Naka Drotske believes the Cheetahs can break their Super 14 duck with a win over the baby Brumbies this Friday.
The central franchise are on a hiding to nothing having lost their first five games of the competition. The most recent 55-7 defeat to the Crusaders was their worst performance to date, and even though they made eight changes for this fixture it was unacceptable defensive display.
“I wasn’t happy with that performance and I told the players after the game,” Drotske told keo.co.za. “The defence was bad and I don’t know what it is about the big teams like the Blues and the Crusaders. The youngsters give them too much respect.”
Drotske admitted this was a match they were always going to struggle to win. The Cheetahs targeted the Chiefs and Brumbies as potential victories, and despite their lack of results, Drotske feels a win in Canberra is within their reach.
“They also have a lot of youngsters and have lost various players to overseas deals and injuries. We are going to have to cut out the silly mistakes and brush up on our defence, but it is certainly a game we feel we can win.
“However, there are no easy games in this competition, and the Brumbies do possess some talented players who can’t be afforded too much space.”
Drotske has welcomed back Springbok CJ van der Linde to the matchday squad, while Jacques-Louis Potgieter has also rejoined the team and should get game time from the bench. The side is much the same as the one that fronted the Chiefs two weeks ago, with Meyer Bosman, Falie Oelschig, Duanne Vermeulen, Heinrich Brussouw, Barend Pieterse, Rory Duncan, Adriaan Strauss and Wian du Preez returning to the starting XV.
Cheetahs - Hennie Daniller; Eddie Fredericks, JW Jonker, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe, Conrad Barnard, Falie Oelschig, Duanne Vemeulen, Darron Nell, Heinrich Brussouw, Barend Pieterse, Rory Duncan (c), Kobus Calldo, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez.
By Jon Cardinelli