Cheetahs coach Naka DrotskÃ© has lauded his team for carrying their fine form on tour to their first Super Rugby match back in Bloemfontein.
Cheetahs coach Naka DrotskÃ© has lauded his team for carrying their fine form on tour to their first Super Rugby match back at home on Saturday.
The Bloemfontein side beat the Rebels 34-16 at Free State Stadium on Saturday for their fourth straight victory, climbing to sixth place in the overall standings and second in South Africa.
“We are definitely happy with the four victories in a row,” DrotskÃ© said. “It was a good tour abroad, but I was worried we couldn't put it behind us.
“The Rebels gave away 60 points against the Sharks last week, and when that happens to a team they always come back with a bang.
“It was tough out there and we maybe could have scored one or two more tries, but I won't be greedy.”
Dominating possession, the home team pounced on every mistake made by the visitors, including winger Willie le Roux's try after a mishap in the Rebels' backline.
“The conditions weren't ideal for playing running rugby so we were a little bit out of our comfort zone,” DrotskÃ© said.
“But in the end, all credit to the players who stuck to the game plan and came out on top. I feel that the bonus point for four or more tries is exactly that – a bonus.
“The guys had jet lag and we needed to start fresh after our success overseas, so I would have been happy with just the victory.”
Fly-half Riaan Smit tore a hamstring while kicking in the warm-up prior to the game and could be out of action for at least two weeks, depending on the grade of the tear, adding to the Cheetahs' woes after Springbok fly-half Johan Goosen's prolonged knee injury.
“There was a lot of blood around the torn muscle so we will only have clarity on Monday,” DrotskÃ© said. “Hopefully it is just a grade one tear, meaning that Riaan will be out for two to three weeks. We will just have to wait and see.”