Don't write Cheetahs off
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske believes that those writing his side off ahead of the Super Rugby play-offs should think again.
The Free Staters travel to Canberra to face Australian conference winners the Brumbies in the second qualifying match on Sunday fresh from a week off thanks to a bye in the final round of the regular season.
While the Cheetahs will feature in the knock-out stages for the first time in their history, their strong season so far, which included two wins in Australia (against the Waratahs and Force), suggests they are capable a causing an upset. It makes for an interesting weekend for those who enjoy rugby betting online with the likes of Titan Bet.
“I am positive about the future of Free State rugby. We have a bright future ahead of us, and I’m really focused that we have the right mindset,” Drotske told Supersport as the team prepared at their base in Sydney.
“We haven’t reached our goals yet in this competition – there are a lot of people congratulating us and saying ‘Well done, this has been a great season.’ This is the biggest challenge, to get the players to realise that we are not finished. But watching them it is exciting, to see they want to win, they are not done.”
The Cheetahs face a tough task of winning on the road but they would have been relieved to learn they would play in Canberra - where they narrowly lost 24-23 earlier this year - rather than against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
“The bottom line is that if you get to the top six, you are guaranteed a tough game. There are only top sides left in the competition. The advantage of staying in South Africa is the fact that you don’t have to travel, but still to play the Bulls at Loftus is also a tough task. We prepare on our own stuff and we work on what we can control the outcome of.”