Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs will be a dangerous side to overcome at home, says Crusaders assistant coach Dave Hewett, ahead of their Super Rugby clash against the Free State side in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
“The advantage of being home and their adventurous play make them a dangerous animal,” Hewett said on Friday.
The Cheetahs drew 43-all last week against the touring Chiefs and Hewett said the early exchanges would set the tone for the match.
“The biggest thing for us is to start well. What the Cheetahs did against the Chiefs was that they started well.
“We saw how much of a lead they built up in the first half. It was quite astounding.
“They then sort of fell back into a defensive mindset,” said Hewett.
“They should have won that game by at least 20 points. We won't lie down. If we get into a similar situation, we need to fight to the end.”
The return of Crusaders eighth man and captain Kieran Read, who missed out against the Lions due to injury, is a huge boost for the visitors prior to them taking on the Cheetahs.
“Kieran is a massive player and everyone knows that he has achieved the highest award you can from a rugby playing point of view,” said Hewett.
“I'd like to think that when Luke Whitelock played last week and then Jordan Taufua came in for him, we didn't lose anything from an impact point of view.
“Kieran does, however, bring a dynamic element to the number eight role and has the ability to lead, so having him back is great.”
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské and his side are prepared for what the Crusaders may throw at them and the coaching staff have taken note of Read's inclusion.
“We had a feeling that he may play against us,” said Drotske.
“He wouldn't have toured with the Crusaders if he wasn't going to feature somewhere.
“We anticipated his inclusion and we have prepared with that in mind. We did some things great against the Chiefs and some things we didn't. We need to execute better in our attacks, specially in the second half. And we need to be sharp on defence,” Drotské said. – Sapa