we will do our best to win. It may sound like second prize after our poor performances, but it won’t be if we manage to make history,” he said.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské believes a victory is important for both teams.
“It has been a long and tough tour. We are taking it week by week and will focus on what we have to do right against the Chiefs,” said Drotské.
“The players realise that pride is at stake and each one of them wants to give 100% on Friday. The Chiefs are effectively in the same position as we are.”
If the Cheetahs do not improve their form soon, they may well end up with the wooden spoon again.
There were hopes of their best campaign to date due to a strong squad this year, but they have been decimated by injuries.
The Lions are propping up the Super 14 log, but performed well in the weekend’s 28-32 defeat to the Sharks and their form is showing an upward curve.