The Vodacom Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske is determined to see his team bounce back from their disappointing home Absa Currie Cup defeat at the hands of Vodacom Western Province last weekend.

The defending Absa Currie Cup champions lost their first home match in this competition since August 5, 2006 – but it does not get any easier for them this week as they travel to Durban for an appetising clash against the table-topping Sharks this Saturday.

“The fact is, you need to win your home games in this competition – no matter what record you are trying to protect,” Drotske told

“Western Province were better than us on the day, but you just can’t afford to give any team three tries on a platter like we did.”

The Vodacom FS Cheetahs ended scoreless in the second half against Vodacom WP, with Drotske adding: “We need to put that result behind us; these next two weeks are big games for us – we’d like to beat either the Sharks this week, or the Bulls (at home) next weekend. After these matches we’ve got the Valke and the Cavaliers – two teams we would be expected to beat and collect five points (against).”

Despite not having lost to the Durbanites in an Absa Currie Cup match since 2003, Drotske was very impressed with the Sharks’ showing against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at the ‘Shark Tank’ last weekend.

A win achieved without Beast Mtawarira, Ryan Kankowski and Adrian Jacobs – all of whom return to the matchday 22 for this Saturday’s mouth-watering encounter.

“They’re a well-balanced team,” said the Cheetahs boss, “that’s their biggest strength. They’ve got a good defensive system, they’re strong at the breakdown and they’ve got plenty of game-breakers across the board.”

Ironically enough, a host of the Sharks’ current stars originally hail from Bloemfontein; with World Cup winners Francois Steyn, Ruan Pienaar and the Du Plessis brothers, Jannie and Bismarck, all ex-Grey College boys.

“Yeah,” chuckled Drotske, who has taken something of a gamble by selecting regular flanker Kabamba Floors on the wing.

“They’ve got a couple of ‘our’ guys in their team and they’ve been doing pretty well too. But we’re not worried about who we’re playing against, it’s more about how we do on the day.”