Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Drotske warns of Canes danger

Toyota Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has warned his team not to read anything into the Hurricanes' 48-14 loss to the Vodacom Bulls last weekend and expects a much better performance from the New Zealanders on Friday night.

The Cheetahs will be hoping for another home victory to keep their hopes up of making the Vodacom Super Rugby playoffs this season, and are still aiming to win the South African conference.

But Drotske believes the game slipped away from the Canes with the two intercept tries they gave away in the first half and he doesn’t expect the them to make the same mistake again.

Despite the philosophies being similar, Drotske wants to use what he believes is a superior scrum and defensive system to his advantage to win the game.

“They are also an expansive team, they like to play the ball wide and have an exciting backline. If you watch the video of last week’s game, those two intercept tries in the first half took the game away from them. I’m not sure they’ll play like that in their own half.

“They are quite a dangerous team, they can score from anywhere and they can make magic from anywhere. It’s quite important that our defensive lines from kicking must be high intensity. We’ve worked hard on that.

“We must also focus on our attack. The previous games were high scoring games but I do think our defence has improved quite a lot in the last few years”

Drotske added that the Bulls got ahead and forced a different game to the way the Hurricanes wanted to play. While he was hoping his team could do the same on Friday, he expected it to be a much closer game.

“We don’t believe you can read too much into the result against the Bulls. If it wasn’t for those intercept tries, it would have been 20-14 before halftime, and a team plays very differently in that sort of position. The Bulls would also have played very differently because the game would not have been won by then. That’s why I’m not reading much into the scoreline.

“They are a dangerous team and they can easily be 10 or 14 points up with two tries that their backline players can score. We’re not looking at last week’s scoreline, we know that against any New Zealand team you have to be 100% switched on.”

With so much riding on the result and the local derbies that follow, Drotske explained that the break came at exactly the right time last week but now that the Cheetahs were back at the coalface, they needed to up their game to ensure they don’t let all the hard work that brought success in their first 10 games go to waste.

“We don’t have the luxury of a rotation policy in the team because we don’t have as much depth as the bigger teams. So the players who have played for 10 games were the same players, and I could sense against the Kings we were tired. Intensity-wise everyone knows the next four games before our next break are crucial for us and we want to win the SA conference.

“Three of those games are in Bloem and one is in PE. It is in our own hands, we have to win our home games, and we have three out of four. That will be our approach.”

And it all starts with beating the Canes, who will be a lot tougher than they were at Loftus Versfeld.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk

Tony Johnson
Random rugby reflections
It’s a little hard to focus for any length of time, so this week, a series of random thoughts, and...

Gavin Rich
Positive vibes, but we're still second
There’s been a lot of positivity around South African rugby over the past fortnight, and suddenly...

Brendan Venter
No effort without error
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles…"...

Brenden Nel
How to select a World Cup squad
It struck me like a lightning bolt, one of those moments when you realise in an instant that this...

Kyle Brown
Fast and furious in Tokyo
Just when we thought it wouldn’t get any more physical, Hong Kong and Tokyo happened. We arrived...

Super Wrap
SuperWrap: Week 11, 2015
The party to end all parties. That is how we have to describe our post-match celebrations after the...