Drotske: Scrums cost us the game

Sun, 18 Aug 2013 10:35
Large cheetahs line out630

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske believes that his team's poor scrumming cost them the game against Western Province at Newlands.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske believes that his team's poor scrumming cost them the game against Western Province at Newlands.

The Free State side raced into a 14-0 lead in their clash with the defending champions at a wet Newlands on Saturday, but saw victory slip through their hands as a late Deon Fourie try sealed a 15-14 victory for the home side.

Drotske said that Province's dominance at scrum-time had been key to their revival as they worked their way back into the match.

"I think our set-pieces cost us the game tonight - our line-outs and scrums. I think we competed well on WP's throw so both teams struggled with the line-outs but in my opinion the scrums cost us the match.

"We were in the game and we were 14-0 up, and when you have a lead like that you should lose the game," he said.

The Cheetahs coach said that whilst the new scrum laws may have played a role in his team's problems in this area, the fact that they have an entire front row in the Springbok camp does not help either.

"The new laws are there for both teams so we must learn quickly.

"Lourens Adriaanse is back with the Griquas and Trevor [Nyakane], Coenie [Oosthuizen] and Adriaan [Strauss] are with the Boks. We also have a few injuries and Rossouw de Klerk will be back next week," he said.

Despite the fact that they threw away a healthy lead to lose by a single point, Drotske said that there were still a few positives for his team to take from the match.

"The one try we gave away when we were 14-0 up was not really our fault, it was a loose ball at a line-out and the ball bounced their way.

"Tactically I think we played quite well, we competed for our kicks and did not give their dangerous runners like Gio Aplon and Cheslin Kolbe too much space. We competed well in the line-outs," he explained.

The Cheetahs boss pointed out that with two tough away games out of the way after the first two rounds, his team has made an encouraging start to their campaign.

"Another big positive for us is the we have two of the toughest games out of the way - against the Lions in Johannesburg and Province in the Cape and we are joint log-leaders with six points," he said.

Drotske did not want to comment on what appeared to be bite marks on the arm of Cheetahs skipper Boom Prinsloo, and said that it was a matter for judicial officials to look at.

"It looked like a bite but I do not know much more than that so I don't want to comment.

"I don't think the bite cost us the game but there is no place for that kind of thing in rugby and I am sure that it will be looked at," he said.

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 4 4 0 0 20
Blue Bulls 4 4 0 0 20
Western Province 4 2 0 2 10
Free State Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 10
Sharks 4 2 0 2 9
Pumas 4 2 0 2 8
EP Kings 4 0 0 4 3
Griquas 4 0 0 4 1