Naka: Study the referees!
Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské believes it's becoming more important nowadays to study the way referees officiate than to study your opponents.
Referees were very strict at scrums and breakdowns during Round 1 of the Super Rugby competition, which evoked some negative responses from rugby fans.
Drotské told the Volksblad newspaper that the outcome of six out of the seven matches was determined via penalty kicks. He believes teams will need to start adapting to the specific referee they get every week.
Drotské has already had a chat with Craig Joubert, who will referee their clash against the Bulls in Bloemfontein on Saturday, and feels his team cannot afford to be penalised unnecessarily.
The Cheetahs' poor discipline cost them against the Lions last week. The men from Johannesburg won 27-25, with flyhalf Elton Jantjies kicking all their points.
"The message came through clearly in the first week. Six out of the seven matches were won with penalties.
"Due to the manner in which referees now govern the breakdown area, you can't give away penalties.
"What is important nowadays it that you actually have to analyse the way the referee officiates more than you analyse your opponents.
"Every referee has certain things that he's strict on.
"I have already spoken to Craig Joubert. He also refereed our practice match against the Stormers.
"At Newlands we were penalised four times for not rolling away and two times for being offside at the breakdowns. It's six penalties we have to avoid against the Bulls," said Drotské.
The Cheetahs' backline coach, Hawies Fourie, also expressed his discontent with the type of rugby dished up in the first week of Super Rugby.
"The rugby that was played was disappointing, especially due to the large number of penalties awarded.
"Many teams just went for the safe option of kicking balls away.
"It wasn't pretty to look at," said Fourie.
The Cheetahs' clash against the Bulls kicks off at 17:05 on Saturday.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rocco Jansen, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Philip Snyman, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Cameron Jacobs.
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 JJ Engelbrecht.