Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
28 Feb 2014
6:20 am

Cheetahs spring no surprises

Rudolph Jacobs

One valuable ingredient will be missing from the Cheetahs' armoury when they start their tour Down Under against the Rebels in Melbourne this morning – the surprise element.

FILE PICTURE: Naka Drotske. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

After the Cheetahs reached the Super Rugby play-offs last season and enjoyed great success on their away trips over the last two years, the Rebels won’t take them lightly.

While the Cheetahs are heavily favoured, the Rebels, who are already without stars like Kurtley Beale and James O’Connor, have lost the last three years to the Cheetahs and are still looking for their maiden victory over Adriaan Strauss’ men.

The Cheetahs have won all three games against the Rebels – in 2011 in Bloemfontein the Cheetahs won 41-21, in 2012 in Melbourne the Cheetahs won 33-26, while last year in Bloemfontein the Cheetahs won 34-16.

But the Cheetahs have to forget about their famous win over the Bulls last weekend, cautioned Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske, right.

“No away tour win ever comes easy,” said Drotske.

The Cheetahs’ first away win in 2011 – 23-3 over the Waratahs in Sydney – also the only time they’ve started the tour on a win, was the start of the Cheetahs’ success story abroad and three years on, five players from that game play again today.

Philip van der Walt, Coenie Oosthuizen, Francois Uys, Ryno Barnes and Sarel Pretorius were part of the 2011 win, while a further five were part of the win in Melbourne in 2012 – Willie le Roux, Johan Goosen, Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane and Hennie Daniller.

Kick-off: 10.40am.