Cheetahs desperate for a win
Johannesburg - Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske says his side is desperate to find positive momentum following three consecutive losses since the start of the Super Rugby competition.
"We seriously need a victory, considering that we lost two of the matches in the last minutes," Drotske said on Wednesday ahead of his team's match against the Rebels in Melbourne on Sunday.
The Bloemfontein-based side were left reeling after a controversial last-minute scrum penalty went against them, which saw them losing by a narrow 24-23 to the Brumbies in Canberra.
Referee Keith Brown came under severe scrutiny because of his handling of the game, in particular his interpretation of the scrums, which saw the Cheetahs receiving a number of penalties late in the game.
Drotske however said the team would not dwell on last weekend's disappointment, and rather set its sights on clinching a crucial victory over the Rebels.
"We've left the match behind us. We had many opportunities to clinch the game, but sometimes made the wrong decisions. Hopefully we can get it right this weekend."
The Cheetahs received a boost in midfield with the inclusion of Andries Strauss for Sunday's match. Strauss is back in contention after he served a two-week suspension for a tip-tackle on Lions lock Wikus van Heerden in the first match of the season.
Drotske said Strauss would make a welcome return as he would add extra firing power on attack and defence.
"He looked very good against the Lions and it is great to have him back as he is also one of our leaders," said Drotske.
His inclusion sees Philip Snyman moving out of the match-day 22 altogether. Drotske has shuffled his loose trio combination for the fourth time in as many games.
Philip van der Walt will move from the side of the scrum to eighthman, with Ashley Johnson shifting to the bench. Davon Raubenheimer will receive a starting berth at openside flank.
The coach said he followed a horses-for-courses approach with his selection of a different loose trio for this weekend.
"We have a lot of depth in the group and we felt that it was the best combination for us at this stage."
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries
Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Philip
van der Walt, 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Izak van der
Westhuizen, 4 George Earle, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor
Nyakane, 18 Justin Downey, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Sias
Ebersohn, 22 Rayno Benjamin