Cheetahs target Stormers scalp
Bloemfontein - Cheetahs hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss says his team will gain much confidence from their Super Rugby victory over the Force at the Free State Stadium on Saturday night.
The Cheetahs beat the Perth-based side 17-13.
It wasn't the most exiting of performances, but the home side will be happy to take on the Stormers next weekend in Cape Town on the back of a victory.
"We've had a couple of close encounters the last couple of weeks and will be happy to go to Cape Town with the victory over the Force. Our local derbies are always tough and against the Stormers it won't be any different," Strauss said.
One facet of their play the Cheetahs will be looking at will be their scrums. Normally it is one of the Bloemfontein-based side's strong points, but the Force had them in a bit of a shambles, something the Stormers would have taken notice of. Their breakdown play will also need to be scrutinised with flanker Heinrich Brüssow not having as big an impact against his Australian counterpart David Pocock as had been predicted.
"It was a very tough game. We expected as much. We will definitely have a look at the game during the week and rectify the problem areas, but there isn't much to be concerned about. I thought that we weren't that effective at the breakdown area, but we got many penalties. I think we capatalised well on that," Strauss added.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské was a happy man with his team achieving only their fourth victory this year, but admitted that not all had gone according to plan against the visitors.
"They frustrated us at the breakdown, slowing down a lot of our possession. I thought we were good on defence, but we lacked intensity on the attack. We need to remedy that before the Stormers game," Drotské said.
Force captain Pocock lauded his forwards for their good all round performance, but was specially impressed with the scrums.
"We scrummed well all night, it is something we have been working on for some time now. It was a very tough battle. We had perfect conditions and wanted the ball to do the work, but just couldn't pull it off. The Cheetahs' defence was also very good and made it difficult for us," Pocock explained.
The Force, with only two victories from ten Super Rugby games, will now travel to Durban to take on the Sharks. The latter have only won five of their ten games and will provide the visitors with the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways.
"They will be tough, no doubt about that, but we're looking forward to it," Pocock said.