Cheetahs seek answers
Durban – It was not the main reason for the Cheetahs’ 9-24 defeat against the Sharks, but a video session on Monday will shed light on what went wrong in the scrums.
The visitors were heavily penalised in the scrums by referee Craig Joubert in the unattractive match.
Experts had predicted prior to kick-off that teams could struggle with the strict application of the scrum laws.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské did not want to say much about the scrums, but said that they would act if necessary.
“It’s difficult to say something about the scrums straight away. I would like to see a video of the match on Monday to be able to give a proper judgement. We can then decide whether the penalties were justified or not. It’s not easy to say something about it now, especially not after you lost and are still emotional,” said Drotské.
“We’ll have a look at it and if we feel that some of the decisions were over the top, we will send a report to André Watson (South African referees manager) or I will phone Craig myself and discuss it with him.”
Cheetahs prop Coenie Oosthuizen and hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss were despairing with all the penalties.
“The referees are very strict on early engagement. There is a fine line because you’d like to win the engagement to be able to scrum well.
When you are penalised for that at the first two scrums, you are often late after that and are dominated by your opponent,” said Drotské.
“The penalties definitely had an effect. We have to go and look whether we were early in the first few scrums. If we were, it’s our own fault. If not, you can find the fault with the referee.”
A joke by Sharks coach John Plumtree with a journalist in the press conference that there are technical aspects at the scrums that even a rugby writer does not understand, sums the issue up well.
Drotské said that neither of the sides had played well, but his team’s tactical kicking definitely led to their demise.
“There was not really anything wrong with the chase of our kicks. It was rather the execution that was not accurate. Most of the hanging kicks were simply too deep and it’s difficult to chase those. I believe the kicking plan we had was the right one.”
Drotské was proud of the defence and competing at the lineouts.
Lock Wilhelm Steenkamp underlined his value as a jumper, while Andries Strauss won the centre battle with Meyer Bosman.