Try-feast on Bloem cards

Thu, 09 May 2013 20:07
Large sarel pretorius cheetahs tr Large naka drotske cheetahs train Large johann sadie cheetahs train Large willie le roux cheetahs pas Large robert ebersohn cheetahs ru

If the weather predictions are accurate the conditions will be perfect for the free-running games favoured by the Cheetahs and Hurricanes.

If the weather predictions are accurate the conditions will be perfect for the free-running and expansive games favoured by both the Cheetahs and Hurricanes.

The two sides, Cheetahs and Hurricanes, who go head-to-head in a Super Rugby Round 13 encounter on Friday, are renowned for their try-feasts.

In fact, their last two encounters produced 21 tries - 10 in the Cheetahs' 47-38 win in Wellington last year and 11 in the Hurricanes' 50-47 triumph in Bloemfontein the year before.

That is why the bookies and pundits have all been studying the weather predictions - another huge score could be on the cards.

The forecasts are for a very mild evening with a light breeze and no real chance of rain. Even with the temperatures set to go close to single digits by kick-off time, it will be ideal conditions.

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett, speaking in the build-up to Friday's encounter, suggested the entertainment value would be worth far more than the cost of an entry ticket.

While defence has not been the Wellington-based Kiwi franchise's strong suit this season - they have conceded 30 tries in 10 outings - their ability to attack from anywhere on the field and expose the opposition's defence has been evident in every game.

"It is obviously important that we get our defence right and get our mindset on that," Hammett said, when asked by this website if another try-feast is on the cards.

"However, we are a team that attacks and a team that likes to strategize.

"We have spent a big part of Monday designing that - we spent the afternoon around running our plays.

"If history goes the ways things have gone, it will be high-scoring - these are two teams who like to play," he said of Friday's Bloemfontein encounter.

The Cheetahs, having shored up their own defence this year, feel they can expose the Hurricanes' porous defensive lines.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské admitted that dominating the set pieces remains important, but feels the home team has to keep the ball through phases to create try-scoring opportunities.

"The Hurricanes have conceded some tries during the competition so, if we manage to keep the ball through five or more phases, we know we will be rewarded," Drotské told a media briefing in Bloemfontein.

He added that the visitors' attack remains a real threat.

"The Hurricanes can be up by 14 points very quickly if you allow their outside backs into the game," he said, adding: "We know if you want to beat a New Zealand side you must be 100 percent switched on, both in defence and attack."

By Jan de Koning

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