Kabamba Floors was the heartbeat of a Cheetahs demolition job on the Lions in Bloemfontein on Saturday, with the hosts winning 59-5.
Floors, no longer just a Sevens specialist, excelled in an ABSA Currie Cup match that was decided long before kick-off. He showed the value of a season in the Vodacom Super 14 and his defence and attack were inspirational as the Cheetahs crushed a visiting team that was woeful in every aspect.
The Vodacom Cheetahs, defending champions and in irresistible competition form, lead by 18 points after 13 minutes and then applied the slow poison to a Lions team that could not counter the power and aggression of the home team pack.
Veteran prop Ollie le Roux could have taken on the Lions pack on his own, such was the ease with which the Lions succumbed to the mauling of the champions. Le Roux was prominent among the tight five and went the full 80 minutes, Floors was the stand out loose-forward, lock Barend Pieterse was very good and the midfield of Heidtman and Jonker toyed with the Lions defence.
The Lions offered nothing in attack and Earl Roseâ€™s insistence on kicking away possession proved a complication for the Lions and not a solution. When his younger brother Jody replaced him on 55 minutes, the battle had long been decided.
Lions coach Euguene Eloff had entrusted youngsters with the responsibility of restoring credibility to the teamâ€™s tournament campaign. Earlier in the week Eloff told Keo.co.za that he had players capable of producing a spectacular result.
But the visitors were spectacularly poor and the negative was that it impacted on the Cheetahs in the early part of the second half. Having lead 26-nil at halftime, the Cheetahs lost structure and strayed away from the game plan that had been so effective in the opening quarter. Coach Rassie Erasmus sensed this and on the hour he employed his entire bench to reintroduce the pattern. It worked and the Cheetahs added three more tries in the last quarter for a match tally of eight.
The win gives the Cheetahs a maximum of 15 league points after three matches, while the Lions have a solitary bonus point after 240 minutes of the competition.
Cheetahs - Tries: Bevan Fortuin (6th min, 58th min), Ryno van der Merwe (13th min), Gavin Passens (25th min), Kabamba Floors (49th), Heinrich Rossouw (70th min), Philip Burger (71st min) and Barend Pieterse (78th min). Conversions: Willem de Waal (7th min, 50th min, 59th min, 72nd min and 79th min). Penalties: De Waal (3rd min, 9th min). D/goal: De Waal (32nd min).
Lions - Tries: Jaco van Schalkwyk (60th min).