Cheetahs go into knock-out mode
Sun, 30 Jun 2013 13:04
That was definitely our shocker of the season
The Cheetahs did their play-off hopes no favours when they were trounced 28-3 by the Stormers at Newlands at the weekend.
The Bloemfontein side battled to get into the game and the Stormers just kept applying pressure and taking points at almost every opportunity.
It means the Cheetahs' game against the Blues in Bloemfontein next Saturday is the start of their play-offs.
Coach Naka Drotské is trying to put this one behind him and focus on the job at hand. "It is a game that we would like to forget as soon as possible.
"Our future is still in our own hands and if we beat the Blues next week then we are definitely in the top six [play-off spots], so it will be an incredibly important match," Drotské added.
There seems to be a trend developing at the Cheetahs that they lack fire and precision after a break and it is not the first time they have battled after a break.
"This was disappointing, for some reason when we had a bye - like when we played the Hurricanes - we lack a lot of intensity.
"It was the same in this match [against the Stormers], we couldn't get out rhythm and there was no intensity at all," the coach said.
The focus for the Cheetahs now shifts entirely to the Blues as they search for that one win that will secure them that top six position.
"The Blues have a number of game breakers in their backline and are a great side.
"Our scrums are going to have to improve and that is an area that they are going to use.
"We don't want to go into the last week having to watch games and not be certain that we are in the play-offs which means that the first play-off game for us is next week," Drotské said.
Captain Adriaan Strauss echoed the words of his coach and felt that his side lacked the intensity that was needed to compete at Super Rugby level.
"That was definitely our 'shocker' of the season. No intensity at all and we lacked discipline on the field and also lacked discipline in executing our set plays - so we have a lot to work on this week.
"Our discipline was poor at the scrums. We gave away a free-kick here and a penalty there and we made some stupid mistakes that cost us," said Strauss.
By Nick Tatham
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