Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Cheetahs upset victory over the Crusaders in Bloemfontein

The Cheetahs produced one of the results of round 13 of Super Rugby as they upset the Crusaders 33-20 in front of a passionate home crowd, taking their third consecutive win of the tournament.

The injury ravaged men from Christchurch had Dan Carter and Richie McCaw turning out for them, but the home side managed to negate their influence, along with that of Sonny Bill Williams, who had such a storming game in Cape Town a week prior.

Williams was actually hit in a solid tackle early on, forcing him to leave the field after the knock to the knee. The Cheetahs believe that they shut him down well when he was on though, perhaps providing a blueprint for other teams to follow. Coach Naka Drotske was hesitant to get too carried away though.

"It would be way too early to say he was worked out, he still is one of the best players in Super Rugby but we believe the answer to stopping him is to cut off his space. The plans we worked on went well and Robert Ebersohn was excellent in defence and his decision-making on defence was enough to ensure that he never got enough room to move.

"The other South African teams and the Springboks will be making a huge mistake though if they are under the impression that the Sonny Bill Williams-factor no longer exists. He remains a special player capable of breaking through any defence in the blink of an eye," Drotske added.

Aside from the attention to Williams, the Cheetahs did well to control the game up front and seemed to have an effective gameplan against the New Zealand side. Twin brothers Robert and Sias Ebersohn both scored tries, as did loose forward Ashley Johnson, sealing the famous win.

Time: 05:10



  • What a game to have watched, PDV needs to look at a few boys here for the WC.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 18, 2011 6:53 pm  

  • How on earth was the first Cheetahs try allowed????

    It looked like a tackle in the air (not sure about that though) and after that the ball comes of a Crusader to Cheetah 14 who's in front of the ball and makes no effort to retreat.

    I'm not a ref or an expert but it looks dubious to say the least.

    Anywaaaayyyyyyyy...exciting stuff to watch!

    Thanks RD!!

    By Anonymous Guy, at May 18, 2011 6:56 pm  

  • Vote Ashley Johnson!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 18, 2011 7:15 pm  

  • @Guy: There was no ruck and his team didn't knock on, therefore no offside.

    By Anonymous Iinga, at May 18, 2011 7:54 pm  

  • Yeah no ruck, no offside. Also the 15 knocked the ball on before the cheetahs player got near him. The game looked very exciting and some great hands for all the tries

    By Anonymous martin-offload, at May 18, 2011 8:20 pm  

  • i'd also place some question marks about the deliberate obstruction for the first cheetah's try.

    thankfully, the obstructing team got punished by a try!

    By Anonymous Irish Ref, at May 18, 2011 9:28 pm  

  • Surely that was a tackle while the player was in the air for the cheetahs first try?

    Looked like a great game though

    By Blogger themull, at May 18, 2011 11:15 pm  

  • Haha...fella gives middle finger at 1:48

    By Anonymous OutsideCentre, at May 18, 2011 11:27 pm  

  • Haha...fella gives middle finger at 1:48

    By Anonymous OutsideCentre, at May 18, 2011 11:27 pm  

  • is it just me or does carter always seem more impressive with the allblacks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 18, 2011 11:45 pm  

  • Superb Rugby! Great to see the former pushovers -Reds, Cheetahs- now really pushing the best teams.

    As I've always said, I can't wait for the WC to start. Surely the Ebersohn brothers should be looked at by de Villiers? And Viljoen? And Johnson? And Pretorious? Ah, decisions, decisions...

    By Anonymous Juggernauter, at May 19, 2011 12:00 am  

  • SH rugby, always full of "ah well, let them get away with it, it makes for better 'watching rugby' so its all good isn't it?"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2011 12:30 am  

  • Cheetahs tries were luck, hardly worthy of winning the game.

    Ye defense was worthy effort but if they played each other crusaders would win 8 times out of 10.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2011 12:35 am  

  • ^ Bitter.

    I made $2,000 on this game because I suspected the Cheetahs would win. They did it easily in 2009 as well.

    McCaw did nothing. Brussow did more in his 20 minutes and although Ashley Johnson isn't world class, he outplayed him too.

    Sonny Bill is a one trick pony... maybe he should seek contact once in a while. Continue to do so many offloads in a game and watch the intercept tries start coming often once the defenders realize what's up.

    Sarel Pretorius must be tried at international level in the Tri-Nations, but no. We'll have big ass Ricky Januarie clogging up the Bok arteries again.

    By Anonymous Richboi, at May 19, 2011 12:45 am  

  • ^Have fun gambling away that $2,000.

    By Anonymous duh, at May 19, 2011 1:37 am  

  • Good work Cheetahs.
    They are a better side this year, pulled off some big results, like this and the away win over the Tahs.
    With the Cheetahs try, he probably did make contact while he was in the air, I guess the ref felt he was maybe challenging the ball or something.
    Maybe just a home town decision.
    It happens.

    To the NH guy, refs in the south do tend to blow less penalties, less pedantic is one way of looking at it. They like to let the game flow, we don't mind a bit of borderline stuff from time to time.

    By Anonymous Jono, at May 19, 2011 2:11 am  

  • Yeah, no. Bryce Lawrence reffed this game - what a surprise that the Crusaders got yet another NZ ref.

    He failed miserably though, he tried his hardest to get the Crusaders back in the game in the last 8 or so minutes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2011 2:57 am  

  • 'To the NH guy, refs in the south do tend to blow less penalties, less pedantic is one way of looking at it. They like to let the game flow, we don't mind a bit of borderline stuff from time to time.'

    I enjoy watching it either way because i don't have any preference on who wins, however what i detest is when i see international refs letting things slide and SH fans saying "oh but it makes the game flow better" or if it goes against them they bitch about it for fucking ages...

    no one likes "wrong decisions" against them but you cant have your cake and eat it... you need to either have no issues with refs missing stuff and NH teams winning (vice versa for us too!) or you need to tighten up your ship down south..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2011 4:55 am  

  • I watch a lot of rugby, on both sides of the world, and what I'm interested in when international sides play each other (either the Mid-year or Autumn tests) is how teams cope with the changes in refereeing. As just one example, there tends to be a more relaxed approach to players staying on their feet in SH club rugby tournaments, because more emphasis is put on having a fast-paced and flowing game - sometimes, this could come back to hurt a team if they get continuously pinged for it in international matches.

    ...but really, that's what training camp is for. The coaches will get the players in the right mindset to not give away penalties.

    And honestly, I think the SH is at a bit of an advantage when it comes to switching gears...it's easier to go from a more fast/physically-intensive mode to a more composed/disciplined mode than vice versa...

    Either way, with the World Cup only four months away, the only thing I can hope for is some great upsets and some great rugby!

    By Anonymous i love bacon, at May 19, 2011 5:44 am  

  • I love productive comments. As above.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2011 1:19 pm  

  • s A NH follower this game looked exciting and well played, lots of fast pace and big hits, cant comlan or criticise a both NH and SH styles have good points and bad points; always delighted to see underdog/under respected teams upset the odds, go Cheetahs!

    By Anonymous ConnachtFan, at May 19, 2011 2:25 pm  

  • I guess the REAL problems with different reffing are the fans....

    you get a NH ref pinging a SH team for not staying on their feet and the SH fans will moan moan moan.

    you get a SH ref letting a slight something pass and the NH fans will moan moan moan... i guess there is no pleasing either one.

    I just don't like seeing excuses being made when a NH team beats a SH team.

    I AM a NH fan and I know at the moment the SH has us kinda trapped. SA is good and strong, NZ is great and strong...Australia... is sort of a france.. depends which team turns up...the guys that want to win or the guys that are wondering wtf is going on.... BUT the fact is the NH can beat the SH from time to time so I would rather see humbled SH fans saying "good game" like we often do, rather than saying "yeh well there was NO way that should have been scored the ref did this and that etc..." (ofcourse vice versa too, we NH fans should be congratulatory after a good game!)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2011 2:58 pm  

  • I think RD could look into its archives to confirm what I think: that on world cup years, the SH/NH fan rivalry gets gradually stronger ... until the competition starts.
    It's always there on any given day, but during world cup years, I think it's worse.

    By Anonymous moddeur, at May 19, 2011 4:16 pm  

  • @ i love bacon

    if there's more people going off their feet and killing the ball would the ball not be slower coming back?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2011 5:48 pm  

  • Anonymous above..... watch the all blacks play...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 19, 2011 8:24 pm  

  • Anonymous two above:

    Yeah, it would stand to reason that more going off the feet would probably slow the ball down, but what I was speaking to was more so the side carrying the ball going off their feet.

    First of all, I just want to say it's not like it happens all the time or anything - it's not as though these guys don't know how to stay on their feet or anything. It just seems that there are more occasions in Super Rugby matches where I think, "They're lucky the ref isn't calling those..." with regards to staying on the feet at the ruck.

    That ends up making it more difficult for the defensive side to get in there and try to slow the ball down, so it still comes out pretty quick.

    But also, the other part of it is that because Super Rugby has more of an emphasis on fast-paced running rugby, the defense isn't necessarily as committed at the breakdown either, so there are fewer players contesting rucks (because defense tends to suck all the energy out of you, and they'd rather focus that on attacking rugby instead).

    Like I said, that's just how it seems to me.

    By Anonymous i love bacon, at May 19, 2011 8:36 pm  

  • @ I love bacon:

    Good comments, respectfull, well thought through and nicely put into words.

    @ a lot of other people, especially since the Ashton/Tuilagi saga:

    please take notice. That's how you write constructive comments.

    It would save RD a lot of wasted hours deleting troll-comments so the editor might be able to upload more highlights.

    ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

    By Anonymous Guy, at May 19, 2011 9:14 pm  

  • lovely hands for the Sias Ebersohn try!!!

    those twins are dynamite

    By Anonymous Cheis, at May 19, 2011 10:17 pm  

  • Regarding the Boks selection for the World Cup, I think PDV has some tough decisions ahead.

    The Springboks have been pretty average so far and some players just don't seem to be getting up to Test rugby anymore, have lost form or are simply too old (Bakkies Botha, Spies, the great Fourie du Preez, the pragmatic Morné Steyn, Habana, Pietersen, Kirchner, Olivier).

    Maybe it's time to bring in some new ideas to the team ahead of the Tri Nations, or they will face the same fate as Argentina, who face the WC with little ambition after losing some great players, and lacking real quality depth.

    Some players that come to mind to take real leadership and dominance in the team are Andries Bekker, Heinrich Brussow, Ashley Johnson, Bismark du Plessis, Sarel Pretorious, the Ebersohns, Francois Hougaard, Juan de Jongh, Riian Viljoen, Gio Aplon, Duane Vermeulen...

    Just thinking

    By Anonymous Juggernauter, at May 20, 2011 1:19 am  

  • I love bacon, I apreciate your making a reasoned argument.

    I ahve to disagree though.
    I don't see what you're seeing. I just don't think players go off their feet more. I think it happens in rucks north and south sometimes, not all the time, just sometimes. I could be wrong, but I don't see it as a major issue.

    The speed of the ruck thing in the south is due to a concious effort by players to play at pace. When I watch European rugby one of the things I notice as a point of difference is the ruck speed. OFten in Europe teams will intentionally, knowingly be slow at the ruck when they have the ball. They wait and wait, while they set up the next run (which is often just a forward charge a couple metres from the ruck or even from the base of it).

    It's strange the way it happens, I don't understand the logic of it. It simply gives the defence a chance to set and makes it much easier on them.

    Your comments on not commiting to rucks is valid, and it's as a direct result of quick attacking rucks.
    If you speed up the rucks, it becomes illogical to contest them too much. Your simply drawing players out of your defensive line, and giving the opposition a chance to punch holes through you.

    It's not always that simple though.
    Not every Super 15 game is fast paced and high scoring, some become a ruck battle, it depends on players, conditions and tactics on the day.

    The All Blacks are also a good example. When the play Australia for example, you'll see them not contest rucks nearly as much, they can't afford to because they need to contain the Australian backline, which means they need plenty of defenders out wide.
    When they play a team like England though, they go into rucks with more numbers, because England just aren't that expansive and don't ask as many questions with their backline play. The contest is often up front, just wide of the ruck, so they can concentrate defenders there and contest more at ruck time.

    When they play South Africa, it's somewhere in between.

    By Anonymous Jono, at May 20, 2011 2:39 am  

  • @Linga you can be offside on other occasions apart from a ruck. Please go watch a game before making another stupid comment.

    By Anonymous ., at May 20, 2011 6:13 am  

  • @Richboi, perhaps you can put that $2000 toward paying off the shed you live in.

    1.McCaw is 10 times the player that little fatty brussow is (legs aren't long enough to participate in general play and can only attack the ruck)and that is reflected in 3 IRB player of the year awards.

    2.SBW like all players will have his good and bad weeks, he destroyed JDV against the stormers and made the sharks look very average... So lets not jump to any silly conclusions!

    3. I love watching the AB's destroy the Bok almost every time they play... It makes me warm knowing idiots like you are keeping Kleenex in business.

    4. Yes, before you say it, I know your team of thugs won the last WC... But after this year it will be 2 all and you'll need some new ammunition.


    By Anonymous Rent's due, at May 20, 2011 6:22 am  

  • Dear dummy at 6:22am,

    I guess there's got to be at least one asshole resorting to stereotypes on every post on this website, eh?

    Thankfully, you don't represent the majority of NZ fans I've met.

    By Anonymous good grief, at May 20, 2011 7:43 am  

  • Rents due... that is until ofcourse you guys choke in the quarter finals like you did against France last time!!! (:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 20, 2011 8:01 am  

  • @ Rent's Due

    No, in the unlikely event that you make it past the semis and actually win the damn thing, it will be 2-1. '87 doesn't count, remember. That was pretty much an invitational tourney.

    By Anonymous katman, at May 20, 2011 12:11 pm  

  • This was a great example of a good defence rattling a strong team. Great heart from the Cheetahs!

    Also Crusaders form is a great indicator for the type of rugby that the ABs will play (usually) and thats what makes it so exciting, it suggests the WC will be a close, thrilling affair(lets hope) as the ABs will be under big pressure from defences. Interestingly I think the key player for the ABs isn't going to be Carter, but Conrad Smith. He holds the ABs line together well and his defensive and attacking decision making is very underrated so should be interesting to see what kind of form he's in when he returns.

    On a seperate completely, I wish Joost van der Westhuizen all the best after him being diagnosed with MND, top player.

    By Anonymous flyingrugby, at May 20, 2011 11:40 pm  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 23, 2011 12:06 pm  

  • Lets keep things positive on here please. Thanks

    By Blogger RD, at May 27, 2011 9:06 am  

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