Mallett: Cheetahs were a little over-confident
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett feels the Cheetahs underestimated the Sunwolves in their Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein at the weekend.
The Cheetahs eked out a 38-31 win against the Japanese side having trailed for periods during the match in which they were heavy favourites.
“It was an error-strewn game, with both sides making a lot of handling mistakes. The Cheetahs have this policy to play themselves out of defence in order to find space for their kicking game. But against a team like the Sunwolves, who counter-attack everything, that policy didn’t work. The faster the Cheetahs played, the more it played into the hands of a fast and loose Sunwolves side,” Mallett said in the SuperSport studio afterwards.”
After beating the Bulls 34-28 the previous weekend, the Cheetahs lost several players to injury ahead of the Sunwolves game, but Mallett feels it was not the reason they struggled.
“The Cheetahs have good players, but there weren’t any positive ball-carriers who could get them across the advantage line, get the opposition defence in disarray and then get the structure to finish. They created several opportunities, but it was the old problems of handling errors and off-loading at the wrong time, that resurfaced,” Mallett continued.
“I think the Cheetahs were a little over-confident going into this game and will be very relieved that they came away with a win because it was quite tight.”