Bloem boys break the mould

The Cheetahs don’t play like an average South African Vodacom Super 14 side, according to Reds coach Jeff Miller.

The Reds, who are without Elton Flatley (retired) and Chris Latham (injured), have been one of the whipping boys of the Super 14 this season, and are expected to struggle on Friday night against a Cheetahs side coming off the back of two successive wins.

Miller said the Free Staters had adopted a different approach to the game, which made them very competitive.

“They’re a little bit different to the traditional South African side in defence,” he said. “They defend more like an Australian team and they’ve got a very good defensive structure and they’re quite disciplined with their defence. They’re one of the better South African teams.”

Miller has placed the squad on a restricted training programme in the early stages of the three-week tour to South Africa after a hectic travel schedule from Australia. The Reds were also confronted with another five-hour trek to Bloemfontein from Durban.

“Most of our time in South Africa has just been travel and recovery,” said the coach. “We’ve only trained twice for an hour each and really that hasn’t been very difficult.”