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Player ratings: Cheetahs

OPINION: The Cheetahs produced a professional and clinical display to reclaim the Currie Cup trophy with a 25-17 win over the Pumas.

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The three tries to one win in Bloemfontein on Saturday saw them win their seventh title.

Steered by flyhalf Ruan Pienaar and a massive second-half impact from Jeandre Rudolph was at the heart of the victory.

Jan de Koning rates the Cheetahs players!

15 Tapiwa Mafura
Involved in a lot of the attack and playmaking – with a match-high seven carries for 70-odd metres. Often tested the defence.
7/10

14 Daniel Kasende
Threatening with ball in hand and made 50-odd metres, but his hands let him down at times. Missed only one tackle.
6/10

13 David Brits
Some great cover defence and dealing with some tricky chip-kicks by Tinus de Beer. He also showed some great tactical appreciation.
7/10

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12 Reinhardt Fortuin
There was a good kick-chase that saw him catching Devon Williams ball-and-all. He also scored the first try of the match, but was not the usual prominent figure we’ve come to know.b

11 Cohen Jasper
Equaled the number for most carries in the match, with 40-odd metres gained. Made all his tackles and looked for work.
7/10

10 Ruan Pienaar
Calm and collected under pressure – playing the role of game driver perfectly. Was mostly accurate off the T, some amazing cover and was not scared to put his body on the line.
8/10

9 Rewan Kruger
Did the basics well and when he was required to react he was spot on. Scored a crucial try in the second half, just when the Pumas had closed it down to a one-point game.
7/10

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8 Friedle Olivier
Some impressive carries, often getting over the advantage line. Also made all his tackles.
7/10

7 Sibabalo Qoma
One of the most underrate players. Made a few impressive carries, made most of his tackles – with just two missed – and an impressive work rate off the ball.
7/10

6 Gideon van der Merwe
Most will remember that one powerful charge down the left wing of about 40 metres, but his work on defence saw his tackle count go into double digits.
7/10

5 Victor Sekekete (captain)
The skipper did not play much with the ball in hand, but his tackle count went into double digits and he was his team’s most productive line-out source.
6/10

4 Rynier Bernardo
Carried hard for little reward, but was as productive as his captain on defence.
6/10

3 Conraad van Vuuren
Not his most productive day at the office and it was not a surprise when he was subbed before half-time.
5/10

2 Marnus van der Merwe
Very busy at the breakdown and also showed great instinctive play. Had a few handy carries and made all his tackles.
7/10

1 Nqobisizwe Moxoli
Produced a couple of powerful scrums and won a first-half penalty. However, seemed to run out of gas and was replaced before half-time.
6/10

Replacements:

16 Louis van der Westhuizen (on for M van der Merwe, 58th min)
Brought his usual energy off the bench, with a couple of strong carries and plenty of tackles.
6/10

17 Alulutho Tshakweni (on for Moxoli, 35th min)
Brought some real energy and while he only played 45 minutes, he made a match-high 14 tackles. There was one powerful surge with ball in hand and his set-piece work was from the top shelve.
8/10

18 Hencus van Wyk (on for Van Vuuren, 35th min)
Was under pressure in some scrums and conceded a penalty. Was also not very effective on defence.
5/10

19 Jeandre Rudolph (on for G van der Merwe, 40th min)
Added another dimension at the breakdown – winning some crucial penalties for his team. Those four second-half turnovers were match-defining.
9/10

20 George Cronje (on for Qoma, 59th min)
Conceded a string of penalties and was perhaps over-eager.
4/10

21 Daniel Maartens (on for Bernardo, 68th min)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Siyabonga Masuku (on for Kruger, 77th min)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Robert Ebersohn (on for Brits, 76th min)
Not enough time to be rated

@king365ed
@rugby365com

* Picture credit: Johan Orton

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