Pote Human left no question regarding his ill-feeling of Rassie Erasmus’ use of lights and coloured boards to relay messages to his team from the roof of Vodacom Park.
“I have a problem with it,” Human told Brenden Nel of Independent Newspapers. “We want our players to take their own decisions on the field. I wonder if he trusts his players enough to take their own decisions when they are on the field.
“We have a game plan and we tell the guys that they need to play according to that. We obviously try to send messages during the game that they need to kick to the sidelines and things like that.”
Human speculated about the potentially detrimental impact the ploy could have on the mavericks within a team and was adamant that he would never resort to such measures.
“You may have a player who is a gamebreaker and by doing that, you take away his individuality because he needs to play in that plan,” said Human. “Take a player like Pierre Spies. We wouldn’t do that because he is precisely the type of player that can bring something unpredictable and special that is outside the game plan.”
Human’s comments may well be designed to rev up the Cheetahs, but he would be well advised to ensure that his teams on-field performance measures up to his off-field offerings. The defending champions have been formidable at Vodacom Park in the Absa Currie Cup, losing once (to the Bulls), scoring 341 points and conceding 140 in their 8 games at the venue.
An average of 42 points every time they run out at the ground, and five tries in their recent defeat against the Bulls at Loftus means Human is acutely aware of the magnitude task that lies ahead.
“We will have to be sharp in our defensive alignment. Phillip Burger caused us a lot of problems last time and Gavin [Passens] played well this past weekend. With Bevan Fortuin also there it shows us how dangerous they are and we will have to be at our sharpest.”