Cheetahs chasing Aussie gold

The Cheetahs are good enough to beat the Brumbies in Canberra.

They travel to Australia with more than just hope.

The Cheetahs have not lost to an Australian team this season and should not have lost to the Brumbies in Canberra a year ago.

The Brumbies beat the Cheetahs through a last minute penalty in a Super Rugby league fixture in 2012 and the two teams did not meet in this year’s competition.

Australian fields, though, have been to the Cheetahs liking in 2013 and the side were brave in beating the Waratahs by a point and defending for most of the match against the Force in Perth before sealing a dramatic late win.

In Bloemfontein defence was decisive in rolling the Reds and attack was the pillar of their romp against the Rebels.

The Brumbies are the best of the Australian sides and Brumbies and former Springbok coach Jake White will have to be at his tactical best to beat off the challenge of the Brumbies.

The breakdown will be a final of its own with Brumbies veteran George Smith up against Springbok Heinrich Brussow.

Brussow will have to be influential and the Cheetahs forwards will have to boss the collisions to beat the Brumbies. Both sides have outstanding outside backs but whoever rules the breakdown will rule the match.

It is why the Cheetahs will have belief that playing in Canberra on Sunday is not mission impossible.

The team this year has travelled with more success than at any stage of franchise’s history.

Beating the Brumbies will get the Cheetahs a first ever semi-final and significantly a first ever clean sweep against all five Australian franchises in one season.

The Reds, having already made history in beating the four New Zealand franchises they played in the league stage, can also do a Cheetahs and add an unprecedented fifth to their season in beating the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

The Reds, who have not played the Crusaders this season, have won three of their four matches against the Crusaders during Ewen McKenzie’s tenure. Among those wins was the 2011 Super Rugby final.