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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Cheetahs hope to carry their form home



The Cheetahs have no option but to win their next couple of home games, says coach Naka Drotske, in order to maintain their momentum after a successful tour abroad.

After winning three of their last four games, the Cheetahs are up against the Melbourne Rebels in Bloemfontein on Saturday, with Drotske naming an unchanged team for the match.

"We had a good couple of weeks overseas," Drotske said.

"It is always good to win those away games, but it means that you can't afford a slip-up at home.

"We simply must win the game against the Rebels and the next one against the Stormers the week after."

The Cheetahs forwards combined well on their Australasian tour, and with the likes of Lappies Labuschagne, Philip van der Walt and Springbok flanker Heinrich Brussow bolstering the loose trio, Drotske said the Rebels could expect an onslaught around the breakdown area.

"Guys like Lappies and Philip were stalwarts on the tour, and Heinrich has shown that he is ready after a lengthy shoulder injury.

"We like to use these guys to get us on the front foot and will look for the same approach as the one we followed overseas.

"There has been rain forecast for Saturday and we will keep the ball among the forwards as much as possible if that is the case."

The Rebels have been disrupted by an alleged altercation between two of their star backline players, Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna. Both were involved in an incident on the team bus after the Rebels' defeat to the Sharks in Durban last week.

Beale and Vuna have been sidelined, but the Rebels nonetheless have some impressive attacking players in Richard Kingi and James O'Connor.

"The Sharks have put us under pressure by beating the Rebels comprehensively," Drotske said.

"Of course they will miss guys like Kurtley and Cooper Vuna, but they still have enough players that can turn a game on its head. We need to be at our best."

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