Cheetahs have a 'mental block'

2010-04-14 16:00

Christchurch - Vodacom Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske believes his side has a massive “mental block” and won’t progress in Super rugby unless they manage to rid themselves of it.

Drotske reshuffled his Cheetahs backline and made five changes in total to the side that conceded more than 60 points against the Brumbies for this weekend’s massive task to take on the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Of the most significant is the dropping of midfielder Meyer Bosman for Barry Geel, who will make his debut for the Cheetahs this weekend while Sarel Pretorius and Riaan Viljoen will be the halfback pairing after they excelled when they came on against the Brumbies and replace Tewis de Bruyn and Naas Olivier respectively.

On the wing Danwell Demas is back in his position, replacing Wilmaure Louw while Davon Raubenheimer has been handed the number eight jersey to replace Kabamba Floors, who was suspended for five weeks for a spear tackle.

Drotske hasn’t given up hope yet, even though many of his supporters have, and believes his team can still turn things around – as long as they shake off their mental block of playing overseas and in their defensive system.

“It’s difficult to say where the problems are in defence,” Drotske told

“We used the same system that won us games against the Hurricanes and Sharks but it didn’t work. I believe it is a mental thing that we have, that we can’t seem to win overseas and while everything goes well in the lead-up to the game, somehow the players fold under the pressure and forget the systems they should be following.

“It was the same with the Bulls a few years ago, they went overseas and never won there, until the time they managed to turn it around and win one game. Since then they have never looked back. That’s the challenge to our players. We need to be able to get over that hurdle and win just one game, and we will be okay. We will rid ourselves of the mental block.”

Drotske believes the bunch of injuries that have hampered the side, along with captain Juan Smith’s absence because of the death of his father, are simply “realities of the game” that the team will need to cope with.

“That’s the reality of it. You get injuries at this level and we have learnt our lesson because of it. The Brumbies were very good last week and we may be a few players short but now is the time for the young players to make a stand.

“The most important thing to remember is that we started this week with the same chance of winning as any week and we need to focus on doing the basics right. I know it is a big task to try and beat the Crusaders in Christchurch but the toughest challenges are usually the best to get right.”

15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Danwel Demas 13. Corné Uys, 12. Barry Geel, 11. Jongi Nokwe, 10. Riaan Viljoen, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Davon Raubenheimer, 7. Barend Pieterse, 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Walti Vermeulen, 4. Izak van der Westhuizen, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen

Substitutes: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Wian du Preez, 18. Nico Breedt, 19. Philip van der Walt, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Robert Ebersohn


  • anti Drotske - 2010-04-14 16:26

    What do you expect from a side that has a non existent "coach" Drotske is useless. Every week he play new players, but wait for it Hennie Daniller plays week after week. Drotske's useless blue eyed boys like Barend Pieterse (he only made a comeback because of bankruptcy), Danniller and Hendro Scholtz must make way for the Raubenheimers, Viljoen's, Pretorius 5 weeks ago. I hope Drotske will do the honourable thing and resign immediately when they set foot in SA.

  • Ruthless - 2010-04-14 16:30

    Suggestion - Take, from a young age, Freestaters out of their hometowns every month, let them understand from a young age that there is a bigger world out there. A world with bigger , faster more intelligent life running around with rugbyballs. Maybe then they do not freeze up every time they get into some other part of the world. Maybe also tell them more about the big birds high up in the sky. First flight for most Freestaters is probably when they gets chosen for the Cheetahs. Another thing tell them they embarres the whole of SA not just cheetahland.

  • So Funny - 2010-04-14 17:03

    Will all Bull supporters please move back to the pie in the sky they fell of against the Blues and rather shut up. I agree about the mental block and perhaps it is the coach's job. But surely the agent you are paying so much and the Rugby Player Association, should help everyone on how to be professional in the game. The other holier than common sense franchises must maybe also give accord on how many "other" union's players are in their team?. How about helping Rugby as a whole in SA and include some of the Spears players instead of believing you are God's gift to Rugby from PTA. How professional was the snorting and the hookers and how is that different from the behaviour of Griekwa players? I still remember a well stupid centre in the Bulls team, guarenteed 15 points for penalties.

  • skofbaas - 2010-04-14 17:07

    @Ruthless jou gat man die Vrystaat is nie 'n verleentheid vir die land nie, Helfte van die span is beseer en die nader helfte speel in die sharks, stormer en bulls spanne. duidelik weet jy fokkol van rugby af nie !!

  • Mental Block - 2010-04-14 17:09

    aka. mentally weak.....aka. no character....aka. spineless...aka. gutless....aka. yellow bellied.

  • Drotske a joke!! - 2010-04-14 17:10

    he knows nothing about choaching. the cheetahs are running aroubd like chickens without heads. they kick every ball away as they do not know what to do. viljoen & pretorius should start every game, play a running game pass/receive the ball not standing still. play the helgard muller style of rugby. bring back the glory days of vrystaat that ran every team rugged. drotske must go....immediately!!!.

  • Boerseun - 2010-04-14 17:10

    Naka,dis jy en veral daai Hawies Fourie (backline coach el supremo) wat n "mental block" het. Julle is onverdedigbaar useless,al sedert Rassie en Helgard se vertrek.Hoekom kies julle nie Harold Verster op flank en kry sommer klaar met die gekruipery nie?Julle (nie die spelers nie) is om van te kots.

  • @ Ruthless - 2010-04-14 17:49

    Mate, I think you are way off the mark and you are resorting to mass generalisation! As a Free Stater who has travelled the world let me tell you that the people who are an embarrassment to South African's come from alll corners of our country. If you want to talk about rugby specifically, do you think the commerce capital of South Africa is offering up anything better? Mmmm smart ass? Check for yourself how many games the Lions have won so far. Perhaps you need to think before you type before being an embarrassment to yourself ;)

  • Hendrik - 2010-04-14 18:02

    Naka, julle het 'n visie coach gehad, maar julle het julleself te slim gehou. Nou pluk julle die vrugte. Onthou, wanneer 'n afrigter dink hy het al die antwoorde is sy tyd verby. Afrigters het ook afrigting nodig. Onthou dit.

  • Groot Leeu Christo - 2010-04-14 18:23

    Cheetahs se probleme is groter as 'n mental block. Dis nie altyd NET die spelers nie. Die coaches moet ook reg kom...

  • Aitsa - 2010-04-15 00:49

    Die Bulls het oorsee begin wen toe hulle in hul vrye tyd ophou skuil het in hul hotelkamers en besef het die w^ereld is nou ook nie heetelmal s'o bl^errie weird as jy weg is van Pretoria nie. Nou toer hulle sommer goed. Iemand moet net vir die Cheetahs s^e die helfte van Australi"e en Nieu-Seeland is maar min of meer nes die Mimosa Mall, dan ontpop hulle dalk ook.

  • Cheetah fan - 2010-04-15 05:27

    They had a mental coach in the Currie Cup last year and decided not to waste money by employing him this year. Just compare last years performance with now and you'll see how shortsighted Naka and co are. Now he talks about the team having a mental block! Wake up, pal the coaches need serious help in the mental department.

  • Kevin - 2010-04-15 05:50

    Naka is kaka! Freestate need a managment clean out. There are better players here than the reds yet they are at the bottom. Freestae need to replace its managment now or else they will be cellar dwellars., Freestate supporters should take a leaf out our unions books and not attend matxhes until there is a change. BOYCOTT NOW!

  • anti al die anties - 2010-04-15 07:18

    Aan al julle anti's- Los ons Vrystaters uit. Ruthless jy is 'n spesiale poephol! Die span sal dit omdraai en dan sal julle anti's weer grootbek wees!!As mense julle seker vra wie julle 2de beste span is is dit seker die Cheetahs naas die bulle.....My 2de beste span is die U/21 Cheetahs dan doe U/19Cheetahs....Cravenweek Cheetahs.....

  • Wayne - 2010-04-15 07:30

    As a WP supporter I respect the Freestate team, but as a Stormers supporter I am really not impressed by the Cheetahs. They do not help the other SA sides one bit. In fact all they do is help the opposition. Every year it's the same-the Cheetahs roll over and let the foreign teams murder them without a fight, and then they "get up" for the games against local sides and often win. I think it shows a lack of something, but am not going to say what and in whom.

  • StuartW - 2010-04-15 08:06

    Net jammer hulle het nie 'n beter foto by die berig geplaas nie....sover my kennis strek is dit nie 'n baie mooi teken wat daar gewys word nie.... Ek hoop regtig vir die Cheetahs se part hulle kom reg, dis nie lekker om week na week te verloor nie...sterkte teen die Crusaders

  • Harry - 2010-04-15 08:36

    UIteindelik! EK is so bly dat die "coaches" van die Cheetahs en die Lions hulle probleme begin verminde rhet deur ontslae te raak van aanhoudende "under preformers" In my opinie is Meyer Bosman en Earl Rose in presies dieselfde klas. Swak of geen hantering nie. Swak besluitneming en wisselvallige skopwerk. Beide doen een goeie ding reg net vorodat hulle uit die span gelaat word. Meyer se verdediging is absoluut pateties, soos Earl sin ook was. Kies n ou wat WIL speel eerder as n speler op reputasie!

  • Emile - 2010-04-15 09:04

    YOU NEED A MIND TO HAVE A MENTAL BLOCK !!! The Cheetahs can therefore never have mental blocks and they are looking in the wrong place for some kinda sollution. Their administrators should take their heads out of their asses - maybe they will then see light at the end of the tunnel.

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