Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus believes the Force are a quality side that cannot be underestimated.
Having drawn their last two matches against the Crusaders and Cats the Perth side is growing in confidence, but have yet to record their first win of the Vodacom Super 14. However, Erasmus is anticipating another tough match against Australian opposition.
“I really believe the Force are a good side, and I’m not just saying that because we’re playing them on Saturday,” Erasmus told keo.co.za. “John Mitchell is a great coach and I know he’ll have a few things up his sleeve.”
Erasmus said the two Super 14 rookies had a lot in common.
“The Force are a lot like us, in that they have a couple of very experienced players and two or three Tests players. The rest are youngsters.
“They may be bottom of the log, but they still haven’t lost by a big margin this season, and have come close to winning two or three of their matches.”
The Cheetahs, meanwhile, are looking for their fifth win of the season on Saturday, after losing by a point to the Blues in Bloemfontein last weekend.
“It’s no use moaning about bad luck, and the fact that poor kicking cost us the game,” said Erasmus. “We just have to train even harder and make sure we improve all aspects of our game.”
It was a try from hooker Tiaan Liebenberg that gave the Cheetahs a chance to snatch victory against the Blues, only for Meyer Bosman’s conversion to miss the target. While some have suggested that Liebenberg should have scored the try closer to the posts, Erasmus disagrees.
“Even if Tiaan had tried to run around he would only have got a metre or two closer because there was another defender on his inside,” said the coach. “What I told him was that he should have celebrated after the try had been scored, not before. In saying that, he is 24 years old and thought he had scored the match-winning try, so his reaction was perhaps understandable.”
By Simon Borchardt