Brumbies: The lesser of two evils

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 08:11
Large naka drotske   adriaan stra Large naka drotske presser Large cheetahs fan Large cheetahs scrum2 Large cheetahs scrum Large robertebersohncheetahstraining7 Large willielerouxcheetahstraining2

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
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4