S15: Hurricanes 60, Toyota Cheetahs 27

March 15, 2014
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imagesThe Hurricanes got their first win of the season as they hammered the Cheetahs 60-27 in an open encounter in Wellington on Saturday.

Both teams are known for their attacking prowess and they did not disappoint as 12 tries were scored in Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith’s 100th Super Rugby game. The Hurricanes took a much-needed full house of five points to move off the bottom of the standings whilst the Cheetahs fell short of a bonus point and remain winless on tour.

The Cheetahs took the game to their hosts early on, spending a fair amount of time in opposition territory as they looked to assert themselves, but the Hurricanes scrambled well on defence to keep them out.

The hosts struck first when Johan Goosen was caught in possession and the ball was quickly swung wide to hooker Dane Coles who showed good pace to score in the corner, with Beauden Barrett’s conversion putting them 7-0 up. The response from the Cheetahs did not take long as centre Johann Sadie burst through a gap before giving it to Willie le Roux who scored under the poles to level things up, and they had taken a 13-7 lead soon afterwards as Goosen knocked over two penalties.

However, it was not long before the Hurricanes were back in front as Barrett collected his own grubber to go over for a great individual try which he converted himself. That gave the Hurricanes a boost, and they kept the pressure on the Cheetahs as Barrett added a penalty to take their lead to 17-13. However, the Cheetahs hit back with their second try as Philip van der Walt brushed off a few tackles after getting a good pass from Le Roux who had opened up the Hurricanes defence.

The see-saw battle continued as the Hurricanes ran in their third try on the half-hour mark, with scrumhalf Chris Smylie getting over after some neat offloads by Barrett and Alapati Leiua. The hosts had the bonus point wrapped up just before half-time as some more slick handling from centurion Smith saw fullback James Marshall cross for a try which put them 29-20 up at the break.

The Cheetahs were struck a blow early in the second half when Le Roux was shown a yellow card after knocking down a pass which would have meant a certain try, and it did not take long for the Hurricanes to exploit their advantage as Barrett went over for his second try on the overlap. They were not done there as the wave of attacks continued, and lock Jeremy Thrush was next to cross the whitewash to take their lead to a commanding 43-20 with half an hour to play.

The Cheetahs hit back when lock Francois Uys crashed over the line after breaking from a driving maul, but the Hurricanes would hit back as Matt Proctor dived over in the corner after some good hands from Marshall. The half-century was brought up fittingly by Smith before Alapati Leiua put the final nail in the Cheetahs’coffin with the Hurricanes’ ninth try right at the death.

Man of the match: There was much to admire from an attacking perspective, and the man who orchestrated things for the Hurricanes was flyhalf Beauden Barrett.

The scorers:
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Coles, Barrett 2, Smylie, Marshall, Thrush, Proctor, Smith, Leiua
Cons: Barrett 6
Pen: Barrett

For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Le Roux, Van der Walt, Uys
Cons: Goosen 3
Pens: Goosen 2

Yellow card: Willie le Roux (Cheetahs, 43 – deliberate infringement)

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17 Comments

  1. avatar Morné says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I wonder on which day this year the Cheetahs woke up and decided tackling is for pussies?

  2. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Cheetahs and Stormers should ccontinue doing crap so we can see some changes. We are hungry for some fresh ideas.

    This is now embarrasing.

  3. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    So Naka’s solution to poor defence – putting more
    phases together – did not work?
    NINE tries!
    :Rule 9:

    The Stormers have Gert Smal in Cape Town and
    Brendan Venter in the Strand. Twiddling their
    thumbs and pobably laughing at Coetzee and his
    coaching team.
    :weed:

  4. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    @Boertjie: Naka is a kilp and the most stupid idiot in the game….he and Coetzee are BBF for life

  5. avatar Americano says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Well ***k me runnin’.
    I didn’t get to see the game. I know some of you think that’s a good thing given my fondness for the “Good Guys”….Your “Fun N’ Gun” Toyota Cheetahs.

    But you’d be wrong. I’m reality based & want to see it all so I can comment on this blog & together with the rugby geniuses that join me in that we can come up with a solution for this hot mess.

    It will be very interesting to hear the post-mortem comments of NakaDrotske following this tour. I think he will intimate the issue is the loss of the HoneyBadger – Brussouw.
    I don’t get the no defense thing – how much value did Robert E Ebersohn have in this regard?

    Anyway the bottom line is its all fun n games with Naka’s goofy safari/disco unbuttoned outfits he wears game day when the Good Guys are winning. Tedious at best when they are losing. But this is beyond the pale.

    Something has gotta give.

  6. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    The game did change after the yellow card against Willie when he went for an intercept and even the NZ commentators thought they made a mistake as he went for intercept and his hands were going upwards.

    I am a great believer in that decisions like this do change the game as it give the other team momentum and that is important in todays rugga.

    It does not mean Naka is not a klip in my eyes the same as I see Coetzee and his team from the Stormers.

    Their was a few referee decisions this weekend that will have David running for the hills, will have to see what Mr Andre Watson have to say this time around

  7. avatar Timeo says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    The Cheetahs have a pretty efficient offence but they really have to stop going for the miracle play at every opportunity.
    They could have been up by 20+ points at half-time and from there capitalized as the opponents had to take risks.

    But no.
    No patience.
    No brains.

    All Fun and no Gun, is not fun anymore either.
    In future I’ll check out the score before I check out the game.
    Does anyone actually like this kind of rugby?

  8. avatar Timeo says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 2:22 am

    @Jacques(Bunny):

    I’m with the referees on this one also.

    If you reach for the ball in that position, you better be sure to collect it. No matter the angle of your hand.

  9. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 2:55 am

    Well there you go… offence is not the best defence Naka… if you tackle like cnuts… you get 60 yes 60 points put over you…

    Cheetahs are the old Lions and Lions the old Cheetahs it seems…

  10. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 10:21 am

    @Timeo: I am not sure but I think they say if your hands points upwards they don’t deemed it as a deliberate knock, but ye so many grey fields in the laws of rugby these days.

  11. avatar Timeo says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    @Jacques(Bunny):

    “They” are commentators and pundits who don’t know the laws very well and calls it a “Deliberate Knock-down”.

    It’s been explained on the SA referees website before.

    It’s a knock-forward, not a knock-down. The angle of the hand is meaningless. You can slap it any direction you want, but there must be a reasonable chance to collect the ball before it hits the ground to make it non-deliberate. If there was no way you’ll collect the ball, it becomes foul play. Foul play near your line when the other team threatens to score is always a YC.

    I’m sure Willie Le Roux knew what he was doing. There was only two possible outcomes, intercept and score a 14 point try or collect a YC.
    He took the risk anyway.

    That’s my beef with the Cheetahs’ style. The play roulette, always going for the big score.

    Many fans seem to think, if you play roulette and win, you are brilliant. Winning through wild luck may be fun to watch, but could never be “brilliant”.

  12. avatar Timeo says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets Paperback
    by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Author)

    Regression to the Mean.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_toward_the_mean

    Last year’s results for the Cheetahs, could simply have been a run of good luck. Now they get the flip side of the coin.

  13. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    @Timeo:

    You call the stuff they’re dishing up bad luck?
    There is a much better s-word.

  14. avatar Timeo says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    @Boertjie:

    I called their run of last year, good luck.

    Luck itself is neither good nor bad. No moral component. It either goes for you or against you.

    The 2014 Cheetahs play no different than the 2013 version. Last year the luck just went their way.

    The idea that they were good then, and are poor now, is mostly fans being “Fooled by Randomness”.

  15. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    @Timeo:

    You forget one thing: Last year they had a dedicated
    defense coach. It showed to a very large extent.
    They don’t have him any more.

    I think they are also missing Ebersohn.

  16. avatar Timeo says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    @Boertjie:

    Sure.
    Perhaps last year they were better equipped to recover, when the randomness went against them. It it does not alter the fact that they rely way too much on randomness.
    Their fans should make peace with the fact that going Fun-And-Gun all the time will result in big embarrassing losses like that.

    Heed the lesson of the Lions.

  17. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    When the Cheetahs are enjoying their rugby they dont NOT make tackles and NOT have structure.

    I dont think Lood and Uys and Lappies and those guys are working as hard, neither do I think Strauss is near his best form. Take out Ebersohn and its 5 players who used to form the ‘structure’ that 2013 was built on.

    But all in I reckon the Cheetahs just need new ideas, a new mental approach. Naka did well with what he had and manufactured some great comebacks, but right now a few fresh ideas is all thats required.

    Ditto Stormers.

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