Cheetahs to entrench winning habit

The majority of Super 14 matches hang on a knife-edge and could go either way. But what the Cheetahs are looking for is the culture of winning – that is the hallmark of champions.

When the Bloemfontein-based side head for Pretoria, manager Naka Drotske says it is just another day at the office.

“We know how to beat them at Loftus. We have done it before.

“There is no doubt it is going to be tough, the Bulls, after going down in Durban, will be hungry for some log points before they have to travel overseas, but Rassie is planning for the game and we have a couple of ideas we may utilize. We take every game as it comes.”

Drotske reported that they have a clean sheet in terms of injuries following Saturday’s comprehensive defeat of the Stormers, although lock Barend Pieterse remains unavailable.

Drotske was well-satisfied with the Cheetahs’ performance.

“Everything went according to plan.

“I thought we hung in there well. We were unlucky not to score after three or four TMO decisions against us in the first half, and the second half showed how vital the introduction of our impact players can be.

“We were disappointed not to get the bonus point.”

The first round of Super 14 2007 is the only round in Super rugby of recent memory where a side failed to obtain the bonus point for scoring four tries or more. Drotske believes this demonstrates a renewed concern with defence that is finally coming to fruition.

“Coaches have realised defense is 50 percent of the game. It requires a great deal of attention.”

The Cheetahs are expected to name their side on Wednesday or Thursday, and, if they are able to beat a Bulls side who will be eager to redeem themselves after an unexpected defeat in Durban, the rugby resurgence of the Free State may just be spilling over onto Super rugby, which can only be onimous for the opposition.

365 Digital

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