There is an old saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, while expecting different results. Vodacom Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske will argue that he has very little choice in the matter.
Drotkse has named an unchanged starting fifteen to do battle with the Western Force in Bloemfontein on Friday night. While Force coach John Mitchell has seen fit to make a number of changes to the side that pushed the Sharks so hard, Coach Naka is clearly hoping that history won’t repeat itself. His charges threatened to run away with the game against the Lions, after a first half effort that saw them score three brilliant tries and seem completely in control.
The Cheetahs didn’t score a point in the second half and lost the game 23-22.
It’s a pretty strong-looking side on paper, with a battle-hardened tight five and a really exciting loose trio. Flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter will need to raise his game considerably after a shaky performance last week, but there are enough good ball players with gas out wide to cause the Force a few problems, should the ball get to them often enough.
The reserve depth remains a nagging problem. In the only change to the 22 that did battle last week, Namibian centre Hendrik Meyer comes onto the bench at the expense of utility forward Darron Nel. This may well be a masterstroke as the hard-running Meyer could well wreak havoc running at the tired Force defenders late in the day.
A bit of a gamble, but given the squad at his disposal, Drotske was never going to be able to make wholesale changes. Let’s hope his team play to their potential for the full 80 minutes this week and hold their discipline throughout. If they do, expect them to send this makeshift Force outfit packing.
Starting XV: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Gavin Passens, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Duanne Vermeulen, 7 Juan Smith (captain), 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Rory Duncan, 4 Barend Pieterse, 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Bees Roux, 18 David de Villiers, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tobie Botes, 21 Conrad Barnard, 22 Hendrik Meyer.Tweet