Brumbies: The lesser of two evils

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 08:11
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The Cheetahs are aiming to add another successful chapter to their amazing 2013 story when they take on the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

The Cheetahs are aiming to add another successful chapter to their amazing 2013 story when they take on the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

They are the Australian conference winners and one of Super Rugby's most dangerous teams.

However, the Cheetahs have not just achieved many 'firsts' this year, they have in fact well and truly buried the travel bogey Down Under.

That is why Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské is much happier to take on Jake White's menacing Brumbies in Canberra, rather than the added 'hop' over the Tasman Sea and an encounter with the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Drotské's charges arrived in Sydney on Monday without any injury concerns from the their last outing - a 34-13 demolition of the Blues in Week 19.

"Everybody are fit and ready to play," Drotské told this website in an interview from the team's training base in Sydney.

They will only head to Canberra on Saturday, for their first ever appearance in a Super Rugby play-off.

And Sydney is a familiar base for the team.

"There are no problems, the guys are well acquainted with the trip to Sydney, so there are no issues," the Cheetahs coach said, adding: "Hopefully we'll have no jet lag problems and the players all look ready to go."

While the Brumbies are by no means a soft touch and probably just as dangerous as the Crusaders, it is the fact that the Cheetahs have such a good record Down Under the last two years that give the visitors extra hope.

They have won their last three matches on Aussie soil and won four of their last six matches since their breakthrough (first win Down Under) against the Waratahs in 2011.

They have lost just two of their 13 matches against Aussie opposition in the last three years, both home and away.

It is a record that has installed a certain amount of confidence in a Cheetahs team being written off by the bookmakers.

"Especially against Australian teams we have build up a good record the last two years," Drotské said of  their solitary loss on Australasian soil the last two years, a 23-24 heartbreaker against the Brumbies in Canberra last year.

"You don't really have a choice who your opposition in the play-offs are," he said, adding; "We finished sixth and had to wait for last week's fixtures to be completed before we knew our opposition.

"As for the Brumbies, it is certainly better than having the added travel burden of going on to travel to New Zealand and facing the Chiefs or Crusaders there.

"This is certainly the lesser of two evils and the best scenario for us."

The Cheetahs have never beaten the Brumbies in Canberra before, but given their recent run against Aussie teams and their good memories of their unbeaten Australian tour this year - with victories over he Waratahs and Western Force - Drotské and his team have reason to be optimistic.

Cheetahs squad:

Forwards: Coenie Oosthuizen, Lourens Adriaanse, Trevor Nyakane, Caylib Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Ryno Barnes, Lodewyk de Jager, Rynhardt Landman, Waltie Vermeulen, Heinrich Brüssow, Pieter Labuschagné, Philip van der Walt, Johannes Prinsloo.

Backs: Piet van Zyl, Sarel Pretorius, Riaan Smit, Elgar Watts, Francois Brummer, Robert Ebersohn, Johann Sadie, Rayno Benjamin, Raymond Rhule, Willie le Roux, Hennie Daniller.

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19