Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss says belief in their own abilities has seen them reach the play offs for the first time in their Super Rugby history.
"Our mindset is definitely the difference between this year and last year," Strauss said after their 34-13 victory over the Blues in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
"This year we really have the belief that we can make it."
The Cheetahs achieved what many critics believed impossible by cementing their place among the top six Super Rugby sides following their victory over the Blues.
The Bloemfontein-based side have a bye next week with the guaranteed four bonus points confirming their participation in the knock-out games.
"We've had some good results and some youngsters also put up their hands," Strauss said.
"We've got a bit of a rest now but we'll still be training for the play offs. That's for sure."
Their performance against the Blues was in stark contrast to their 28-3 loss against the Stormers a week ago.
Strauss lauded his team for rising from the ashes to claim their spot in the Super Rugby playoffs two weeks from now.
"I'm very proud of the guys and I think we left a couple of tries out there on the field, but in all it was a good performance," he said.
"This week we stuck to the structures a bit more and every guy just focussed on his own job. And it worked on the day."
On the back of mediocre performances in past competitions, the Cheetahs were the surprise package of this year's competition.
Blues lock and captain Ali Williams commended the Cheetahs for their efforts throughout the season.
"These boys play like they are possessed and they really do deserve a place in the playoffs," Williams said.
"They've come out and played the game of rugby like we all want to watch. To be honest, today they simply outclassed us.
"We made too many errors and when we get our hands on the ball we can threaten any side, but we couldn't do that tonight."
Williams said they would make their remaining match in the competition count to reward their fans for their loyal support.
"We've got one more game next week and we can show our fans back home that we can still win," he said.
"Unfortunately we've fallen short on some occasions this year and we feel like we under done ourselves."