Cheetahs halfbacks a threat

2011-06-16 09:34

Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – The Stormers may have Rassie Erasmus’s considerable rugby intellect at their disposal, but he is yet to come up against the Cheetahs’ unpredictable halfback pairing.

Sarel Pretorius and Sias Ebersohn’s excellent form is integral to the Cheetahs’ attacking approach and poses a new challenge to the Stormers in the second derby match between the teams in the 2011 Super Rugby tournament.

The results between the teams since Erasmus joined Western Province – first as senior professional coach and now in the position of director of rugby – probably means that the visitors won’t be losing too much sleep ahead of Saturday’s match.

The Cheetahs have only won twice in matches between the teams since Erasmus moved to the Cape. They have never been able to win in Super Rugby and their only victories were in Currie Cup matches against WP in 2009 and 2010.

However, Ebersohn and Co are a new test for the Stormers in Erasmus’s erstwhile backyard – he previously coached the Cheetahs.

In the first match between the teams this year – which the Stormers won 21-15 at Newlands – the Cheetahs played with Pretorius and the consistent Naas Olivier.

Since then Pretorius has stepped forward as one of the tournament’s leading try-scorers, increased his market value and is on the shopping list of numerous teams.

The scrumhalf and Bulls wing Bjorn Basson are the tournament’s leading try-scorers with nine apiece.

Ebersohn grabbed his first decent chance in Super Rugby. His goalkicking improved and he is the general that is giving the Cheetahs direction in their running rugby.

However, it’s as a combination that Pretorius and Ebersohn have developed into an attacking weapon. Both keep defenders guessing and create opportunities for team-mates.

Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie said that it was the unpredictability of Pretorius and Co that got the team on the front foot this year.
“Sarel keeps two or three defenders around the ruck busy and often creates holes for his team-mates.

Sias is also playing good attacking rugby, has a good pass and is controlling play well. Both are unpredictable and create opportunities for outside backs,” said Fourie.

“Then we have someone like Riaan Viljoen, who is also having a very good season.”

Fourie also believes that less injuries among the Cheetahs’ backline players compared to their forwards has ensured that there is better inter-play between the backs.

“The reason our backline is doing so well is that they are regularly getting the ball on the front foot from the forwards. That, coupled with our halfback pairing playing so well, has made it possible for the backline to play attacking rugby.”

Fourie believes that the expected return of Dewaldt Duvenage and Peter Grant as Stormers halfback pairing will boost the visitors.


  • - 2011-06-16 10:25

    "the consistent Naas Olivier." Yeah right.

      Ace Ventura - 2011-06-16 11:06

      Consistently mediocre.

  • Grunk - 2011-06-16 10:33

    Pretorius is great - but the other great halfback pairing I saw last week was Duvenhage playing flyhalf AND scrummie because Januarie was arriving about half an hour too late at the rucks/mauls - and that actually gave the Stormers a lot of momentum.

      WPBEFONK - 2011-06-16 10:55

      Dewaldt Duvenhage = Springbok Material. What a player ,he's like most of the GREAT french scrummies, can kick for goal ,great pass, wonderful out of hand kicking. He's just GREAT and MUST be the next Springbok no.9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WPBEFONK - 2011-06-16 10:53

    The STORMERS by 12++

      Segusio - 2011-06-16 11:08

      That will depend entirely on who the the ref is and how he performs during the match - judging on the Sharks/Cheetah's game!

      gnus wakker - 2011-06-16 13:14

      @WPBEFONK Jy is die grootste strontprater wat ek van weet. Maar ek stem hierdie keer saam met jou. Duvenhage sal die beste skrumskakel in Suid Afrika wees wanneer Fourie du Preez aftree. Hy is 'n MOET vir die wereldbeker Die Stormers suck en gaan snot vreet teen die Cheetahs

      WPBEFONK - 2011-06-16 17:06

      gnus wakker/aan die slaap- Dankie, maar die Bulls suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      GraemeBB - 2011-06-17 10:33

      @WP Bulls 19 - Stormers 16 Thats all you need to focus on

      Northern Stormer - 2011-06-17 23:14

      Okay Loftus Stormers 23 - Bulls 13 en Nuweland Bulls 19 - Stormers 16 - dit gee my Stormers 39 - Bulls 32 - Makes you think - kyk na altwee kante van n saak nie net die een wat jy verkies nie - Enjoy die naweek se rugby !!!

  • Zip23 - 2011-06-16 11:06

    Stormers are miles ahead of the Cheeters. Will be a walk in the park. Could bench most of their players and still win this one by a mile. Easiest game of the tournament for the Stormers. Only have to pitch up to take this one. Stormers by 20! Best backline in this tournament. Schalk is a man beast, and Duanne had to choose between rugby and his other passion, accountancy, after school. Luckily for Stormers he chose rugby! Glad Stormers retaining Habana after French tried to grab him! Sadie will be a Stormer forever, Bulls dont have the cash to buy him, and stormers happy not to have Hougaardt, dont need him!

      ROOI_DISA - 2011-06-16 11:12

      @ zip ..... is jy ernstig ou maat? ...... "Glad Stormers retaining Habana after French tried to grab him! " ...Brian Banana kos ons al 'n klein huisie vol punte/wedstryde die afgelope paar jaar!

      Zip23 - 2011-06-16 11:19

      Disa, Just wanted to feel what its like living in la-la land with gooinat, Saffa and wpbefonk.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-16 11:46

      @Zip23 - c'mon......I am more of a realist than most of the chaps supporting your team. Oh it is true.

      Zip23 - 2011-06-16 13:42

      Saffa, you are correct, I mention you only because of your sorry ass sidekicks, gooinat and wpbefonk. They are just as bad as some of the Bulls guys, difference is Bulls have the only claim to bragging rights in this comp as far as SA sides are concerned. That may very well change soon, but for the time being it is the status quo. I am sure you know I have the deepest respect for most of your views, and your rugby knowledge is without a doubt without equal on this forum.

      Carl Muller - 2011-06-16 14:08

      I want to see what you say after the game. And maybe it won't be "I have told you so" Bulls forever. A two hour only Cheetahs' only supporter....

  • Ace Ventura - 2011-06-16 11:06

    Go Sarel!!! Go Sias!!! Go Cheetahs!!! Go Sonny Bill!!!

      Tiger - 2011-06-16 11:44

      beperkte internet vriendekring...

      Ace Ventura - 2011-06-16 14:35


      WPBEFONK - 2011-06-16 17:08

      Go Charl!!!! Go Jean Deysel(120kg's) and go Meyer Bosman!!!!! Go Sharks, SLAG daai POOFTERS!!!!!

  • JJRR - 2011-06-16 11:17

    Wie Pie gaan lekker verloor!!!!!

      Tiger - 2011-06-16 11:44

      beperkte internet vriendekring...

      WPBEFONK - 2011-06-16 17:09

      Blou Bulle gaan Saterdag SNOT SUIP van die VLOER af, IDIOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      GraemeBB - 2011-06-17 10:34

      Stormers 16 Bulle 19

  • Tiger - 2011-06-16 11:41

    Moet is ek 'n baie groot Stormer supporter sal ek nogal bietjie hartseer wees as die Stormers die Super 15 moet wen hierdie jaar. Hoekom? Want dan gaan julle blou koei supporters niks meer he om te se op hierdie site nie!!! Solank as wat my Stormers nie die beker wen nie het julle kans om voort te droom in julle beperkte internet vriendekring...shame...gaan maar so as honde en katte jou enigste geselskap is in die ware lewe...BID VIR JULLE MAAR BELOWE ABSOLUUT NIKS NIE!!!!!!!!! Nag ou grote...

      Carl Muller - 2011-06-16 14:11

      Ou Naas het altyd gese 'Die beker word nie in Mei gewen nie'. Want dan kom die Bulle soos al die jare van agteraf en wen die Beker.... Indien Stormers dalk wen sal ons nog steeds bly wees dan bly die Beker in SA!!!!!!! Baie beter as julle agteraf AB supporters wat net julle eie span ondersteun en die res van die S A spanne vervloek...

  • PajeroMan - 2011-06-16 11:55

    Sharks supporter but the Cheetahs will do the Stormers no favours! If Duvenhage is not able to play, you in big kak! Is Brussouw playing?

  • Carl Muller - 2011-06-16 14:06

    Wat 'n game wat vir ons wag. Ek persoonlik dink die Cheetahs gaan die een deurdruk. Sterkte an mag die best span wen..... Bulls forever....

  • G8 - 2011-06-16 15:07

    The Stormers cant afford to take the Cheetahs for granted here. The 'orange people' have nothing to lose, and have been showing signs of coming good. The Stormers on the other hand have a very nasty habit of being very horrible on occasions (a little like the French - class one day and bumbling fools the next). If the Cheetahs hold it together, and there is no reason why they wouldn't, the Stormers might struggle a bit with this one. I honestly hope that by the time the dust settles, they walk away from Bloem with a home-semi in the bag!

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