Premium Journalist
1 minute read
7 Jun 2015
2:25 pm

Cheetahs disappoint


Not much could be expected of a struggling Cheetahs side with Franco Smith taking over as coach for the first time, but still the mentor of the Free State outfit was left disappointed after his charges fell to a 58-33 defeat in their Super Rugby match on Sunday.

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 02: Michael van der Spuy of the Cheetahs during the Super Rugby match between Toyota Cheetahs and DHL Stormers at Free State Stadium on May 02, 2015 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images)

The Cheetahs defence always looked to be a man short against a dangerous Waratahs side at Free State Stadium, but with the score 34-28 shortly after the interval the visitors were not yet managing to run away on the scoreboard.

The top Australian side, however, notched up a further three tries for a total nine
tries before the final whistle as the apparent gulf in glass between the sides

In his first match in charge, Smith was left justifiably frustrated. “I’m disappointed in the attacking side of things,” said Smith. “The defence wasn’t up to standard. We were not physical enough. But that we can work on.”

While the Cheetahs’ attack made up for their defensive blunders in the first half
which the Waratahs led 29-21 at the break, in the second period the visitors
ran riot to mount up their huge tally of tries. In the end it was an
embarrassing scoreline for the Cheetahs in their second last game of a season
they would prefer to forget.

The Cheetahs, instead, have a trip up to Pretoria to take on the Bulls next week to
bring a curtain down on their campaign which currently sees the men from
Bloemfontein occupy 13th spot on the log and bottom of the SA conference.

“I think the most disappointing thing was that we didn’t on to the ball as much as
we should’ve. A team without the ball cannot perform, and I think it’s
something we’ll look at.

“At least I know exactly where we’re at. The attack is actually good, maybe a
little bit too liberal at some stages. But at least we have the mindset that
we want to play good rugby.”