Cheetahs fight for spot
By Freestate On 11 Jul, 2013 At 01:01 PM | Categorized As Sport | With 0 Comments

Teboho Setena
Bloemfontein

THE Toyota Cheetahs are desperate to redeem themselves in tomorrow’s must-win Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Blues at Free State Stadium.

Both are reeling from defeats last weekend to Stormers and the Sharks, 28-3 and 22-20, respectively.
Following their loss the Free State franchise are under immense pressure to win against the New Zealanders who have a chance to secure a play-offs berth with a win over the hosts.

In sixth position on 46 points, the Cheetahs are under threat to lose their spot to Australian sides Waratahs and the Blues who each boast 44 points in seventh and eighth positions respectively. The standings are a motivation to the foreign teams.

Cheetahs skipper Adriaan Strauss will lead his team in their all-important charge to guarantee a spot in the play-offs, hoping to keep the dream alive to challenge for Super Rugby glory.
Admitting they are under pressure to make amends for the Stormers loss, the Cheetahs and Springboks hooker is confident about their prospects to live the dream.

“Every single game is a must-win for us and hopefully we can pull through,” Strauss said.
“Our goal from the start of the tournament has been to qualify for the play-offs and we cannot afford to falter at this stage.
“We have a good chance to qualify for the play-offs and it will be exciting to finish what we started.
“The guys are working hard to turn around fortunes — I’m confident we will do overcome.”
The ultimate challenge of the Cheetahs is to get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet from the first minute to the end against an equally-hungry Blues team.

Strauss told the Free State Times this week that complacency was not a factor in the Cheetahs’ poor result last week and he emphasised the importance of cohesion in the camp.
“The energy is still there. Tactically our execution wasn’t great against the Stormers and this is something we have been working to fix during training this week,” he said.

Although acknowledging the Blues will not be easy game, Strauss believes their opponents are beatable.
“They are a very dangerous and are good in capitalising in broken areas,” the captain said.
“But we are going to make it difficult,” he added.
“We have to scrum well and create opportunity, play to our strength and with intensity, and be the team that made us dangerous and exciting to watch in this year’s competition.”
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has retained last week’s starting line-up.

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