Cheetahs backrow lays victory foundation
March 23, 2013
Heinrich Brussow was magnificent for the Cheetahs
© Getty Images
Heinrich Brussow Robert Ebersohn Sias Ebersohn Lappies Labuschagne Willie le Roux Raymond Rhule Winston Stanley* Phillip Van Der Walt
The Cheetahs have completed a hat-trick of victories on tour, defeating Western Force at nib Stadium in Perth on the back of a fantastic defensive effort.
The Force were confident of victory in their first home game of the season, after shocking Queensland Reds in Brisbane in the previous round, and they looked to be on the path for back-to-back wins when Winston Stanley crashed over for a converted try in the right corner after 26 minutes to capitalise on turnover ball.
The hosts also paid a heavy price for three missed penalty goals, two from Sias Ebersohn and one from Jayden Hayward, as well as a missed drop goal from Kyle Godwin.
Cheetahs fly-half Riaan Smit, selected only because of the season-ending knee injury for Johan Goosen, conversely kept the scoreboard ticking over as the Force paid for ill-discipline. He landed a perfect four penalties before converting a breakaway try from Willie Le Roux, the winger scoring at the death after the five-eighth had monstered Force backrower Ben McCalman in defence.
Neither captain was happy with their team's performance, with the Cheetahs' Adriaan Strauss saying "I don't think we played our best rugby of the season ... we didn't stick to our structures today and we're actually quite lucky to get the win" while Pek Cowan said the Force "didn't front-up".
"We knew we couldn't just show up tonight," Cowan said. "It was a disappointing effort. There was a lot of positives again, but we have to make sure we focus and play for 80 minutes. We went away from what we wanted to do tonight. We didn't deliver tonight."
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9