Vodacom Super 14

Cheetahs to work on defence

2010-04-25 22:40
Juan Smith competes at the lineout. (Gallo Images)
Gerdie Karstens

Kimberley – The Cheetahs have three Super 14 games left on home soil to shore up their defence before it threatens to become a problem in their Currie Cup campaign.

They finished their tour of Australia and New Zealand on a high on Friday with a 25-all draw against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

However, the result will still leave a bitter taste as the Cheetahs might have tasted success had they defended better.

Corné Uys, Meyer Bosman and Juan Smith showed that there is not much wrong with the tackling of individuals, but it appears as if there is a major problem with the team’s defensive system.

The Chiefs had been targeted as a team against which the Cheetahs could register that elusive first tour win.

However, the New Zealanders comfortably beat the Cheetahs out wide and scored five tries.

The remaining home games against the Blues, Western Force and Lions may just be what the Cheetahs need to fix their defence and prevent it from becoming a problem in the Currie Cup.

“Teams ran through our defence at will in the Super 14 and the Chiefs showed again that there are problems out wide,” said former Cheetahs and Sharks prop Ollie le Roux.

“It was a tough tour. We viewed the match against the Chiefs as the one that we could win, but let in five tries. There does not appear to be a defensive pattern.”

The Cheetahs also got some scrumming lessons in New Zealand and Australia.

“The team is not playing to its potential. There are individuals that make a difference. Juan Smith showed that with his return, but the scrumming is not what it should be,” said Le Roux.

“It was better against the Chiefs, but still not good enough. We’ll have to go back and see where we are erring in the basics.”

The one positive against the Chiefs was the Cheetahs’ rolling mauls.

Eighthman Davon Raubenheimer scored his try after the White Tornado blew the Chiefs away at a lineout. This tactic can be used to the Cheetahs’ advantage in the remaining three games.

“The new laws state that the maul may not be pulled down and that suits the Cheetahs. If they work harder on it as attacking weapon, they can finish the competition on a high,” said Le Roux.

Read more on:    cheetahs  |  super 14
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