South Africa were given a sobering reminder of the strength of Northern Hemisphere rugby when the Cheetahs were thrashed 51-18 by Irish province Munster in Limerick on Saturday night.
The Cheetahs’ stark introduction into the world of the Pro 14 continued after they last week were smashed 42-19 by Ulster in Belfast.
That is 93 points in a fortnight in Ireland as former Cheetahs player and coach Rassie Erasmus, now the Munster coach, oversaw a total annihilation of the Bloemfontein team, who were more competitive in Super Rugby earlier this year than they have been in this two weeks of competition in Ireland.
Munster scored eight tries to two and if their kicker, Ian Keatley, had been better with his conversion attempts, the score would have been in the 60s.
Home side wing Alex Wooton alone helped himself to four tries as the Cheetahs were left as red –faced as the crimson of the Munster jerseys.
The Cheetahs could not get possession or territory and were relegated to the odd counter attack which saw them score a try just after half time through centre William Small-Smith, to give them a glimmer of hope, but their next score would be in the 80th minute when the proverbial consolation try was scored by flank Henco Venter.
Otherwise, it was all Munster, who were 17-3 up after 18 minutes, and there was no coming back for a visiting team that could not get their hands on the ball, never mind build phases to attack.
Munster – Tries: Alex Wootton 4, Tommy O’Donnell, Jean Kleyn, Chris Farrell and Simon Zebo. Conversions: Ian Keatley 4. Penalty: Ian Keatley
Cheetahs – Tries: William Small-Smith and Henco Venter. Conversion: Robbie Petzer. Penalties: Robbie Petzer 2