Cheetahs will stay positive
Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - They may be their own worst enemies at times, but Toyota Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske believes his players need to prove a point against the Brumbies this weekend when the two sides meet in their Vodacom Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein.
According to the supersport.com website, the Cheetahs have suffered at their own hands, looking good on attack but struggling with their own defence as turnovers have killed off their chances of making the playoffs this year.
Now after their defeat against the Force, where their attack was unable to penetrate the watertight defensive system designed for the Australians by South African Dave Wessels, the Cheetahs want to beat the Brumbies not only to restore some pride, but to give some of their players a chance to impress the national selectors.
Drotske said the Brumbies would be a tough side to face, but believes his team has enough firepower to do the job they need to do.
“They’re a tough side and are in the run to win the competition. They have to travel, they have to come to Bloemfontein which is always more difficult for opposition. Soft moments have always cost us plenty of games in this year’s competition, where we lost concentration,” Drotske explained.
“It is difficult to say how we change that, but we need to stay positive. There are another four games and many of them are South African derbies, and it is always easier to get the players up for those games. The players also need to remember they are playing for Springbok selection.”
“We still have the Lions, Sharks and Stormers. There is still a lot to play for and we’re really competing to get off that bottom spot on the log. There are four or five teams close by and one win can put you in 11th place. We don’t want to end 15th and we will stay positive this week.”
Drotske lamented the two chances that the Force scored off that cost his side victory at home this past weekend.
“I thought we attacked well in the first half, it was just the two soft moments that cost us. The one try was when we were attacking and took the ball through seven or eight phases. It put a lot of pressure on us. Two soft moments cost us the game, and we didn’t get the reward we deserved at ball time.”
The Cheetahs expect to be without scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius this week, after an ankle injury meant he left the field early. Pretorius will go for a scan this week but is likely to miss the Brumbies game.
There was some good news as flank Jean Cook may well be back for the Bloemfontein side, having recovered from injury, but a final decision will be made on Tuesday about whether he will be ready to play.