Cheetahs have a 'winning recipe'

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:03
Large naka drotske gestures Large naka drotske presser Large naka drotske cheetahs train

The Cheetahs are not exactly 'Tommy Tourists', but they have found that extra free time is a helpful tool in getting a winning recipe.

The Cheetahs are not exactly 'Tommy Tourists', but they have found that extra free time is a helpful tool in getting a winning recipe.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské, speaking to this website from the team's base in Melbourne ahead of their Round Three Super Rugby encounter with the Rebels, said he doesn't feel any pressure on the team to repeat last year's successes in Australasia.

Some would suggest the 'weight of expectation' will be added pressure.

Drotské disagrees, saying they are happy with their approach.

"The guys showed in the past we can tour well, we have the winning recipe," Drotské told this website.

The men from Bloemfontein start their four-match expedition when they meet the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday - followed by encounters with the Reds (in Brisbane the following Friday), the Hurricanes (in Wellington on Saturday, March 15) and conclude the trip when they play the Blues (in Auckland a week later).

Last year, a season that saw them reach the play-offs for the first time, they won an unprecedented three consecutive matches in Australasia.

After a 3045 loss to the Chiefs they beat the Highlanders 36-19, hopped across the Tasman sea and added the scalp of the Waratahs (27-26) and Western Force (19-10).

It gave the Cheetahs an unprecedented 13 points on tour, improving on their previous best - when the Cheetahs collected 11 points from two wins in 2012.

Drotské was not prepared to make any bold statements about the number of wins expected or points they want to collect, but admitted a good mixture of work and leisure time will hopefully again contribute to success on tour.

"We are working very hard in training, but the guys are also enjoying themselves," Drotské told this website.

"They have plenty of free time to do something away from the game - play golf, explore the local sights.

"We have found the recipe in the last couple of years on how to tour and win at the same time.

"The confidence is there, but we also realise it won't be easy.

"We know how tough it is, but we do have a very good track record on the road the last couple of years."

By Jan de Koning

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26