On Saturday, the Cheetahs host the second placed Brumbies, who are just two points behind the log-leading Sharks.
If the Brumbies surprisingly go down before travelling to Loftus to face the Bulls it could only be beneficial to SA’s interests.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske had to deal with injury setbacks prior to the Force clash, which also could have played a role in the side’s preparation.
Set to lose scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, pictured, with a ankle injury this week, they also lost Jean Cook last week, while lock Andries Ferreira hurthis shoulder during training late in the week.
Flanker Lappies Labuschagne is still not back after his month-long groin lay-off.
“It was a difficult week with the injuries we suffered and in the end, we could only manage to complete two sessions,” Drotske said.
For the Cheetahs there’s just pride left after losing their ninth game, with just two wins and a draw to show for their efforts.
But in their last four games against the Sharks, Stormers, Bulls and the Force – incidentally the four games that Heinrich Brussow has been back – there has been an improvement.
It was also Johan Goosen and Coenie Oosthuizen’s first games back in a while, and, despite rustiness, in the end, their class could’t be mistaken.
“Johan and Coenie have a massive influence on the side. They bring a lot of experience, while Johan is also an excellent goal-kicker,” said Drotske.