Vodacom Super Rugby
Cheetahs bouyed by Bok bye
Adriaan Strauss (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein - Refreshed after a bye week, captain Adriaan Strauss says the Cheetahs are ready to tackle the Highlanders in Bloemfontein on Saturday in an effort to climb the Super Rugby standings.
"The bye came just at the right time," Strauss said ahead of the crunch clash.
"We've had a couple of good training sessions this week and the players are looking forward to this weekend's match.
"It is a must win for us to get out confidence back.
"We know the Highlanders are a quality side and that they will put us through our paces."
The Cheetahs, fourth in the SA conference, are in for a battle against the tourists, who are nipping at the Chiefs' heels at the top of the New Zealand conference.
Having gone down 39-33 against the Chiefs in their last home game, they will be glad to have flyhalf Johan Goosen back to his best.
Goosen, who was included this week in the SA squad for the Junior World Championship, started the game against the Chiefs from the bench and again made a huge impact for the Bloemfontein side.
He struggled with a shoulder injury after the clash, but recovered well during their short break.
The visitors, meanwhile, are likely to again make use of Mike Delaney at flyhalf.
Delaney played a vital role in the Highlanders' 30-27 victory over the Blues in Dunedin last week.
He came in for the injured Colin Slade and contributed 20 points to his team's winning tally.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske said they were bracing themselves as they looked to bag an upset win over the tourists.
"The Highlanders play with a lot of confidence, especially among their younger players," Drotske said.
"They started the season very well, which has helped cement their place among the front runners.
"We are looking for a good performance, but it will be a big challenge."