Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
10 Apr 2014
11:00 am

Naka rewards his players

Rudolph Jacobs

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has shown faith in his charges who held defending Super Rugby champions the Chiefs to a draw in Bloemfontein last weekend.

Trevor Nyakane of the Free State Cheetahs during the Absa Currie Cup match between The Sharks and Toyota Free State Cheetahs at Growthpoint Kings Park on September 21, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Drotske named the same 23 players who drew 43-43 with the Chiefs for their round eight clash with the Crusaders in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

It will be the Cheetahs fourth home game this season.

There is still no room for Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen, who has been given another week of rest after injuring his neck during the team’s away leg.

It’s the same neck injury which saw his season disrupted twice on previous occasions, but he is apparently being lined up to return against the Sharks next weekend.

Trevor Nyakane therefore retains the No 1 jersey after earning his first start last weekend ahead of Caylib Oosthuizen, who started the first six games of the season.

With Francois Venter still on the injured list, Rayno Benjamin has been retained at inside centre, where he was impressive last weekend before being replaced by Howard Mnisi late in the game against the Chiefs.

One area where the Cheetahs will have to be on the alert is to not be found wanting in the last 20 minutes – a weakness the Chiefs exploited in their games against the Bulls and again in Bloemfontein.

The Crusaders also looked to increase their tempo in the last quarter during heir 28-7 win against the Lions last weekend.

The Cheetahs taking off their best players like Benjamin and scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius late in the second half, played directly into the hands of the Chiefs.