After a much needed weekend off last week we were back at the stadium supporting our mighty Kings.
This weekend it was the turn off the Bloemfontein based Cheetahs to visit the shores of our bay. The Cheetahs are a strong outfit, with four or five Springboks on the team but their real strength lies in their squad.
They assembled a team of young players perhaps five years ago, these guys have played together, toured together, know each other well with the result that they are a really good team, no superstars but a good team.
They’re also presently fourth on the super rugby log, no mean feat that, there’s some tough opposition out there but after a stunning tour of Australia and New Zealand (3 wins in 4 matches) they’ve maintained the momentum and are having a good, no a great season.
I also think that our South African coaches study the opposition a lot more closely, the Cheetahs were able to nullify a lot of the tactics that I’ve been watching from my Kings this season (line out drives, rolling mauls, our tearaway loose trio, etc.)
So, how’d we do?
Not well, I’m afraid 😦
We held our own in the first half and looked like going into half time 12-6 up but a converted try by the Cheetahs in the last minute of the first half (always a great time to score) changed that, so 12-13 at half time we were still in it.
Not for long, the Cheetahs started the 2nd half impressively, running in three more tries (all converted) and built up an unassailable 34-15 lead, we did score a consolation try late on but far too little far too late, final score 34-22.
Check out the cost of my ticket! R0.00, that’s right, nothing! Normally R75.00 (£5) our organizers surprised us with a loyalty programme / gift for this game, cool eh?
One of the joys of playing local sides is the mixing with the visiting fans before during and after the game, we were with a bunch of Free-Staters at our meeting point prior to the game (a local pub) and I had what appeared to be a bus load of them right next to me during the match, all good fun.
Another good crowd, support for our first foray into super rugby has been what shall I say? Super! Apparently over 22,000 again.
Once again great seats, here’s the view from mine…
Only one home game left, that will be after what is called the ‘international break,’ (the Springboks will be playing 3 test matches during June) so I’m afraid that cherished colleagues are going to have to wait ’till early July for the final chapter in this riveting series of home super rugby encounters for our beloved Kings.