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Sat 7 Sep 2019 | 08:43

Player ratings: Bloem BlitzKrieg

Player ratings: Bloem BlitzKrieg
Sat 7 Sep 2019 | 08:43
Player ratings: Bloem BlitzKrieg
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OPINION: The Free State Cheetahs were forced to hang on desperately in the end, but in reality, they were much better than the final 31-28 scoreline suggest.

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They are deserved Currie Cup champions, following an entertaining Final in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

They 31-7 halftime lead tells the true story of their dominance. A Rash of replacements in the final quarter left the back door ajar, but they still hung on.

Jan de Koning rates the Free State Cheetahs players!

15 Clayton Blommetjies:
Not flawless, but had some sublime moments and enjoyed the space and time afforded him by the porous Lions defence.
6/10

14 William Small-Smith:
Showed his pace to outstrip muscle-man Stean Pienaar, who needs to know the game is not for show-ponies. Rugby sagaciousness Small-Smith has plenty of.
6/10

13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg:
He is the mainstay of the Cheetahs backline – having added a very physical edge to his vast array of skills.
7/10

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12 Dries Swanepoel:
He was a rock on defence and showed his experience in a congested midfield.
6/10

11 Tian Meyer (captain):
The master brain in the Cheetahs’ think tank, with an enormous workrate. Perhaps his time as a scrumhalf is what gives him the vision.
7/10

10 Tian Schoeman:
His offload for the almost try by Jasper Wiese (denied by a TMO review) said everything that was good about the Cheetahs – doing things at pace and with clinical execution.
7/10

9 Ruan Pienaar:
Energetic and inventive. He showed his big-game experience and made great decisions in that dominant first-half performance.
7/10

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8 Henco Venter:
His powerful carries proved tough for the Lions to handle, while his workrate on defence was invaluable to the hosts.
8/10

7 Junior Pokomela:
It was an energetic showing by the industrious loose forward. What he lacks in physicality (which is not much), he more than makes up for in his workrate.
6/10

6 Gerhard Olivier:
The Cheetahs loose forward conveyor belt continues to produce high-quality talents. Maybe not as flashy as some others, but hard-working nonetheless.
6/10

5 Walt Steenkamp:
Did the basics well and showed up his Springbok rival – Marvin Orie.
7/10

4 Sintu Manjezi:
He seemed obsessed with physically trying to impose himself on the Lions and got into a number of unsavoury, off-the-ball scuffles when his teammates were more interested in playing rugby. Add his yellow card and his contribution was negligible.
4/10

3 Erich de Jager:
Penalised in a couple of early scrums, but then bounced back with a power-play of his own – only to concede another scrum penalty and was replaced soon afterwards.
5/10

2 Joseph Dweba:
The livewire hooker seemed to have a twin on the field, such was his involvement in much of the Cheetahs’ play.
9/10

1 Retshegofaditswe Nche:
Switched from loosehead to tighthead and did an admirable job, even though he was penalised on occasion – still found time to make tackles out wide and even making some sublime offloads.
8/10

Replacements:

16 Jacques du Toit (on for Dweba, 60th minute):
The Cheetahs not only lost their grunt in the set pieces, but they also lost a lot of energy in general play.
4/10

17 Charles Marais (on for De Jager, 45th minute):
Struggled in the scrums and made limited contributions in general play.
5/10

18 Reinach Venter (on for Nche, 78th minute):
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Jean-Pierre du Preez (on for Steenkamp, 60th minute):
Added line-out stability at a crucial stage in the game and some energy on defence.
6/10

20 Jasper Wiese (on for Olivier, 41st minute):
Made an enormous impact after coming on straight after half-time. His work on defence proved invaluable and he had a couple of impressive carriers.
7/10

21 Abongile Nonkontwana (on for Pokomela, 70th minute):
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Louis Fouche (on for Blommetjies, 60th minute):
The Cheetahs seemed to lose their punch on attack after Blommetjies’ departure.
5/10

23 Darren Adonis (on for Schoeman, 78th minute):
Not enough time to be rated.

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Player ratings: Bloem BlitzKrieg | Rugby365