The Cheetahs overcame jet lag and a string of injuries — to captain Juan Smith in Week 2, second-choice captain Franco van der Merwe in Week 3, and third-choice captain Andries Strauss 15 minutes into this match, giving 26-year-old Wilhelm Steenkamp the captain’s armband — to register their first-ever win outside the Republic of South Africa against the Waratahs last night.
The bookies had the virginal visitors at 10 to 1 going into the match; however, nobody had handed the match script to the blokes from Bloemfontein, who showed up and played a brilliant game of rugby.
Standout performances from Heinrich Brüssow, Coenie Oosthuizen, Ashley Johnson, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Tewis de Bruyn, Sias Ebersohn (Man of the Match), and the dangerous Sarel Pretorius saw the Cheetahs never trailing in 80 minutes. They got the simple things right while executing a game plan suited to both their strengths and the damp conditions.
Here’s a short video highlights package. To the Cheetahs: well played, and congratulations.