Cats captain Wikus van Heerden has admitted nothing less than a win will suffice against the Reds on Saturday.
And it is not the only game they believe they can win in the run towards the end of the competition – the matches against the Sharks and Bulls have also been targeted as possible victories.
“After what happened on tour, the Reds game is definitely a watershed for us,” Van Heerden told keo.co.za. “A win is non-negotiable. For the sake of the rest of our season and for the fans we simply have to win this one.”
“We are still only halfway through the competition and there is still time for us to put the record straight.”
Although the Cats have endured a tormented start to the Super 14, van Heerden believes a turn-around in fortunes is on the cards. “The guys are still positive and we have a few big guns coming back so hopefully that will help us fire.”
On their short tour of South Africa the Reds are enduring a little of the tonic the Cats gulped down in Australasia, with a few injury problems of their own ahead of the Ellis Park clash. Scrumhalf Sam Cordingley has already been sent home, while several others are nursing niggles following the bruising encounter against the Sharks.
The Cats though are poised to welcome back several stalwarts, most notably Springbok No 10 Andre Pretorius who is expected to start at flyhalf for the first time since injuring himself against Argentina on the Boks tour last year.
The match is as much a must-win for the visitors as it is for the beleagured Cats. “Ja, the Reds are in the same boat as we were, but they are still a dangerous team and we will not be taking them lightly.
By Andrew Hollely