Drotske wants Cheetahs to go back to the basics

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has urged his side to go back to basics to turn around a dismal Super Rugby season when they meet the Stormers in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The hosts come off a series of losses, most recently to the Sharks in Durban, and are in dire straits after only one win — against the Bulls early in the season.

Drotske said his charges needed to start the revival process against the Stormers if they wanted to move off the bottom of the log.

“We’ve been in this sort of position before and it’s really important that we go back to basics,” he said.

“We need to focus on our set pieces. Good ball from there is what we need to get a good platform to attack from.”

The Cheetahs’ defence seemed to have taken a backward step this season but Drotske believed they were now moving in the right direction.

“We need to go back to what worked for us earlier in the season and take it step by step,” Drotske said.

“We know that if we play well in Bloemfontein, then we can beat any team.

“We need to get rid of those soft moments where we do funny things and then let our opponents back into the game.”

Injuries to key players had plagued the Cheetahs throughout the competition and the hosts would have to make do without stalwarts Johan Goosen, flyhalf, and prop Coenie Oosthuizen.

The tussle at the breakdown area between Cheetahs ball-terrier Heinrich Brussow and Stormers openside flanker Deon Fourie is expected to play a big role in the outcome of the game.

Brussow had only recently returned from a toe injury but played well against the Sharks and Drotske felt he could only get better as the season progressed.

“He was thrown into the deep end and he showed how much his physical presence is worth,” the Cheetahs mentor said.

“He is definitely a match winner and will be one of the stars in the game.

“Heinrich and Deon Fourie will definitely be at each other at the break downs.”

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said the Cheetahs flanker would be one of the dangers his side needed to be watch if they were to beat the hosts.

“Heinrich Brussow is very good as a flanker and fetcher and our approach to the breakdown area will have to be very good,” Coetzee said.

“We’ve seen against the Sharks what he is capable of and we know what to expect.

“The same can be said of Adriaan Strauss, who has also proved to be good at disrupting the breakdown area for the Cheetahs’ opponents.

“The Cheetahs have a host of quality players and we will come up short if we don’t give them the necessary respect.”

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