No need to panic

 

Let us not press it just yet

This weekend we saw the first of the new Cheetahs Super Rugby Squad, and there was not much to see I must add. After the game I needed some comic relieve so I went to the Cheetahs Facebook page to see what the good old supporters had to say, and I was not disappointed.

 

A lot of them went along the lines of the Cheetahs are going to get thrashed out there, others called for the head of Naka (Which I agree with of course) and then there were the Lions supporters who just had to like the Cheetahs page and comment on the Cheetahs voting out the Lions, no mention of any other unions here though, must have been only us then. Luckily the Administrators are grown men who actually can admit to faults and have buried the hatchet on that matter between the FSRU and GLRU.

 

There were some strong points from the central franchise which do deserve a mention, our first half defence was something we have been lacking for a while, first time tackles were made and they didn’t miss a tackle for the first 25 minutes, which usually reads in reverse with 25 missed tackles in the first minute. The second half though, things were back to normal… sadly.

 

Piet van Zyl, Boom Prinsloo, Robert Ebersohn and Hennie Daniller along with newcomers Rossouw de Klerk (fits in well as replacement for WP Nel) JP Nel, Lood de Jager, Tertius Daniller and Caylib Oosthuizen all had a good game, but there were to many players found wanting against a weekend Lions team, Raymond Rhule had a pretty average outing to what he is capable of doing, the yellow card may have been harsh but you need to deal with these things as they happen, Francois Brummer was completely out of his comfort zone and needs to step up his game, Marnus Schoeman was trying too hard to be the next Brussouw infringing time after time, if this was a Super Rugby match, the Cheetahs would have been 14 men for the rest of the game after 5 minutes. He needs to be nurtured and taught when to just let the ball go and wait for the next one instead of trying to turn-over each and every ball. I would also like to see Hansie Graaff start at 10 for the next match, the little chances he had, he impressed, it will be nice to see what he can offer when given the opportunity.

 

One thing that the Lions did and the Cheetahs need to learn from, is keep the ball and run with it, Brummer and van Zyl persisted with those aimless up and under kicks forcing the Cheetahs back onto the defensive, which we all know is not their strongpoint, attacking is. When the Cheetahs kept ball in hand they looked dangerous and were getting passed the gain-line quite often.

 

Leadership was also missing, Ebersohn led from the front playing a loose-Forward and Inside-Centre roll, but he needs to calm the players down when the chips aren’t in their corner, once the Lions were in the lead, the Cheetahs were like a dear stuck in the headlights, they couldn’t move nevertheless tackle. Hopefully when Strauss comes back he can help the youngsters out.

 

I would not call for a complete state of panic just yet, there is a reason we play these warm up games, to iron out all the problems from the off-season, or in our defensive case, the past 3 years. The good thing here is that the Cheetahs can only improve.

 

Well done to the Lions for showing guts and true skill, Lionel Cronje and Anthony Volminck are certainly players to look out for in this Lions Challenge.

 

My sincerest condolences to the Jantjies family with the loss of their father this past weekend.

 

Peace!

 

13 comments on this post.
  1. Leeubok:

    One thing you need to remember, although you do mention it, is that this was a pretty weak Lions team. Even though the Cheetahs were missing a lot of players and many of them played together for the first time, ditto can be said for the Lions, even more so.

    No need to panic just yet for the Cheetahs, but then they better pull their fingers out and get things right, otherwise they’re not gonna enjoy the super rugby season! As long as they win one game (against the Queens of course) I’ll be happy

  2. The Dutchman:

    They must at least win both matches against the PE BEE’s then I will be happy.

    What you say it true, and like is said, the Lions played out of their skins and showed that a Rugby match is 80 minutes, not 60.Congrats on a good win!

  3. guntz27:

    The reason we were in the lead in the first half was due to Marnus Schoeman. He gave us good ball and in the second half he was of the park and we did not protect our ball!

    Even though he will get penalised I like him, he will be a good asset to bring on in the last 20minutes and make the opposition go crazy!

    Remember we won against the stormers last year and they were a weak side, and the year before the Bulls lost against the Kings in a warm up!

    This means nothing.

  4. The Dutchman:

    Yes, but he was warned 8 times within the first 5 minutes, which is cause for concern, if he comes on 20 minutes before the end and gives away 1 or 2 penalties, we might just be in trouble score wise.

  5. guntz27:

    yes it is true but he will learn! He is like a jack russel and could well irritate players which could earn us penalties.

  6. The Dutchman:

    Agreed, why I said he needs to be taught when to attack and when to just let it go. Experience will do this for him.

  7. guntz27:

    No I don’t think the lions guys played less together. A lot of that youngsters played together at age group while most of these Cheetah players did not. I mean in combinations there was no combination in the backline that played together before.

    Same goes for the forwards.

    We can’t expect the Cheetahs to gel within one game its impossible!

  8. Baylion:

    I know you are looking for an excuse as to why the Lions gelled better especially in the second half :) but you are wrong about the youngsters having played together a lot.

    Players, Golden Lions senior caps and where they played 2012 (only to came through the Lions juniors):
    15 Marnitz Boshoff (1 cap) – ex-Griquas
    14 Ruhan Nel (1 cap) – Lions jnrs
    13 Stokkies Hanekom (1 cap) – ex Maties, WP
    12 Alwyn Hollenbach (33 caps) – Lions
    11 Anthony Volmink (6 caps) – Lions
    10 Guy Cronje (2 caps) – UJ
    9 Ross Cronje (10 caps) – Lions
    8 Willie Britz (11 caps) – Lions
    7 Derick Minnie (50 caps) – Lions
    6 Jaco Kriel (13 caps) – Lions
    5 Hugo Kloppers (1 cap) – ex-Maties, WP
    4 Gavin Annandale (0 caps) – ex-Griffons
    3 Ruan Dreyer (5 caps) – Lions
    2 Francois du Toit (3 caps) – UJ
    1 JC Janse van Rensburg (66 caps) – Lions
    16 Robbie Coetzee (0 caps) – ex-Bulls
    17 Jacques van Rooyen (1 cap) – TUT
    18 JJ Breet (0 caps) – ex-Bulls
    19 Claude Tshidibi (1 cap) – Lions jnrs
    20 Michael Bondesio (24 caps) – Lions
    21 Lionel Cronje (1 cap) – ex-Bulls
    22 Andries Coetzee (11 caps) – Lions

  9. Met uysh:

    Don’t worry. The game didn’t matter to the Cheetahs. A lot was about trying new things, trying too hard to impress the coach and quite obviously, Ebersohn was totally out of his depth as captain. A couple of failed quick tap and go’s (one penalty and one 22m kick off) which were totally unneccessary resulted in two tries for the Lions.

    Agree, don’t panic. Even if this was the Lions under 12 side I wouldn’t panic, because seriously, the game doesn’t matter. What matters is what happens on the 22nd Feb….

  10. guntz27:

    I agree, I am not phased at all. I actually thought we learnt a lot from the game.

  11. guntz27:

    haha ja, I think he drives ref’s crazy too haha he could just be the impact player we need! Then we can have him there when Brüssouw is off! Or play both and have the ball for the whole game!

  12. guntz27:

    haha you know that the Cronje Brothers played together a lot and thats a big combination where the Cheetahs 9 and 10 played their first together. Ross also played together with Alwyn a few times before while it was Ebersohn and Brümmer’s first time again, same goes for Ebersohn and JP Nel. JP Nel and Rhule and Greef also never played together.

    At the front row the lions again had played at least 3 games together while the cheetahs had their first outing together same goes for the locks and the flanks.

    The lions in turn had Bondesio and Cronje already playing with the other Cronje brother together from last year while the other cronje has played with Hollenbach (even though one or two games). Athony Volminck has played a few games with these guys as well (same goes for Andries Coetzee).

    Willie Britz, Derick Minnie and Jaco Kriel has also played together.

    Get my point?

    I am not making excuses you guys won fair and square, its just that the Cheetahs will gel and get to know each other better by playing games and not on the training pitch!

  13. The Dutchman:

    Yeah, not to worried about the result, although the people around me are going crazy like the Lions just won the Super Rugby Throphy, guess it comes with the territory of living in JHB…

    The Cheetahs just need to use what happened and improve upon their performance.

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