Vodacom Super 14
More woes for Cheetahs
Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs’ Super 14 campaign suffered another body blow with the suspension of loose forward Kabamba Floors.
Floors was banned for five weeks for a dangerous tackle on Brumbies fullback Julian Huxley in the Cheetahs’ heavy 15-61 defeat in Canberra.
The punishment could not have come at a worse time for the Cheetahs as they already have a long injury list.
There is a major shortage of loose forwards, with the Cheetahs having to cope without Heinrich Brüssow, Frans Viljoen and Ashley Johnson. Captain Juan Smith also had to return to South Africa after his father passed away last week.
Floors was yellow-carded in the 77th minute when he spear-tackled Huxley, who recently returned to professional rugby. He had retired two seasons ago after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Cheetahs supporters certainly won’t be happy with the citing and subsequent suspension of Floors as other players came away with lighter punishments for similar spear tackles.
The Cheetahs were on the receiving end of a similar tackle against the Hurricanes when Ma’a Nonu up-ended Smith and got off without a suspension.
Nonu also shoulder-charged Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant the next week, but again escaped punishment.
It is unclear whether the Cheetahs will be appealing Floors’ suspension.
The Cheetahs will have to work on their discipline and defence ahead of Saturday’s match against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
They conceded nine tries and numerous penalties against the Brumbies. On top of that Floors and Barend Pieterse both got yellow cards.
The Cheetahs’ coaching team will also have to reconsider the roles of Riaan Viljoen (replacement flyhalf) and Sarel Pretorius (substitute scrumhalf). Both made an impact as substitutes against the Brumbies and should perhaps be handed starting roles.
Injured lock David de Villiers said that the team would have to set goals and stay positive.
“Everybody must believe that a win is possible. A problem is only as big as you make it.”