'Young' Cheetahs have good future

Wed, 04 Sep 2013 09:08
Large free state cheetahs dancing Large trevor nyakane drinks Large cheetahs fans.2jpg Large mohoje line out.jpg630 Large cheetahs fans

Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské told Jan de Koning there are some "good signs" for the future of his young squad.

The Free State Cheetahs may be regarded as one of the most settled teams in the Currie Cup competition, but coach Naka Drotské feels they are blooding just as many 'young' players as any other team.

The Cheetahs, second on the standings just ahead of defending champions Western Province on points difference, travel to Pretoria this week where they will tackle the last-placed Blue Bulls on Saturday.

Despite the youthful nature of the opposition's line-out and the fact that the Bulls have managed just one win in four starts, Drotské is adamant that there will be no chance of complacency from his team.

"There is never an easy match at Loftus," Drotské told this website, when asked what the biggest threat is this week.

The Cheetahs mentor also dismissed the notion that the Cheetahs are 'far more experienced' than their opponents.

"They may have a bunch of young players, but we also have some inexperienced players," he said, adding: "Last weekend [against Griquas] only seven players remained from the side that face the Brumbies in the [Super Rugby] play-off match [back in July]."

Drotské spoke of "also building" and giving young players chances.

"Some of them [young players] have come through well in recent weeks, which is very exciting."

The Cheetahs head coach was quick to reel off a list of names who fall in the young and exciting category.

"Somebody like Trevor Nyakane, which is actually still young [turned 24 in May only] and he played very well," the coach said.

"Rossouw de Klerk [who turned 24 just over a week ago] has not had too many chances since he joined us [from the Bulls] and had a bad run with injuries. The past two weeks he scrummed very well and this past week his defence was outstanding.

"Oupa [Teboho] Mohoje [who turned 23 just a month ago] has made a meteoric rise in the last few weeks and has done exceptionally well for us as a No.4 lock. He is another player I am excited about.

"We are fortunate to have retained the bulk of our Super Rugby backline.

"Elgar Watts are playing really well at flyhalf.

"Kevin Luiters [just 21] did very well when he came on as a replacement for us last week.

"There some good signs for the future [of Cheetahs rugby]," Drotské added.

While the Cheetahs now have some momentum, following a good win against Griquas last Saturday, the Cheetahs mentor remained cautious about the trip to Pretoria this coming weekend.

"We desperately needed the win," he told this website, when asked about the 40-20 triumph in Bloemfontein.

"After the [15-18] loss to the Sharks [in Week Three] we were a bit under pressure," the coach said, adding: "The guys responded very well and the five points we got put us back into contention [second on the standings, two points behind the Sharks and just ahead of WP on points difference].

"I am very happy with the game this past weekend."

He also realises the Bulls in Pretoria remains a tough hurdle.

"Every game is tough, whether you play at home or away and the results this season showed that," Drotské said of a tournament that has already produced five away wins and two draws on the road in 12 matches.

"We realise it won't be easy as it is always tough to win at Loftus [Versfeld]."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
Sun, 01 May 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 12h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
Team P W D L Pts
Griquas 4 3 0 0 20
Western Province 3 3 0 0 14
Eagles 4 3 0 1 14
Border 4 3 0 1 14
Golden Lions 4 2 0 2 11
Boland 4 2 0 2 11
Griffons 3 2 0 1 10
Pumas 4 2 0 2 10
Free State Cheetahs 3 1 0 2 8
Sharks 3 1 0 2 7
Falcons 4 1 0 3 7
Leopards 3 1 0 2 6
EP Kings 4 1 0 3 5
Blue Bulls 3 1 0 2 4
Namibia 4 0 0 4 0