Bloemfontein – Free State Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan has lauded his side for a much-improved effort after beating the Griquas 34-27 in the sides Currie Cup encounter in the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
“This was a much better performance than the one we delivered against the Pumas in Nelspruit last weekend,” Duncan said.
“We still made lots of mistakes, but that is a sign of a new team. We were much better on attack and defence and created lots of opportunities to score from, although we did not capitalise on all of them.”
Looking like a much more rounded outfit, the Cheetahs scored five tries against Griquas, two of which came via Springbok winger Raymond Rhule.
Even though they some confidence from the victory, Duncan said there was still plenty of work to be done before they faced the Sharks in Durban next weekend.
“Our defence during the last eight minutes of the game wasn’t good enough. We wanted to keep them out but, in the end, they managed to score two tries for the bonus point.
“We need to make better use of the chances that are presented to us. We felt that we left 20 points out on the pitch that we didn’t score.”
Griquas were left to regroup before they travelled to Nelspruit to take on a motivated Pumas side, which had proved to be one of the surprise packages of the Currie Cup competition this season.
Despite scoring four tries, Griquas coach Hawies Fourie was unhappy with his side’s performance on the day.
“We got two points from the game, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are very disappointed with the result,” Fourie said.
“We had one or two soft tries against us, and one or two brilliant individual efforts from someone like Sarel Pretorius. He is a guy that thrives on turnover possession and the try he scored against us – against the run of play – made all the difference.”
His side would have to regroup and rethink their commitment if they were to challenge for a spot in the semi-finals later in the season, he said.
“We need to change our approach with regards to commitment,” Fourie said.
“We didn’t look like we wanted to play rugby. It looked like the guys jogged all the way from Kimberley before they ran out onto the field. That is something we must rectify during the coming week.” – Sapa