Scrumming let Cheetahs down

While Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus was smiling after his side’s 29-19 win against the Force in Perth, he admitted there was plenty of work to be done before their first Super 14 game of the season.

“It was a great effort to come back from 14-3 [after 20 minutes],” Erasmus told after the game. “Some people questioned the value of playing a pre-season fixture in Australia, but it was a fantastic experience for the guys. They also had no problems with jet lag, which was pleasing.”

The Cheetahs’ Currie Cup victory last year was thanks mainly to the effort of their pack – who competed so well with the Bulls in the final – but Erasmus said his forwards weren’t at their best in Perth.

“The backs were very physical, but our scrumming wasn’t that great,” he admitted. “That’s an area of our game we need to focus on over the next couple of weeks.”

Meanwhile, Force lock John Welborne said his side would take plenty of positives from the game.

“We showed the way we would like to play in the Super 14 [by throwing the ball around],” he said. “The Cheetahs have got a reputation for being a big tight five and good at scrumming. We held them well early on, but we are disappointed at having given away a try from a line-out.”