Friday, June 29, 2007
NO DAMDUIKING @ BRAKKENJANPAN
Kind of a relief then!
MATCH REPORT COPIED FROM www.rugby365.com
Cheetahs clip the Falcons' wings
Friday 29th June 2007
The Cheetahs continued their impressive early season form when they smashed the Falcons by 45-11 in their Currie Cup Round Two match in Brakpan on Friday.
At a bitterly cold Bosman Stadium the Cheetahs scored six tries to go with the 12 they got in their 91-3 opening win over the Boland Cavaliers last week - ensuring the joint defending champions, the Cheetahs, stay at the top of the standings.
If you had snuggled into an easy chair, warm fire on your left and good food and wine inside you, you would have missed a lively, enterprising Currie Cup match. If you had wrapped up warmly and braved the Brakpan cold, you would have enjoyed a bracing Currie Cup match.
It was cold all right, but there was a refreshing warmth to the rugby as both sides ran and ran on the frost burnt surface. Because the surface was burnt almost to white, the lines were, innovatively, painted in blue.
There was cold comfort for the Valke in Brakpan and scant reward for their creative efforts. They were lively, they eschewed kicks at goal in search of tries, they ran out of deep defence and ended on the wrong end of a big hiding. It just did not seem just.
For the Cheetahs there was the satisfaction of another convincing win and another bonus point. In two matches they have now scored 136 points, conceding just 14. They are looking good, a well-balanced team.
The Cheetahs won the line-outs hands down, taking seven off the Valke. They were stronger in the scrums, better organised on defence, stronger and more cohesive in the maul and enjoying quicker ball at the tackle/ruck. The downside was the number of penalties they conceded 13 in a match of 23 penalties. Of those 23 penalties no fewer than 19 were for infringements at the tackle, in accordance with recent instructions to referees to ensure a fair and legal contest at the tackle.
The Valke were forced to make a late change when Mark Harris was injured in the changing room, which necessitated a shuffle amongst the backs.
Two mauls set up the first Cheetah try. They stole the very first ball the Valke threw into a line-out and drove their maul ahead at speed. Gunder Williamson was penalised and the Cheetahs kicked the penalty out for a five-metre line-out from which young Heinrich Brüssow scored far out. Willem de Waal converted as he did unerringly for each of the Cheetahs' six tries. He also kicked a penalty, missing only a drop-goal attempt.
The Valke went through phases and gave Len Olivier the chance to make the score 7-6 after nine minutes when first Darron Nell and then Brüssow were penalised at tackles.
When the Valke bungled passes near their own line the Cheetahs had a five-metre scrum well in from touch and simply went right to Phillip Burger who darted over for a try far out. That was it for the Valke. They were destined not to be close again.
The Cheetahs won a Valke throw at the line-out on their left and went right to Eddie Fredericks. He raced ahead and then turned the ball back inside. Meyer Bosman got a clever pass behind the back of Nico Luus to Richardt Strauss and the eager hooker scurried over for a try at the posts.
A penalty against Callie Wannenburg for a deliberate knock-on made the half-time score 24-6 to the Cheetahs.
They scored early in the second half. They went right but left a poor pass to bobble about near Fredericks who got the ball and stumbled past to defenders to fall down for a try in the corner. That try gave the Cheetahs a bonus point, and they did not score another try for the next 23 minutes, and when they did it was off a Valke error.
The Valke got their try when they kicked ahead down the right and the Highveld sent the ball bouncing high. They got it, handled and cleared well until Wannenburg was able to force his way over on the left.
Cheetahs' captain Rory Duncan spent some time in the sin bin for a tackle high and dangerous but his absence did not change the score.
The Valke tried to run out of deep defence and Riaan Viljoen threw a long skip pass. Fredericks stretched high, caught it and dawdled over for the try at the posts.
Their last try also came as the Valke tried to run out of trouble but Michael Vermaak's pass went astray and Bosman sent replacement Ryno van der Merwe over for the try.
Man of the Match: It was probably a choice between innovative, slightly eccentric Phillip Burger and bustling, earnest Richardt Strauss. Our choice is Richardt Strauss.
For the Falcons:
Pens: Olivier 2
For the Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Brüssow, Burger, Strauss, Fredericks 2, Van der Merwe
Cons: De Waal 6
Pen: De Waal
Yellow card: Rory Duncan (Free State Cheetahs, 53 - foul play, dangerous tackle)
Falcons: 15 Willem Slabbert, 14 Riaan Viljoen,13 Bertus Swanepoel, 12 Hanno Coetzee, 11 Mpho Matsaung, 10 Len Olivier, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Michael Vermaak, 7 Callie Wannenburg, 6 Piet Krause (captain), 5 Nico Luus 4 Dewald Senekal, 3 Phillip Lemmer, 2 David Brits, 1 Gavin Whittingham.
Replacements: 16 Zane Killian, 17 Gunder Williamson, 18 Hein Potgieter, 19 Marius Coetzer, 20 Morné Adams, 21 Jacques Schutte, 22 Nicky Kritzinger.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Philip Burger, 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 Alwyn Hollenbach, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Gavin Passens, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Darron Nell, 7 Duanne Vermeulen, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Corniel van Zyl, 4 Rory Duncan (c), 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Ollie le Roux, 18 David de Villiers, 19 Ryno van der Merwe, 20 Jonathan Mokuena, 21 Jandré Blom, 22 JW Jonker.
Referee: Craig Joubert (SARU)
Touch judges: Pro Legoete (SARU), Johan Greeff (Blue Bulls)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (Eastern Province)
Assessor: Dennis Immelman
Fredericks fries Valke
Friday 29 June 2007
Eddie Fredericks scored a brace as the Cheetahs downed a spirited Valke outfit 45-11 in Brakpan.
It was a stop-start affair riddled with mistakes and penalties from both sides, but Free State managed to secure the bonus point, eventually running in six tries.
The Cheetahs signalled their intentions from the outset and scored a well-worked try from a line-out drive. The visiting pack completed the characteristic take and maul, and the Valke had no chance of stopping a Heinrich Brussouw surge. Their second was just as clinical, Philip Burger scoring on the blindside after the Cheetahs forwards had softened up the defence through several hit-ups.
The Valke managed to stay in touch in the first 20 minutes with flyhalf Len Olivier kicking two good penalties. The young pivot was confident with ball in hand and received exemplary service from his No 9 Sarel Pretorius, but the Cheetahs forwards began to take control in the second quarter.
The pressure started to tell with the rattled Valke making more mistakes and kicking possession away. The visitors capitalised on the momentum and a slick interchange between Meyer Bosman and Richardt Strauss saw the hooker in for a great try. The Cheetahs secured the bonus point in the 45th minute when Eddie Fredericks produced a smart bit of work to get the ball down in the corner before brushing the touchline.
The Valke did well to spoil, but the Cheetahs were very loose at the breakdown. They conceded six penalties in the first half alone for transgressions at the ruck, and their discipline also left a lot to be desired. Captain Rory Duncan was yellow-carded in the 53rd minute when he was penned for a high-tackle, a big loss for the Cheetahs when the Valke had just got themselves back into the game with an enterprising Callie Wannenburg try.
The difference in quality was evident throughout, with the Cheetahs holding the clear ascendancy in the scrums and line-outs. Former Western Province hooker David Britz had a nightmare in the red jersey, his wayward throwing costing the Valke plenty of opportunities from the set-piece.
Coach Rudy Joubert will be pleased with the innovation displayed by his backs, and the Valke could never be accused of playing a conservative game. They threw the ball wide whenever they received the pill, and but for a few poor decisions in the heat of the moment, they would have racked up at least two more tries.
Drotske’s men now have two bonus-point wins from as many games, but it’s clear they have a bit more to do before they meet one of the traditionally stronger sides.
Valke - Try: Callie Wannenburg. Penalties: Len Olivier (2).
Cheetahs - Tries: Heinrich Brussouw, Philip Burger, Richardt Strauss, Eddie Fredericks (2), Ryno van der Merwe. Conversions: Willem de Waal (6). Penalty: De Waal.
By Jon Cardinelli
Cheetahs hunt down Falcons
29/06/2007 22:24 - (SA)
Brakpan - Free State did not have many problems beating the Falcons 45-11 at the Bosman Stadium.
The visitors patiently waited for the home side to make mistakes which the Cheetahs then pounced on.
Most of the visitors six tries were against the run of play with the Falcons failing to protect their own ball.
This resulted in them not being able to set up phases. They were also below par in the lineout as Cheetahs lock Corniel van Zyl stole many of the Falcons lineout ball.
The Cheetahs gave the ball plenty of air and the outside backs stretched their defence.
With Willem De Waal's distribution on song it was only time before the likes of Philip Burger showed their class.
Burger joined the backline with great determination and his ball skills came to the fore when he created space for Eddie Fredericks and Gavin Passens to take advantage of.
Fredericks missed out on a hat-trick last weekend against Boland and repeated this effort as he crossed the tryline twice.
The Falcons loose forwards were overshadowed by their counterparts as the Cheetahs dominated the fight for the loose ball.
Nippy Falcons scrumhalf, Sarel Pretorius, got minimal protection from his forwards and was under constant pressure for most of the first half which limited the fluidity of the Falcons backline.
Even though Pretorius was a constant threat with ball in hand, his service was not always the best and his substitution in the second half was long overdue.
Falcons winger Riaan Viljoen improved dramatically from his poor showing against the Bulls as he created opportunities everytime he had the ball in hand.
The Falcons though can take a lot from their performances in the last two weeks as they have held their own against the joint Currie Cup champions - the Bulls and Cheetahs.
The Cheetahs will host the Griquas next weekend while the Falcons will take on Boland at Bosman Stadium next week.
Tries: Heinrich Brussow, Phillip Burger, Richard Strauss,Eddie Fredericks(2), Rayno van der Merwe
Conversion:Willem de Waal(5-5); penalties: Willem de Waal(1-1)
Conversions:Len Olivier (0-1); penalties: Len Olivier(2-2).
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