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Cheetahs on guard for Brisbane heat

Jim Morton 23/03/2011 08:16:49 PM Comments (0)

Cheetahs management is on guard to prevent a repeat of a heat stressed Juan Smith's post-match collapse when they return to Brisbane for another hot day time Super Rugby clash.

South African back-rower Smith was hospitalised after he passed out and hit his head on the dressing room floor after losing to the Queensland Reds on a 35-degree day two years ago.

The Springbok is currently back home sidelined with an Achilles problem but the Cheetahs haven't forgotten the 2009 round three drama when the dehydrated Smith was kept on a drip for hours after full-time.

Team manager Eugene van Wyk has already notified SANZAR and the match manager to check on extreme heat regulations and the side has altered their training schedule on the Gold Coast.

Brisbane is currently undergoing summer-like conditions and a 32-degree day is forecast for Saturday.

The match kicks off at 2.40pm (AEST) and quarter-time drinks breaks are a likelihood, just as they were used in the opening round day-time clash between Queensland and the Western Force.

Most of the Reds forwards lost 5kg during the 21-20 win over the Force, when the temperature was recorded at 44-degrees inside the stadium according to Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie.

Lock Van Humphries lost 8kg in the Cheetahs' last visit in 2009 when the home side mastered the conditions better for a 22-3 win.

Van Wyk said the Cheetahs, who upset NSW 23-3 last round, had learned from their mistakes of two years ago when they trained twice a day each day.

"It was very, very hot that day," he said. "It hasn't been as hot this time but we remember that week.

"Obviously we've been checking (the regulations) and having our training sessions early in the morning and just training once a day and not twice a day."

Although the hot weather is seen as an advantage to the Reds, they did not cope well with draining humid conditions in the season-opener against the Force and flanker Beau Robinson would love to see some cloud cover.

"I don't know about this heat, I'm not enjoying it myself actually," he said. "It's knocking me around a bit so I wouldn't mind it being overcast at all."

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