Vodacom Super 14

Cheetahs can beat any side

2010-03-03 23:27
Juan Smith (Gallo Images)
Hendrik Cronjé

Bloemfontein – Players that don’t stick to the game plan in pressure situations is the main reason why the Cheetahs have not been able to fully exploit the stricter interpretations at the breakdown with stars such as Heinrich Brüssow, Juan Smith and Frans Viljoen.

“I believe that some players aren’t sticking to the game plan and that is inexcusable. The players realise that,” said Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské.

Drotské said that stricter interpretations at the breakdown are favouring the attacking teams in this year’s Super 14. Statistics show that more than 70% of penalties are awarded to the attacking team this year.

“You can see in all the phases in which teams keep possession that the stricter interpretations are favouring attacking teams. It’s not unheard of for teams to hold onto possession for eight, 10 or even 12 phases,” he said.

“It’s something that should be to our advantage because we are an attacking side.”

Drotské said that he and his players had spoken about the matter before Saturday’s game against the Hurricanes.

“We simply have to get our intensity on attack and defence back to solve the problem. The responsibility lies with the players on the field. We can make plans the entire week, but on Saturday the players have to go and apply it,” he said.

While the Hurricanes are unbeaten thus far this year and the Cheetahs are yet to win at home, Drotské believes his side has the ability to beat any opponent on any given day.

“We decided this year that we don’t simply want to be competitive, but win. We have no excuses this year. The Hurricanes are an excellent side, but if we play to the best of our ability and the intensity is right, we can beat any side,” he said.

“We were simply poor against the Highlanders. We deserve all the criticism we got this week after that performance.”

Drotské said that the players appear determined and that they realise how important a win is to keep their hopes alive in the competition.

He hopes that the changes he made will provide the spark that was missing against the Highlanders.


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