Cheetahs bank on home advantage

Os du Randt says the Reds won’t be as dangerous now that they’re in South Africa.

The Reds are one of the surprise packages in the Super 14 this season. They beat seven-time champions the Crusaders convincingly in round two (41-20) and have won their last two games against the Chiefs and Western Force.

The Queensland team will look for their first hat-trick of victories in Super Rugby since 2004 when they face the Cheetahs at Vodacom Park. But Cheetahs scrum coach Du Randt doubts the Reds will be able to play at the same intensity as they did Down Under.

‘The Reds have always been poor tourists and they will find things difficult on the Highveld,’ Du Randt told keo.co.za.

‘They have been one of the impressive sides in the Super 14 so far and they are playing good rugby under the new law interpretations. [Head coach] Ewen McKenzie has really transformed things for them.

‘But I think our win over the Hurricanes proves that the Aussie and Kiwi teams struggle to adapt in their first week in South Africa especially when they play in Bloem or Pretoria where there’s altitude. We need to take advantage of this and put the pressure on the Reds.’

The new law interpretations should see the two teams play expansively rather than tactically as they both follow an attack-orientated game plan. Even Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie told this site on Wednesday that he expects an attacking frenzy.

Du Randt said they need to take a similar approach to the one they took against the Stormers last Saturday.

‘The Reds thrive on quick ball and in open play as they have dangerous runners in their team, so we can’t allow them to have that,’ he said. ‘We need a physical approach like we had against the Stormers. Most of the Reds’ attacks run through their halfback combination of [scrumhalf] Will Genia and [pivot] Quade Cooper, so we need to get into their faces.

‘That’s why we need a big game from our forwards. They have been performing reasonably well after our loss against the Highlanders, but they are still guilty of too many silly mistakes. The pack will scrum well for eight out of ten times, then we will concede a penalty.

‘They are a young tight five in Super 14 terms and are maturing after every game, but we need a big effort from them on Friday night.’

By Gareth Duncan