Naka: A complete performance
Johannesburg - Apart from a few individual errors in defence, Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské described his team's 53-14 Super Rugby dismantling of the Lions on Friday as a complete all-round performance.
"Other than the try we leaked at the end, I think the Lions deserved the other two they scored," Drotské said.
The Cheetahs' outstanding showing was spearheaded by their forwards who knew when to commit numbers to the rucks while showing consistency at set pieces.
"We have a well-balanced game plan at the moment and we are not attacking from the wrong areas, but there are still times when we tend to be more risky," Drotské admitted.
The former Springbok hooker also admitted to being frustrated by his team's bad luck in not having won more matches this season.
The Cheetahs were on the wrong end of photo-finish results against the Lions - in their first encounter - the Bulls and the Hurricanes while early season injuries prevented them from building steam.
Their improvement on attack was this week also matched in defence.
"We have scored close to 50 points in our last three matches and the problem was soft moments in defence, and tonight we sorted that out," Drotské said.
"I think there is still room for improvement (in defence) when you take into consideration that the next game is against the Crusaders."
Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie said the side had a renewed confidence.
"It really makes a big difference to a team when your halfback pair is on fire," said Fourie.
Flyhalf Sias Ebersohn's tactical kicking kept the Lions pinned in their own half and he was in sublime form with the boot, not missing a single kick at goal.
Livewire scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius also played an important role in the decision-making department while a lot of credit should go to fullback Riaan Viljoen who was shifted to the wing when Philip Burger had to leave the field with a hamstring injury in the first half.
"Riaan is one of those players you can slot in at any position, I think he will do just as well at flank," Drotské said.
"He's a talented player who has incredible ball skills and he's strong.
"It is great to have players in your team that can step up and help wherever they are needed."
Looking ahead to next week's match against the Crusaders at home, Drotské again emphasised that his men would have to make a step up in defence.
The Crusaders secured a 20-14 victory over the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.
"Coming back from tour, we have showed some really good signs on attack so the key against the Crusaders next week will be our defence," he said.
"It is not going to be easy, but we have beaten them in the past in Bloemfontein and we are going to have another crack at it."