Cheetahs regret poor concentration

Naka Drotske believes three lapses by the Vodacom Cheetahs cost them the win last Saturday.

The Sharks ran out 30-14 winners, a victory that sees them well placed at second spot on the Vodacom Super 14 log.

Drotske told the match was much closer than the scoreline suggests and but for two defensive lapses and an intercept try, it would have been far tighter.

“The Sharks have shown they are a very tough team and they deserved the win,” he said. “But looking at the video and seeing how much possession we had and the way they scored those three tries was very frustrating.”

The Durban side scythed through the Cheetahs midfield all too easily and some good support play ensured they rounded off the score on two occasions. Both Jacques Botes and Waylon Murray completed tries in this manner, while JP Pietersen intercepted a loose pass on the hour to extend the Sharks lead.

“To go through a backline like that off first phase ball is almost like winning a tighthead in the scrum. It doesn’t happen too often.

“The intercept was also disappointing, as we were on the attack and only 14-20 behind at that stage. All three tries are examples of poor concentration.”

The midfield defence has been a major concern this season. Rassie Erasmus has experimented with two different combinations, both of which have been inconsistent. The Cheetahs do not have the worst defensive record in the tournament in terms of tries conceded, but the missed tackles statistic is alarmingly high.

“We’ve worked so hard in this department, and so it is really unacceptable that the players miss first time tackles,” Drotske said.

The Cheetahs play the Brumbies this Saturday before they tour Australasia. The men from Canberra have struggled to score tries, but the three they picked up against the Vodacom Stormers will give them plenty of confidence, and Erasmus needs to find some defensive answers very quickly over the next week.

By Jon Cardinelli