Drotske: Cheetahs must front up

Fri, 04 Jul 2014 11:51
Large naka drotske gestures

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske knows that his team must match the Sharks physically if they are to have any hope of beating Jake White's side in Bloemfontein.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske knows that his team must match the Sharks physically if they are to have any hope of beating Jake White's side in Bloemfontein.

The Sharks have already sewn up the South African conference this season with just two matches left before the play-offs, and White has opted to leave Springboks Bismark and Jannie du Plessis and Willem Alberts on the bench for their clash with the Cheetahs.

Drotske had no problem calling on his Boks, with an impressive eight in the side, and he knows that they will have to step up physically to match the Sharks.

"We need to be physical as well as play good attacking rugby. That is why guys like Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss and Willie le Roux are included," Drotske said on Friday.

The inclusion of the trio would boost the team's chances of victory at the Free State Stadium and Drotske said he expected influential Springbok fullback Le Roux to add a new dimension to the line-up.

"Willie played at fullback in our first couple of games, but we felt he lost some form playing from the back and that is why we moved him back to wing. He started playing well again and we had Hennie Daniller in his place who was very well-suited to the fullback position.

"But Willie comes from a brilliant last couple of weeks where he put in stellar performances at fullback for the Springboks so that is why he has been chosen there. He has his confidence back and will be our playmaker against the Sharks. If he plays like he has during the last couple of weeks, we are in a very good spot."

While, the Cheetahs could achieve very little in terms of their position on the log, the Sharks were already certain of finishing at the top of the South African conference and had the luxury of rotating players for the match.

Despite the line-up, White said it did not mean the Sharks had underestimated their hosts.

"We still see the Cheetahs as a big threat. But we need to rest some of our key players with our sights set on playing in the semi's and a possible final," White said.

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