SR: Blues 40, Toyota Cheetahs 30

imagesThe Super Rugby season may be just over a month old, but already the Blues and Cheetahs are entering must-win territory when they go head-to-head at Eden.

The Blues have been all about big-name recruitments in the off-season, none of whom has repaid their hefty sales tags. Benji Marshall, after one start at fullback, is back on the bench – again producing a mixed bag in the loss to the Lions last week which suggested he is still struggling to inject his considerable skills into a game unfamiliar to him.

All Blacks stars Ma’a Nonu and Jerome Kaino have both been named among the replacements as well – Nonu finally returning from injury after his high-profile move from the Highlanders (his fourth franchise in as many seasons), while loose forward Kaino returns to Super Rugby after two years in Japan. Then there is the fact that the Blues, after two bruising encounter, with the Bulls and Lions, had to endure a 20-hour flight from South African and reduced training this week. Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie admitted the extended travel and accompanying jet lag will play a role. However, the Blues will be determined to make amends for their a disappointing tour of South Africa, where they collected just two bonus points.

“We are certainly not expecting any favours or an easy game,” Fourie told this website from the Cheetahs’ training base in Auckland. “It is going to be very tough, given they are getting a few of their All Blacks back from injury – guys like Jerome Kaino and Ma’a Nonu, so that won’t make the job any easier. “However, I feel we play so far below the potential we have, that our main goal should be to perform to our true potential.”

The Cheetahs, despite being on a three-match losing streak with just one win from five starts this season, believe they can win against any team on any given day. The Blues are pretty much in the same boat. The thrill and excitement of their last victory against the Crusaders last month has all but evaporated, following disappointing losses to both the Bulls and the Lions. Currently sitting in 11th position on the Super Rugby ladder, a third consecutive loss, and one at home no less, would be a significant blow to the Blues’ play-off chances even this early in the competition.

After conceding almost unassailable leads in all four of their matches before charging back into contention late in the game, Blues coach John Kirwan said he was looking for much more hunger, energy and work-rate from his side. “We just need to play for each other this week,” Kirwan said in an interview on the Blues’ website.

“We need to make sure that we are excited off the football and running. “I think if we are missing one thing it’s a little effort so we’re looking for more effort this week and making sure we’re playing for each other.”

Recent results:
2013: Cheetahs won 34-13, Bloemfontein
2011: Blues won 29-22, Auckland
2010: Cheetahs won 36-32, Bloemfontein
2009: Blues won 46-12, North Harbour
2008: Blues won 50-26, Bloemfontein
2007: Blues won 26-8, Auckland

Teams:

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Angus Ta’avao, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Jerome Kaino, 20 Hayden Triggs, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Ma’a Nonu, 23 Benji Marshall.

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Hennie Daniller, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Pieter Labuschagne, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Howard Mnisi.

Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"
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53 Comments on SR: Blues 40, Toyota Cheetahs 30

  1. First scrum on half way for the cheetahs and they get a free kick and Cheetahs work their way to Blues 22 and force a penalty right in front of the stick….

    OVER!!!! by Goosen

    Score: Blues 0, Cheetahs 3 after 5 min

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  2. Argie referee is very technical with the way he control the game….

    Blues get scrum on halfway as the Cheetah players are in front of the ball at kick off time….

    Blues work their way forward to Cheetahs 22 but lose the ball, scrum Cheetahs

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  3. Cheetahs gets bundle out to touch…and as expected Agrie ref already talks to Blues captain with warning……

    Cheetahs goes again…..

    TRY!!!!! Boom Prinsloo from Lineout

    Score: Blues 13 Cheetahs 13

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  4. Blues with a kick ahead and cheetahs scramble in defence…..cheetahs get pinned down on the cheetahs line and gets a player in the bin….wow where the referee saw the professional foul only he knows……

    Blues with an attacking scrum…..

    But Blues knock on…

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  5. Blues from kick off kick the ball down field…no cheetah wants to take the ball and Blues recover and with nice interplay work their way to Cheetahs line….

    TMO…..

    Commentators give it as double movement…classic, referee ask TMO he say double movement referee award the try….

    Rugby is becoming a joke with this referee’s

    TRY!!!!

    Score: Blues 23 Cheetahs 13

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  6. At least the Cheetahs are winning the scrums….for now!!

    Penalty Cheetahs and they setup attacking lineout….

    Cheetahs goes through a few phases but lose the ball forward…scrum Blues 5 meters from their own line..

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  7. WOW!!! a lot to talk about….

    Blues looking good on attack like we expected. Cheetahs defence not that good as we expected…..

    Referee combination with TMO….not good as expected…..

    Teams are close in the stats department:

    Meters run…Blues 124 Cheetahs 118
    Carries ….Blues 45 Cheetahs 33
    Tackles …..Blues 35 Cheetahs 42
    Handling errors…..Blues 5 Cheetahs 4

    Players will hope the referee pulls a hamstring

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  8. Jonathan Kaplan take on TMO decision:

    “The Cheetahs getting the short straw again ?? You may not use any part of your body to propel yourself over the line . It was not momentum”

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  9. Willie putting player in space and get over the line but held up…Cheetahs get a penalty for their trouble……

    Going for Lineout….

    Cheetahs try drive…does not work…try pick and go… does not work…Blues turn over but Cheetahs gets penalty for holding one….Cheetahs goes again for lineout …..maul again……go through phases and held up again….scrum 5 meters out

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  10. Blues attack from lineout and force penalty 5 meters out…

    Blues call for scrum…strange…but maybe feel they have the ref on their side at scrum time….

    Try !!!1 Tony Woodcock ….Bonus point try

    Score: Blues 37 Cheetahs 23

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  11. Cheetahs win the Blues lineout just to lose it again and Blues kick down field…cheetahs gets penalised at ruck time and Blues goes for points again….

    OVER!!!!

    Score: Blues 40 Cheetahs 30

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  12. Blues win 40 -30

    Cheetahs came back in the second half but still did not have enough to outscore the Blues in the game….still to many mistakes on attack for the Cheetahs as they had all the changes…

    Some poor decisions from Cheetahs put them under pressure and with the on-going defence problem it would have been hard to pull this one through….

    On the Stats side of things:

    Meters run …..Cheetahs 413 Blues 195 shows you that the Cheetahs had the changes….
    Tackles….the Blues had to make 92 against the Cheetahs 81
    Knock-ons ……Cheetahs 12 Blues 7
    Passes……Cheetahs 117 Blues 72

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  13. Oh well, at least they play positive running rugby. You guys who like that kinda stuff ought to be happy.

    And Wllie Le Roux new name should perhaps be: 0-8-15

    0-8-15 ist die Bezeichnung eines deutschen Maschinengewehrs im Ersten Weltkrieg. Es war zu der Zeit eines der besten, und dank der Feuerrate und der leichten Bedienung sehr beliebt. Im Zweiten Weltkrieg wurde es wegen seines guten Rufes wieder eingeführt, war aber dank der Waffentechnologischen weiterentwicklung total veraltet, und in der Truppe deswegen nicht mehr gerne gesehen. Daher kommt das Sprichwort “Das ist ja 0815”. Man erwartet etwas qualitativ gutes, und wird mit Schrott abgespeist.

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  14. Timeo you either posted this drunk or perhaps its that time of the month for you.

    Messerschmitt Willie is an All Star not only of South African Rugby but of S15 competition.

    Cheetahs are falling apart at the seams. Each offensive move of the opposition is a jailbreak. I don’t even think Chuck Norris would able to keep up.

    Adrian Strauss for whatever reason has decided to become a passenger this year. Naka Drotske must be immediately drug tested on his return to SA from this tour.

    The only things I think that can stabalize this Cheetah that’s rapidly bleeding out is the immediate installment of the Messerschmitt as captain, the return of “The HoneyBadger ” Heinrich Brussouw, and Vladamir Putin taking over as head coach.

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