Though he was pleased with their second-half effort, Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie felt his team could have tightened up their all-round performance after wrapping up a dominant victory over the Sharks in
Bloemfontein at the weekend.
Centre Frans Steyn kicked 17 points, while the hosts scored four tries, securing a 37-10 win to keep their Currie Cup playoff hopes alive.
Despite remaining in fifth place in the standings, the Cheetahs were only two points outside a place in the playoffs ahead of their penultimate round-robin match against Western Province in Bloemfontein this weekend.
It wasn’t an entirely clean performance against the Sharks, however, with Rosko Specman and Boan Venter both shown yellow cards, reducing their numbers on the field.
“It was a bit up and down. Although we played well and improved a lot on attack, our defence in the first half was close to shocking,” Fourie said.
“When we gave the ball to the Sharks they made a lot of line breaks and put us under pressure, so at half-time we felt it wasn’t up to scratch.
“And we didn’t start well at all after half-time, with all the penalties and the two yellow cards.”
They reached a turning point in the game, Fourie believed, when the Cheetahs utilised some set pieces to secure crucial penalties.
“I must compliment the players for the guts and the character they showed in those 10 minutes. We won that period, which was really vital,” he said.
Their bonus-point try was also a bit of a gamble, Fourie admitted, with rules making it a challenge as scoring a handful of tries was no longer enough.
“Sometimes when you play too expansive you might concede a try… so you have to try and balance it with this bonus-point rule that you’ve got to score three more tries than the opposition. It makes it difficult.”