Friday, June 30, 2006
Cheetahs ground Falcons in 10-try rout
Friday June 30 2006
De Waal scores 24 points at Brakpan
The Cheetahs went past 50 points for the second successive weekend as they recorded a 66-9 victory over the Falcons in a 10-try rout at the Bosman Stadium, in Brakpan, on Friday night.
It was a victory that not only once again showed up the chasm between Super 14 and Vodacom Cup sides (the Falcons are the current Vodacom Cup champions), but also showed why the Cheetahs are regarded as the favourites to retain the Currie Cup title they won in such impressive fashion last year.
Ten tries to none says it all.
The Cheetahs were simply too strong, too quick, too composed and generally better equipped than the Falcons. The home team tries bravely and enjoyed small pockets of competitive rugby, but for most of the game they were reduced to a mere defensive unit ... unfortunately not a very effective one, since they failed too often to plug all the gaps.
The Cheetahs ran onto the field with regular captain Hendro Scholtz in the line-up, that despite reports from the team management earlier in the week that he had been ruled out by a groin injury.
It may have been his presence that sparked the Cheetahs in the early stages, but they certainly looked the livelier of the two sides and had the Falcons under constant pressure.
The Cheetahs' tactics were very simplistic, testing the shaky looking Falcons back three with some high kicks and then from line-outs launching maul after maul.
It worked a treat and after five minutes of constant pressure the Cheetahs were rewarded when De Waal slotted the first penalty of the night.
The Falcons soon levelled when Louis Strydom slotted a penalty from inside his own half, about 55 metres, to make it 3-all.
But the Cheetahs continued to play most of the rugby and they also scored the first try - a great chip-and-chase by De Waal, who collected his own kick inside the Falcons ingoal area. The call went to the TMO, but he ruled that the try was legal. De Waal couldn't add the extras.
The Falcons finally found some rhythm and were rewarded with a couple of penalties within striking distance - the first fell short and the second was slotted by Strydom.
It was still the Cheetahs who showed greater enterprise and they were soon rewarded for their endeavours with a great try by flank Darron Nell. It started deep inside Cheetahs territory, with the ball going through the hands swiftly to the left wing, until the cover blocked their way. They smartly switched direction and the ball again went quickly through the hands, with the captain, Scholtz, giving the final pass to fellow loose forward Nell. The conversion was again wide.
The Falcons, who had to do lots of tackling and live off scraps of possession the entire first half, continued to rely on the boot of Strydom for points - the fly-half slotting a sweetly struck drop-goal in the 27th minute to keep his side in touch at 13-9.
But another De Waal penalty was followed by another great piece of inventive Cheetahs play.
It involved some great interplay between the forwards, before Nell gave a neat little inside pass to scrum-half Michael Claassens, who scored. De Waal's kicking woes continued, but the Cheetahs held a comfortable 21-9 lead.
The final act of the half, right on the final whistle, saw De Waal stroll over for his second try - after a fine show-and-go from a solid Cheetahs scrum. De Waal slotted his first conversion of the night and the Cheetahs went into the half-time break with a handy 28-9 lead and the bonus point already secured.
It took the Cheetahs less than two minutes from the second half restart to score their first try, with JW Jonker going over after another move which saw the Cheetahs using their superior passing skills and greater speed to beat the over-stretched Falcons defence. Again De Waal failed to add the conversion, but at 33-9 it was turning into a big rout.
The Falcons' woes were compounded soon afterwards when their fullback Jan Cloete, one of the few players who managed to keep his composure in the home side, popped his knee cap while attempting a clearance. The freak accident happened with no Cheetah player within 10 metres of him. He was helped from the field and the Falcons' heads dropped even further.
The Falcons had their moments and on occasion came close to the Cheetahs' line, but they lacked the composure to finish off the opportunities they created.
But the Cheetahs, who continued to enjoy a surfeit of the possession, seemed to also lose their composure as they became a bit over-elaborate.
It was more than 20 minutes between the Cheetahs first and second tries in this half.
But the second score was worth waiting for, a real gem. From another good maul, replacement scrum-half Falie Oelschig broke down the blindside, offloaded to De Waal, who times his pass to Giscard Pieters to perfection. The wing strolled over for the try. Meyer Bosman took this shot at goal and slotted it for a 40-9 lead.
Within minutes Pieters scored again, with some more great hands putting him in the clear. With Bosman having left the field straight after his conversion, De Waal again took over the kicking and this time he found the target as the score moved on to 47-9.
Lock Rory Duncan scored the next try as the rout continued and Pieters completed his hat-trick in the 78th minute, with De Waal slotting both conversions as the Cheetahs moved into the 60-point range.
The Cheetahs completed the rout when Philip Burger scored in the 80th minute and De Waal sealed his roller coaster evening by missing the conversion.
For the Falcons:
Pens: Strydom 2
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: De Waal 2, Nell, Claassens, Jonker, Pieters 3, Duncan, Burger
Cons: De Waal 4, Bosman
Pens: De Waal 2
Medicover Falcons: 15 Jan Cloete, 14 Brendan April, 13 Sam Willard, 12 Hanno Coetzee, 11 Riaan Viljoen, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Michael Vermaak, 7 Jacques Nieuwenhuis, 6 Piet Krause (captain), 5 Nico Luus, 4 Ryan Strudwick, 3 Attie Pienaar, 2 Frik Venter, 1 Zane Killian.
Replacements: 16 Hercules Jansen van Vuuren, 17 Piet Grobler, 18 Dries van Schalkwyk, 19 Dewald Senekal, 20 Morné Adams, 21 Dean Okkers, 22 Pieter Spaumer.
Vodacom Cheetahs: 15 Bevin Fortuin, 14 Giscard Pieters, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Gavin Passens, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ryno van der Merwe, 7 Darron Nell, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Barend Pieterse, 4 Rory Duncan, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Rich Verster, 1 Ollie le Roux (captain).
Replacements: 16 Jaco du Toit, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Corniel van Zyl, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Falie Oelschig, 21 Dale Heidtmann, 22 Philip Burger.
Referee: Craig Joubert (KwaZulu Natal)
Touch judges: Johann Meuwesen (Eastern Province), Mandla Dakuse (Border)
Television match official: Shawn Veldsman (Boland)
Cheetahs demolish Falcons
30/06/2006 21:21 - (SA)
Brakpan - The Cheetahs have proved why they are Currie Cup champions by demolishing the Falcons 66-9.
Led by a rampant Willem de Waal, who controlled the game throughout, the Cheetahs overwhelmed the home side and scored a massive ten tries without reply to underline their dominance at this level.
The Cheetahs were expected to struggle on the hard fields of Brakpan.
Instead, they turned on the heat to show that the Vodacom Cup champions are a long way from the Currie Cup equivalent.
The scoring was opened by De Waal, as he capitalised on a perfect bounce as he chipped and the Falcons fluffed the easy catch in their own goal area, allowing De Waal to gather and score.
Flank Darron Nel was at the end of a cluster of hands for the second, as the Falcons were unable to contain the Cheetahs open play. Michael Claassens went over shortly afterwards and was followed by De Waal to clinch the bonus point shortly before half time when he ran through two half-hearted tackles.
The Falcons only had two penalties and a drop goal for their efforts through Louis Strydom and failed to add a single point in the second half.
The Cheetahs opened up the try-scoring taps in the second half and the Falcons had no reply. Midfielder JW Jonker scored just after halftime to underline the dominance, before Giscard Pieters made the second half his own with a hat-trick of tries - the first two coming within two minutes - before Phillip Burger finished off the game with a perfect inside jink.
Falcons - Penalties: Louis Strydom (2); drop goal: Strydom.
Cheetahs - Tries: Willem de Waal (2), Darren Nell, Michael Claassens, JW Jonker, Giscard Pieters (3), Philip Burger. Conversions: De Waal (3), Meyer Bosman. Penalties: De Waal (2).
Cheetahs 'show their colours'
25/06/2006 21:35 - (SA)
Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs showed their colours when they beat Griquas 55-14 in their first Currie Cup match of the rugby season at Vodacom Park here on Saturday.
With coach Rassie Erasmus waving a variety of brightly coloured discs from the sidelines, the defending champions responded by running in eight tries against their neighbours.
Unlike colour-blind members of the cat family, the Cheetahs were clearly able to distinguish between the colours of the discs that Erasmus, sitting on the bench with his substitutes, held aloft from time to time.
Scrumhalf Michael Claassen acted as the middle man, watching Erasmus, interpreting the signals and relaying the messages.
It seemed as if different colours meant different things. During some lineouts Erasmus held up two coloured discs at the same time. The former Springbok did not nail his colours to the mast when he was asked about the novel system after the match. "They're for encouragement; for some things that mean certain things to us," he said.
"They're just tactical things; some only indicate we want to replace someone."
Erasmus did indicate that he would like to sit near the touchline in future, instead of in a box up in the stands.
His reasoning seems to be that players sometimes do not see certain things that happen on the field; things that can be spotted better from the side. "You don't prescribe to them, but you offer them options," Erasmus said. By scoring eight tries, the Cheetahs certainly signalled their intent for the rest of the season.
Senters is dalk VS se troefkaart
Jun 29 2006 11:05:53:760PM - (SA)
DIE skielike onvoorspelbaarheid in die middelveld van die Vodacom-Vrystaat-Cheetahs in die Curriebeker-rugbyreeks kan hul grootste troefkaart teen die Valke wees.
Meyer Bosman en JW Jonker, senterpaar van die Cheetahs, het die vermoë om die verdediging van die Valke in vandag se premierliga-wedstryd om 19:10 in die Bosman-stadion in Brakpan met die hande in die hare te laat.
Dit lyk asof Bosman op binnesenter meer tyd as op losskakel het en of hy met die ruimte beter keuses uitoefen. ’n Binnesenter word in ieder geval as ’n tweede losskakel beskou.
Jonker se grootste bate is sy vaart. Met dié eienskap kan hy meer as een verdediger dwing om hom om te dop. Hy slaag boonop goed daarin om in kontaksituasies die bal aan te gee.
Sam Willard en Hanno Coetzee, senterpaar van die Valke, kan hulle vir ’n klipharde stryd voorberei, aangesien Bosman en Jonker ewen-eens wil wys dat hulle goed kan lak. Hendro Scholtz, wat gister sy fiksheidstoets geslaag het en as flank die Cheetahs sal aanvoer, waarsku Bosman-hulle sal afhanklik van goeie balbesit deur die besoekende agttal wees.
“Die Valke is nie net goed by die afbreekpunte nie,” sê Scholtz.
“Hulle skrum stewig en hul lynstaanspel is goed. Iets wat ons opgemerk het, is dat hulle baie goed daarin slaag om teenstanders se rolmaalbewegings te stuit.
“Ons sal sukkel om met rolmaalbewegings teen hulle meters veld te wen,” sê Scholtz.
Die Valke se lynstaanspel kan egter in die afwesigheid van hul gereelde haker, Deon Strydom, onder druk wees.
Frikkie Venter, wat vandag in die middel van die skrum vir die Valke sal sak, kan verwag dat die Cheetahs se lynstaanmanne hom sal wil ontsenu.
Met Scholtz se beskikbaarheid as sesflank, sal Kabamba Floors ten koste van Bian Vermaak na die bank skuif.
Terwyl die Cheetahs nie sal huiwer om die bal lug te gee nie, sal die Valke hul hoop waarskynlik op hul skakelpaar, Sarel Pretorius en Louis Strydom, vestig.
Strydom se skopstryd teen Willem de Waal, losskakel van die Cheetahs, kan ’n hoogtepunt wees. Die Valke se wedstrydplan draai om Strydom, wat sy voorspelers vorentoe wil laat speel.
# TV-tyd: van 19:10 af op SS/GDN en SS1/DStv.
IMO the fight for the final 2 would be between the Bulls, Cheetahs and the Sharks. The rest I don't see putting much pass these three teams.
Cheetahs look twice the team of last year. Bulls (against Lions) seem to be on the right track after their 10 Springboks (plus injuries)were extracted. Plenty of good individual performances, but too many chances went awry. The Sharks seem to continue on their S14 form as well after two satisfying victories.
WP need to find their feet in this comp first in order to succeed. The Lions just don't seem to function as a coherent team as yet.
What amazed me was the quality of games that the Sharks, Cheetahs and (except for the game against the Valke) the Bulls revealed without the cream of the country's players.
A great tournament in the making.
There i a lot of quality left.
In the end , I believe the coaching part is raising its game as well
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