Waratahs beat Cheetahs to keep alive in Super14


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In an unexciting match at Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein on Friday evening, the Waratahs defeated the Cheetahs 18-10 to keep their hopes of reaching the playoffs of the Super 14 competition alive.

The Waratahs’ decision to move Kurtley Beale to inside centre was a good one. Twice, when Beale got his hands through the tackle and put Timana Tahu into space, the visitors scored.

The centre pairing was far too much for the Cheetahs to handle in defence.

The visitors led 8-0 at the break.

This is the first time this season, at home, that the Cheetahs have gone into the break behind their opposition.

Tatafu Polota-Nau (hooker), Tahu and Beale produced the most impressive performances on the day.

The Cheetahs’ backline was flat-footed and they didn’t attack the gain line at all as they did in their victories over the Sharks and the Crusaders. The home side had two chances to score early in the match, but they failed to utilise the opportunities.

They did not come close to scoring again until three minutes from the end.

JW Jonker, replacement centre, scored the home side’s only try late in the match. The Cheetahs knocked on the door for a bonus point before the final whistle, but strong defence denied them.

For the Cheetahs Adriaan Strauss (hooker), Heinrich Br’ssow (flanker) and Juan Smith (captain and flanker) put up a good display in a losing cause.

Both teams defended well around the fringes. The Cheetahs, usually strong in their scrums and lineouts, let themselves down in this match.

They struggled to get their own lineout ball and, in the scrums, Benn Robinson gave Kobus Calldo a hard time.

Lote Tuqiri, wing for the Waratahs, went over early but he lost the ball behind the goal line.

The chance arose after Cheetahs’ centre, Piet van Zyl, slipped a tackle on his opposite number Tahu.


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