Confidence boost for Cheetahs
Bloemfontein - They may not be a favourable position on the overall log, but Cheetahs hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss was pleased with the five points his side earned in their Super Rugby 35-34 victory over the Waratahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
"I am very happy with the victory and it gives us a lot of confidence for the next couple of weeks," Strauss said after the game.
"We have a bye this coming week and then the break for the Springbok Tests so we're happy going into that on the back of a victory.
The victory put the Cheetahs in 10th place on the log and if some other results go their way, it keeps their hopes alive of a possible position in the knock-out stages of the competition.
The hosts had recently been lambasted for their inability to play the full 80 minutes, with concentration lapses in defence, but they held on against a Waratahs side that were wayward in the second half.
"Obviously there are still some areas of concern," Strauss said.
"We need to go back to the drawing board like we did the last couple of weeks."
The Waratahs looked the better side in the first half and on more than one occasion carved through the Cheetahs' poor defence.
The Sydney-based side managed to score two tries in the space of two minutes and a victory by the visitors appeared to be on the cards.
"We put ourselves under immense pressure in the first half," Strauss admitted.
"We defended poorly around the breakdowns and struggled to keep their attackers at bay.
"We had some stern words in the dressing room at half time and it looked way better in the second half.
"Overall we're happy with what we achieved."
Waratahs skipper Ben Robinson, who captained the side in the absence of injured Rocky Elsom, was disappointed his side could not carry their attacking play into the second half.
After scoring four tries in the first 40 minutes, they only added one penalty kick in the second half.
"We allowed the Cheetahs to score twice after half time and just never recovered from that," said Robinson.
"We wanted to play the full 80 minutes, but we were bested by a better side.
"We take on the Hurricanes next and we need to go and have a look at where it all went wrong."
The visitors did manage two bonus points for their four tries and losing with less than seven points which could come in handy in the next couple of weeks.
"Two bonus points are always nice to have, but five would have been better," said Robinson.
"In the end, the Cheetahs never let up and just outshone us."