Champion Chiefs slay Cheetahs

Gareth Anscombe scored 20 points for the Chiefs in their annihilation of the Cheetahs.

The Chiefs won 45 – 3 after leading 10 – 3 at half time.

It was a game of two halves for the Cheetahs, as they dominated possession and territory stats in the first half. That did not translate into points on the board though, as Johan Goosen missed three kicks at goal, which would have seen the Cheetahs lead at half time.

Instead, the Chiefs used their minimal attacking opportunity to score a try through Liam Messam in the first half, to lead somewhat against the run of play at the break.

The second half was a completely different story though as the Chiefs blitzed five converted tries to run away with the match, Gareth Anscombe following up his 21 points last weekend against the Highlanders with another 20 point haul, not missing a kick all match and getting in on the try scoring action.

The Cheetahs will rue the chances they had in the first half, and will have to go back to the drawing board to look at their play in the second half, where they simply had no ball in hand.

After looking good in the first half, the Cheetahs loose forwards seemed to have run out of steam, while the backline was terrible to say the least. Sarel Pretorius had the exact opposite effect on the game as he had against the Sharks last week, with his poor passing and decision making costing the Cheetahs plenty of possession.

Amongst the rest of the backs, only Rob Ebersohn got go forward with Raymond Rhule and Johann Sadie running laterally and not gaining any ground.

Positives for the Cheetahs was their lineout play, where they dominated proceedings and got possession from the set piece with ease.

As for the Chiefs, their running backs were unstoppable, Aaron Cruden being the commander, popping up passes for outside backs to run attacking angles. Their biggest concern would be the 10 breakdown infringements they had, and will have to work on that before facing the Stormers in Cape Town next weekend.

The Cheetahs’ tour does not get any easier as they next face the Highlanders in Dunedin.