Bloemfontein – Cheetahs captain Robert Ebersohn was full of praise for winger Riaan Smit after the hosts picked up their first win of the Currie Cup season in Bloemfontein on Friday night.
Smit, who usually plays at flyhalf, kicked 19 points in their 32-18 victory over the Blue Bulls.
“It is always crucial to slot those penalties and that is exactly what Riaan did,” Ebersohn said.
“He produced the three pointers. You need a guy like that to keep the scoreboard ticking over.”
Apart from Smit's impressive kicking display, the Cheetahs put up a stellar performance which was marked by some of the best defence in the early stages of the top flight domestic competition.
The hosts tackled from the start, with the Bulls failing to live up to expectations.
“We had a tough week of preparation,” Ebersohn said.
“There were some tough words after we lost to the Lions last week but the hard work paid of.
“Now we have to keep on producing more of the same, starting with Griquas next week in Kimberley.”
Coach Naka Drotske was impressed with his side's performance.
With their defensive structures properly in place, they were able to combine with enough pressure on attack which led to tries from lock Andries Ferreira and eighthman Kabamba Floors.
“I thought our one-on-one defence was pretty good,” Drotske said.
“That wasn't the case last week against the Lions, but we seem to have rectified that.
“Our attacking play was also very good.
“We sat pretty at half-time and the challenge was to keep playing for the full 80 minutes. We did just that.”
The Bulls would head back to the drawing board, according to stand-in captain Wilhelm Steenkamp, before taking on the Sharks next week at Loftus Versfeld.
They conceded too many turnovers and penalties at the breakdown, though eighthman CJ Stander managed to score two solid tries.
“It was never going to be easy in Bloemfontein, but we made it difficult for ourselves through our ill discipline,” Steenkamp said.
“We will have to go back and look at the video and identify problem areas and sort that out before we play the Sharks.
“We have to bounce back at Loftus next week. There is no doubt about that.” – Sapa