2 minute read
15 Aug 2013
10:54 am

Drotske sticks with successful starting XV

Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has named an unchanged starting line-up for his side's second Currie Cup match of the season against Western Province at Newlands on Saturday.

FILE PICTURE: Coach of the Cheetahs, Naka Drotske. Picture: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix.

After beating the Golden Lions at Ellis Park last weekend and returning to Bloemfontein with maximum points, Drotske has decided to keep the momentum by not tampering with his starting XV.

The only changes are among the replacements, where the Cheetahs’ newest addition, Tuks flyhalf Willie du Plessis, comes in for centre Joubert Engelbrecht.

“We have gained valuable momentum with the win in Johannesburg and therefore we’ve decided not to make any changes to our starting side,” Drotske said ahead of the game in Cape Town.

“We have brought Willie du Plessis in on the bench and will look to give him some game-time so that he can prove his worth.”

The coach is, however, adamant that there are some key areas that the Cheetahs will need to better on this weekend if they are to beat Province in their own backyard.

“We need to be at our best with regards to discipline. And we’ve definitely looked at finishing better when we create opportunities for points.

“That is the one thing that was very frustrating against the Lions.

“We also need to close out games and not get stuck in a rut in the final minutes. We could have easily lost against the Lions in the dying minutes,” he said.

The Cheetahs travel to the Western Province in their second away feature of the competition, before returning to the Free State Stadium to take on the Sharks on August 23.

Drotske added that he would love nothing more than to bag at least four points in Cape Town before the luxury of two home clashes against the Sharks and Griquas the following week.

“We are glad we got the five points against the Lions, but we will be even happier if we can achieve the same against Western Province,” Drotske explained.

“That will take a lot of pressure off the team when we head into the home games. We need to keep that momentum going at Newlands.”

Cheetahs team: Hennie Daniller, Riaan Smit, Johann Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Rhule, Elgar Watts, Sarel Pretorius, Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Boom Prinsloo (captain), Waltie Vermeulen, Lood de Jager, John-Roy Jenkinson, Hercu Liebenberg, Caylib Oosthuizen.

Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Wian du Preez, Oupa Mohoje, Davon Raubenheimer, Piet van Zyl, Willie du Plessis, Piet Lindeque.