Naka: Blues game like a final

    2013-07-01 11:39

    Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské says they will treat this weekend's game against the Blues like a cup final.

    Drotské's men are in trouble of missing out on a spot in the playoffs should they lose their final league game.

    The men from Bloemfontein came badly unstuck in their 28-3 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town over the weekend, and with the Sharks also beating the Blues, the Cheetahs face a must-win scenario on Saturday.

    The Stormers and Sharks are both on 42 points, with the Durbanites one spot above their Cape rivals due to a better points differential. Both teams are now only four behind the sixth-placed Cheetahs (46).

    The Cheetahs are guaranteed of four points thanks to a bye week in the final round, but them losing to the Blues would give Cape and Durban rugby fans considerable hope of their teams sneaking in at the back door.

    And that is a scenario Drotské is understandably eager to avoid.

    "We'll approach the Blues game with a final mentality and we view it as our first playoff game," Drotské told the SportLIVE website.

    "We don't want to be in a situation where we're sitting at home during the last weekend and hoping other teams get results that will favour us. We have the chance to shape our own destiny in the tournament.

    "We have to put the Stormers game behind us as quickly as possible and regroup for next week. Unlike the Stormers and the Sharks, who need other teams to win for them, victory over the Blues will guarantee us a place in the playoffs."

    Drotské said they will be wary of the Blues' dangerous ball-carriers.

    "The Blues are a very physical team with individual match winners, so our defence will have to be spot on. Like all New Zealand sides they are very good at the breakdown. It's a part of the game we'll take a close look at this week."

    Saturday's clash at the Free State Stadium kicks off at 14:50.

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