Drotske lauds Cheetahs Currie Cup performance

Free State Cheetahs Currie Cup coach Naka Drotske has lauded his side for their 21-52 win over Griquas at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday.

The Bloemfontein based side scored no less than six tries against a flustered Griquas and now only need a single bonus point in next weekend’s encounter against the Blue Bulls to secure their spot in the semi-finals of the competition.

“We did very well on the day. We knew it was going to be tough in Kimberley and it was,” Drotske said.

“In the first half we struggled to get out of first gear, but in the second the guys really performed well.

“This takes off some of the pressure for our game against the Bulls.”

The visitors started pretty slow against a Griquas side that could not shake their bad run of form.

The Cheetahs entered the break 14-7 in the lead and in the second half put their foot down to score the bonus point try.

Springbok winger Raymond Rhule showcased his skill, ultimately scoring four tries on the day.

Rhule was left out of the squad for their game against Western Province last weekend and the Cheetahs management gave his poor form and lack of confidence as reasons for his absence.

Being included for the Kimberley outing, the challenge was on the winger to convince Drotske he is at his best. The youngster did that with the flair he has become known for.

“Raymond did really well. Anyone who scores four tries in a game can look back and say that they’ve had a good day at the office.

“Credit must also go to guys like Johann Sadie (centre) and Sarel Pretorius (scrum half) for their contributions.”

This coming week the Cheetahs will focus on cementing their place among the top four sides. Griquas on the other hand will start preparing for the coming promotion and relegation games which are now a certainty for them.

They will most likely face the Pumas, who have already obtained a home final in the First Division of the Currie Cup and are still undefeated in the competition.

“It was another disappointing day. We took a hammering against the Bulls last weekend and we really thought it would go better against Free State, but it didn’t,” Griquas coach Pote Human said.

“Our defence is something we prided ourselves on, but there was just no commitment on the day.

“Now we need to start preparing for the promotion and relegation games, which are going to be very challenging against what we expect to be a motivated Pumas side.”

Both the Cheetahs and Griquas will be able to make use of their returning Springboks for the remaining games.

The Kimberley based side will welcome back utility player Willie le Roux and prop Lourens Adriaanse, while the Cheetahs will be able to call on prop Coenie Oosthuizen and hooker Adriaan Strauss.

 

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