RUGBY NEWS - The Cheetahs imposed more misery on the EP Elephants when they cruised to a runaway 71-12 win in the final Preparation Series match of the season in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The Cheetahs scored five tries to one in the first half to lead 31-5 at the break, and while the Elephants had to live off scraps, they had to be commended for their never-say-die effort.
It became worse in the second half as the Cheetahs ran in six more tries to eventually score 11 in total against just two.
Though it sometimes looked like a game of touches or a regular training run, it gave valuable game time to both teams ahead of the new season.
The Cheetahs showed their intent from the start by giving a lot of pace to the game, playing at a high tempo by creating quick breakdown ball to run the Elephants ragged.
Starved of possession and any kind of territorial advantage, the Elephants struggled to plug the holes, and though they showed intent and passion, they just couldn’t stop wave after wave of attack.
Elephants flankers CJ Velleman and Anele Lungisa produced a lot of effort at the collisions, in an attempt to try and slow the Cheetahs ball down, but without a concerted effort the visitors were found wanting.
US international Ruben de Haas impressed with his quick clearance from the base for the Cheetahs, while flyhalf Reinhardt Fortuin showed good management at flyhalf to get his backline going.
Unfortunately Fortuin had to leave the field with an injury just before half-time to be replaced by veteran scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar who of course is no stranger to the No 10 jersey.
Cheetahs: Tries: Marcell Muller (2), Wilmar Arnoldi (2), Craig Barry, Oupa Mohoje, Rhyno Smith (2), Tian Meyer (2), Chris Smit. Conversions: Reinhardt Fortuin (2), Pienaar (6).
EP Elephants: Tries: Xolela Payi (2). Conversions: Inny Radebe (1).