Free State mentally fragile

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has blamed his players’ lack of mental strength for their two Currie Cup defeats.

Free State did well to gain a 19-point lead against the Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday, only to concede two late tries. They also gave the game away against Griquas in the last quarter two weeks ago.

‘The players seem to stop defending when we are ahead,’ Drotske told ‘We need to stay focused and stick to our game plan.’

Drotske says management are aware of these problems and hopes they will be solved soon.

‘We have identified certain areas that we can work on, but at the end of the day mental issues can’t be fixed or trained on the field,’ he said.

However, Drotske has been able to draw out some positives from their opening games.

‘Although we lost, we were strong at the set phases, we kicked well tactically, and we were solid under the high ball. We can use this as motivation,’ he said.

The Cheetahs play WP at Newlands on Friday night, a match Drotske insists they will be ready for.

By Gareth Duncan