Drotské praises Cheetahs' defence
Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské lauded his side for their defensive efforts in their 40-20 Currie Cup victory over Griquas at the Free State Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Thanks to the bonus point victory, their first at home in this year's competition, the Bloemfontein-based side moved up to second place on the Currie Cup log, just two points adrift of the Sharks.
The Cheetahs showcased their attacking ability by scoring no less than five times against a Griquas side that fought till the end, but was visibly weakened by the absence of injured stalwarts like Jaco Nepgen and Rynhardt Landman.
Drotské had praise not only for his side's attacking ability, but mostly for their defence which kept Griquas at bay for much of the game.
"We did very well on attack. Five tries don't come easy, but we managed to make use of our chances," Drotské said.
"I was very happy with the way we defended. We knew Griquas would ask a lot of questions with regards to attack and I am happy that the boys stood their ground.
"Our man on man defence is specially something I am very proud of."
The Cheetahs were the better side in the line-outs and scrums, with their forwards getting good go forward ball.
Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane was one of the standout men for the hosts, alongside prop Rossouw de Klerk, captain Johannes Prinsloo and lock Teboho Mohoje.
"Trevor did very well. He has once again proved that he still yearns to play for the Springboks.
"Our other forwards like Teboho and Rossouw also impressed. It was a good all-round performance by the team.
"We wanted that bonus point and that is what we got. It will give us much needed momentum going into the game against the Bulls in Pretoria next weekend."
Griquas coach Pote Human had mixed emotions over his side's performance.
"Those two tries really hurt us. We were in the game until they broke through in the final minutes of the first half," said Human.
"We kept on attacking in the second, but their defence proved difficult to breach. Now it is back to the drawing board for our next game at home against the Lions."
Griquas will most likely know the fate of their Australian lock Rory Arnold on Sunday. Arnold scored one of the visitors two tries, but was red carded by referee Craig Joubert for seemingly biting Cheetahs replacement hooker Ethienne Reynecke in the process.
"We are still waiting to hear what will happen to Rory. If he does get suspended, we are going to be very thin with regards to locks," Human said.
"Our other lock, Hilton Lobberts, seemed to have broken his arm. So we are having a difficult time with injuries as well. We are hoping for some good news before we take on the Lions next Saturday."