Cheetahs unchanged for Crusaders

Date published: April 9 2014

Cheetahs boss Naka Drotské has named an unchanged matchday 23- for Saturday's clash with the Crusaders in Bloemfontein.

Cheetahs boss Naka Drotské has named an unchanged matchday 23- for Saturday's clash with the Crusaders in Bloemfontein.

Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss leads the team into battle again after last weekend's 43-43 draw with Chiefs.

The Cheetahs are currently 14th on the Super Rugby table and Drotské wants his side's luck to change this weekend.

Their recent tour to Australasia saw them losing all four their matches and last weekend they threw away a 24-point lead before drawing that match against the Chiefs.

Drotské is not disheartened yet and feels his side must improve their style of play and have better luck.

The Cheetahs have a good record against the Crusaders in Bloemfontein, having beaten them there in their last two matches there and Drotské is determined to add another victory to that record this weekend.

“We played better in the last three games and improved with every game,” he told Supersport.

“Somewhere our luck must change, and things must turn. Somewhere we will be on the right side of 50-50 calls. It was disappointing to be 24 points up against the Chiefs and then to draw, but the game could have gone either way.”

Although they failed to claim victory against the Chiefs, Drotské is concentrating on the positives from that match and wants his charges to bury a side if they find themselves in a similar situation in future.

“We also took three log points from the game, where a win would have given us four,” he added.

“So there are positives to take out of the game.

“Our tour is behind us, and I told the team they must remember other teams still have to go and tour. At this stage only one team out of 17 has toured and won. It remains a tough task to win away from home and I'm confident we can win all our games from here on.

“We need to focus and concentrate for 80 minutes. We were brilliant for the first half and to score four tries against them in the first half was great. But we need to take control of a game and not to panic.

“We have a good record against the Crusaders in Bloemfontein and we've beaten them here before in their last two visits. But it won't be easy, they're a quality side which has won this competition six or seven times.

“We need to focus, be positive and be at our best next week. Our forwards were good and we dominated them like we wanted to in the set phases and that is a big positive going forward.”

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Hennie Daniller, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Lappies Labuschagné, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacemets: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Howard Mnisi.

Date: Saturday, April 12
Kick-off: 17.05 local (16:05 BST, 15.05 GMT)
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Francois de Bruin Francois (South Africa)
Television match official: Johan Greeff (South Africa)