Sport / Rugby

Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
15 Apr 2017
5:01 pm

Nutshell: Cheetahs collapse in a heap against wily Chiefs

Heinz Schenk

The men from Bloemfontein race into a 24-0 lead only to slip tackles and lose concentration against classy opponents.

Chiefs winger James Lowe continued his outstanding form against the Cheetahs. Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images.

The Cheetahs wasted a 24-0 lead to lose 27-41 to the Chiefs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Franco Smith’s men really looked the part for the first 40 minutes but their poor game management and inferior conditioning cost them dearly as the New Zealanders clicked into gear.

It’s not a result that helps their cause to stay in Super Rugby.

Who was the star in this match?

Chiefs winger James Lowe is making the most of his final Super Rugby campaign for a while before departing for Europe. He constantly gave the Cheetahs defence headaches with his running lines, culminating in a well deserved try too. His left boot is also becoming a great weapon.

Key themes and events

  • The Cheetahs started this match really well. By the 22nd minute, they had scored three tries. One of the features was how varied they were. Wing Raymond Rhule and centre Francois Venter’s tries were as a result of patient passing and good running lines, while hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld scored from a maul.
  • But the men from Bloemfontein’s inability to organise effectively on defence as well as build on a good start cost them dearly as the Chiefs’ superior conditioning and calmness proved vital.
  • It’s unlikely that one man would’ve made such a big difference but Oupa Mohoje’s substitution after 27 minutes for concussion robbed the Cheetahs of an experienced head and one of their better defenders.
  • The Chiefs’ game management was brilliant. They were on the back foot early in the second half when prop Kane Hames was yellow carded for a professional foul. But they kept the score to 3-3 in those 10 minutes and then cracked on the pace.
  • Replacement hooker Hika Elliott’s try when the Cheetahs ran the ball within their own goalline and then knocked on illustrated how wayward their decision-making still remains.

Point scorers

Chiefs – Tries: Toni Pulu (2), Tawera Kerr-Barlow, James Lowe, Shaun Stevenson, Hika Elliott. Conversions: Aaron Cruden (4). Penalty: Cruden.

Cheetahs – Tries: Raymond Rhule, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Francois Venter. Conversions: Niel Marais (3). Penalties: Marais (2).

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