The Toyota Cheetahs were just 3 points short of a nearly deserved win against the Vodacom Bulls here in Boemfontein on Friday. As much as it pains me to say this, I am sort of happy that the Bulls won in the end as I do want another SA team – read ‘the Bulls’ – to win this year’s Super Rugby trophy.
Do not be mistaken. I support the Cheetahs, but let us be realistic. What are the chances of the Cheetahs ending as number one in this contest? I wanted the Cheetahs to win or the Bulls to get the upper hand with a bonus point. Neither happened, but still we had a match worth watching. This game sure did raise my expectations for a Springbok World Cup win later this year in New Zeeand.
The Cheetahs showed their prowess in both attack and defence, but they couldn’t hold on to a 23-8 lead over the defending Vodacom Super Rugby champions. The Bulls can attribute their win to substitutions made late in the game in the form of Danie Rossouw, Flip van der Merwe and Derick Kuün.
The Cheetahs are sure to be deflated by the attempts of Naas Olivier, who missed 12 points at goal, as the margin between victory and defeat was so close.
In the end the Bulls were fitter, stronger and attacked better towards the end to manage a 25-23 win in a nailbiting game.