Vodacom Super 14

Cheetahs' pace to sink 'Tahs?

2009-04-28 07:57
Speed to burn (Gallo Images)
Johann de Jager - Volksblad

Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs won’t make any additional plans to keep Lote Tuqiri in check in Friday’s Super 14 clash against the Waratahs in Bloemfontein.

The experienced and powerful Wallaby wing will be squaring up against Danwel Demas of the Cheetahs.

Demas is renowned for his pace and ability to create something from nothing, but is a lightweight when weighed against Tuqiri.

Demas’s defence was suspect earlier in the Super 14 and he was particularly poor against the Western Force in that regard.

However, Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie has news for anybody who thinks Tuqiri will easily slip past Demas. Tuqiri is 1.91m tall and weighs 103kg.

Fourie is not concerned as he considers Demas (1.88m and 89kg) as one of the best defenders in his backline. Statistics show that Demas succeeded with 49 of his 58 tackles, which is a success ratio of 85%.

“It is only Hennie Daniller (fullback) who is performing better than Demas on defence among the backs,” said Fourie.

Like Cheetahs wing Jongi Nokwe, Waratahs right wing Lachie Turner is also his team’s leading try-scorer in this year’s Super 14. Turner has scored four tries against Nokwe’s five.

“He is the only player in their backline with pace. The rest are big, strong and physical players. Apart from Turner, they don’t have players with the pace of Demas, Nokwe and Fabian Juries,” said Fourie.

That is one of the Waratahs’ weaknesses the Cheetahs are out to exploit.

The Cheetahs should have confidence after beating the Crusaders. They hope to repeat that against last year’s finalist.

The Waratahs, however, still have a chance of making the semi-finals. They have not previously beaten the Cheetahs in South Africa.

In 2007 the Cheetahs beat the Waratahs 30-26 in Kimberley, while the Waratahs last year won 23-19 in Sydney.


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