Drotské: We'll respect Kings
Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské says they have to respect the Kings if they are to maintain their hot streak in Super Rugby.
Having beaten the Stormers and the Sharks earlier in this month, Drotské’s men will be approaching Saturday’s encounter at the Free State Stadium with a lot of confidence, especially since the Cheetahs have set their sights on a place in the top six.
However, the coach remains wary of a Kings side that surprised pundits with their performances to date.
“This is a very important match if we want to make the playoffs,” said Drotské.
“The Kings have been the biggest surprise in the competition this year. They showed what they can do when they drew with the Brumbies, who top the overall log, in Canberra.
“We obviously have a lot of confidence, but it can also turn out to be a negative, especially when you are playing against a team that is lower down on the log. It's important that our players don't approach this as an easy game. The teams that have beaten the Kings, all had to work very hard and showed respect to the Kings.”
The Cheetahs are experiencing their best season since their “birth year” in 2006 and have already won six of their first nine matches, including an unprecedented five-match winning streak and three wins in Australasia.
In each of 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2006, their debut season, the team from central South Africa won five matches.
This will be the Kings’ third South African derby - despite losing, they kept the Sharks tryless in March but were kept scoreless by the Bulls last weekend. Both these matches were in Port Elizabeth.
Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen
will play in his 50th Super Rugby
match for the Cheetahs on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 19:10 on Saturday.Teams:Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Phillip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss
(captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Frans Viljoen, 20 Sarel Pretorius
, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Ryno BenjaminKings:
15 George Whitehead, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Michael Killian, 10 Demetri Catrakilis
, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku
, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Luke Watson
, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Waylon Murray
, 22 Siviwe Soyizwapi