Cheetahs gave it a go

Sun, 21 Jul 2013 11:07
Large ryno benjamin scores630 Large riaan smit kick630 Large george smith tackled630

Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss praised his team following their heartbreaking 13-15 defeat to the Brumbies in Canberra on Sunday.

Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss praised his team following their heartbreaking 13-15 defeat to the Brumbies in Canberra on Sunday.

The Bloemfontein side, in their first ever Super Rugby play-off, outscored the hosts by two tries to nil and had a last-gasp opportunity to send the game into extra time.

Ryno Benjamin scored in the dying minutes of the match but Riaan Smit’s crucial touchline conversion missed off the upright in the swirling wind and brought the Cheetahs’ fairytale season to an end.

Strauss said while it was a disappointing loss, the perennial also-rans took major strides in their 2013 campaign.

"Obviously we're really disappointed to lose tonight," said Strauss.  

"We had a much better season this year and that's something we can definitely build on for the future.”

Smit struggled off the time in the difficult goal-kicking conditions, slotting just one of four kicks at goal, while Christian Lealiifano kicked four of six with Nic White adding a penalty to set up a semifinal showdown with the Bulls.

Strauss turned down a number of kicks at goal at the death as the Cheetahs chased a try and his decision was vindicated when Benjamin dived over in the corner.

Strauss said he backed his team to “give it a go.”

“We struggled to get into their half, especially the second half,” said Strauss.

“We were just throwing the ball around a bit, losing a lot of ball and giving away a penalty. When we got there we thought let’s give it a go, I think it worked out well.”

Strauss said he had full faith in Smit landing the last-minute conversion despite his earlier misses.   

"I was very confident in Riaan [to kick the conversion]. I thought he had a great kick and I thought it was over but that was unfortunate for us tonight. But I'm still proud of the guys,” said Strauss.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské felt "too many mistakes, too many penalties" cost his team.

"If you're in the quarterfinals, it's quite important to keep away from bad discipline ... half-time it was seven-two, I think, the penalty count. That put us under a lot of pressure,” said Drotské.

"But also credit to the Brumbies. They attacked our breakdown quite well, and we could never get momentum and quick ball."

Drotské said the season was a "step in the right direction" but added that "it's quite important we build on that next year."

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Sat, 30 April 2016
Border v Pumas 12h30 East London
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Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Welford Road
Western Province v Golden Lions 14h15 Newlands
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h15 Franklin's Gardens
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 14h30 Millennium Stadium
Ulster v Leinster 15h00 Kingspan Stadium
Lions v Hurricanes 15h05 Johannesburg
Dragons v Scarlets 17h00 Millennium Stadium
Stormers v Waratahs 17h10 Cape Town
Jaguares v Kings 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 01 May 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 12h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 30 April 2016
Reds v Cheetahs 30 | 17
Highlanders v Brumbies 23 | 10
Blues v Rebels 36 | 30
Fri, 29 April 2016
Munster v Edinburgh 27 | 19
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 70 | 10
Treviso v Connacht 22 | 21
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 11 | 12
Boland v Griquas 14 | 30
Force v Bulls 20 | 42
Chiefs v Sharks 24 | 22
Wed, 27 April 2016
Eagles v Leopards 26 | 21
Falcons v Griffons 26 | 49
Sun, 24 April 2016
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 16 | 19
Brumbies v Crusaders 14 | 40
Sat, 23 April 2016
Kings v Lions 10 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 7 3 0 4 17
Reds 8 1 1 6 8
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Hurricanes 8 5 0 3 26
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 28
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 6 0 2 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4