Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Cheetahs produced one of the results of round 13 of Super Rugby as they upset the Crusaders 33-20 in front of a passionate home crowd, taking their third consecutive win of the tournament.
The injury ravaged men from Christchurch had Dan Carter and Richie McCaw turning out for them, but the home side managed to negate their influence, along with that of Sonny Bill Williams, who had such a storming game in Cape Town a week prior.
Williams was actually hit in a solid tackle early on, forcing him to leave the field after the knock to the knee. The Cheetahs believe that they shut him down well when he was on though, perhaps providing a blueprint for other teams to follow. Coach Naka Drotske was hesitant to get too carried away though.
"It would be way too early to say he was worked out, he still is one of the best players in Super Rugby but we believe the answer to stopping him is to cut off his space. The plans we worked on went well and Robert Ebersohn was excellent in defence and his decision-making on defence was enough to ensure that he never got enough room to move.
"The other South African teams and the Springboks will be making a huge mistake though if they are under the impression that the Sonny Bill Williams-factor no longer exists. He remains a special player capable of breaking through any defence in the blink of an eye," Drotske added.
Aside from the attention to Williams, the Cheetahs did well to control the game up front and seemed to have an effective gameplan against the New Zealand side. Twin brothers Robert and Sias Ebersohn both scored tries, as did loose forward Ashley Johnson, sealing the famous win.