REVIEW: Cheetahs bite Waratahs in Sydney - again - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

REVIEW: Cheetahs bite Waratahs in Sydney – again

REVIEW: Cheetahs bite Waratahs in Sydney – again

The Cheetahs had one on their finest wins two years ago in Sydney and tonight they spoiled the party again for the Waratahs when they won a gripping contest. The Waratahs took a lead into the sheds at half time but the Cheetahs scored their third try with 11 minutes to go and held on with stern defence to win 27-26.


The Match

Things couldn’t have started worse for the Waratahs.  After winger Willie le Roux got the ball in the first minute he saw not many defenders on the Tahs’ left-hand side, chipped the ball, regathered it and passed to Ebersohn, who scored.  Goosen converted – 7-0 Cheetahs.

Willie le Roux - resembling Wile E. Coyote

Willie le Roux – resembling Wile E. Coyote

The Tahs slotted a couple of penalty goals but at 16 minutes they turned the ball over from their own scrum. The Cheetahs took the pill up the middle and, having got the attention of defenders, moved it wide, and nippy winger Ruhle went over.  The visitors were taking their chances and looking slick.

After Goosen converted it was 14-6 Cheetahs.  It looked like the same old slow start from the home team whereas the visitors resembled Wile E. Coyote.

To make matters worse Barnes had gone off with what looked like a broken wrist, but which Cheika said later was a dislocated thumb.  Sure.

Strange though – the Waratahs started playing better.  Peter Betham had already made some good runs, as had Paddy Ryan, and at 26 minutes Betham was over, under the posts. Cheetahs 14-13.

The Cheetahs were looking tired but slotted a penalty later to lead 17-13.

AAC not so sure

Coops not so sure

Then just before half-time the Waratahs turned down a penalty shot at goal.  They went for a lineout drive instead and after a scrum and a few hit-ups Adam Ashley-Cooper scored near the posts.

At oranges it was 20-17 to the home team.

The Waratahs threatened to score tries after half-time but their attacks fizzled out.  The teams swapped penalties and the game became an arm wrestle.

That wily le Roux had set up the Cheetahs’ first try with a well-placed chip kick and with 11 minutes to go he did it again.  Once more he regathered his own kick, and set things up for Ruhle to score his second try through a gap near the ruck.  After  Goosen converted the visitors led 27-23.

Paddy Ryan - man of the match

Paddy Ryan – Waratahs’ best

The Waratahs made the right decision to kick a penalty to cut the Cheetahs’ lead to 27-26 with 7 minutes to go, but the Cheetahs held on – and even threatened to score a bonus point try while doing so.

It was another fine win for the Cheetahs and it meant they had won two out of three games on their tour of NZ and Australia. Another win in Perth on the way home next weekend would make it three out of four.

Sometimes the Waratahs looked like they were hitting their straps but they will regret their continued high error rate which spoiled chance after chance.



The Presser

At the press conference Michael Cheika rued some of the errors made:

We’re very disappointed: making a lot of good play and then we’re just making mistakes – the ball’s getting stripped – making the same mistake over again – they chip the ball over and we’re not in position to stop that – OK one time maybe [is acceptable] but not two or three.

We’re not taking our opportunities when they come. You add up those little things and you end up in a game we really should have won, losing.

He wasn’t happy with the slowing-down tactics of the Cheetahs.

The game got really stifled […]  Every set piece the game stopped for a couple of minutes and it was pretty laughable really.  […] That went on all night; so they had a plan to stifle the flow of the game and it worked.

It would have been interesting to hear the Cheetahs’ response to that but they didn’t show at the press conference.

The Game Changer

With the Waratahs ahead 23-20 at 69 minutes the Cheetahs stormed into their half.  After a Willie le Roux chip kick and regather Ruhle went through a gap near the Waratahs’ line that was unplugged, and scored.


The official man of the match was Paddy Ryan, and he was the best of the Waratahs because he bent the tackle line, or went through it, several times.

But the G&GR man of the match goes to Cheetahs’ winger Willie le Roux for setting up two Cheetahs’ tries with perfectly executed chip kicks.

Wallaby watch

Paddy Ryan is already a Wallaby but his stature was enhanced today.

A couple of players joined a maul of other Aussies putting their hand up for an EOYT berth.  If Peter Betham, with his rampaging runs, and Israel Folau, with his composure under the high ball and general elusiveness, keep playing like that, they would have to be considered.

The Details

Crowd:  12,263

Referee:  Garratt Williamson (NZ)

Score & Scorers

Waratahs: 26
Tries:  Peter Betham, Adam Ashley-Cooper
Conversions: Brendan McKibbin (2)
Penalties:  McKibbin (4)

Cheetahs: 27
Tries:  Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Ruhle (2)
Conversions:  Johan Goosen (3)
Penalties: Goosen (2)

Cards & citings


  • Queenslander

    Omg the Tahs suck. The chip kick. When is someone in Aussie rugby going to show some nuts and drop players who attempt this low percentage, uncreative bloody craven strategy. Deans won’t he seems to support it and the provinces appear to ignore it as well. Free possession to the opposition. I despair with our direction sometimes

    • Piggy

      It can actually work well when executed correctly, perhaps the Waratahs should sign Willie le Roux as their next import… he could at least teach them how to do it properly

      • Patrick

        or Robbie Coleman.. :)

    • juan martin

      Yeah nothing wrong with the chip kick if the player doing it is taletned, like le Roux.

    • Where is your post on the Reds loss thread, doofus?

  • Patrick

    I thought the summary was about tonight’s game, I was rather amused.

  • Rex Munday

    Seriously, the Waratahs should be sponsored by Hoover.

    And yet they’ll still field 5-7 in the starting lineup for Australia…

    • redbull

      If any more than 5 Waratahs get into the national squad even the most one-eyed sky blue supporter will have to accept it doesn’t matter how good you are but where the Wallabies are based.

      • The Big Lebowski

        The Tahs should feel lucky with five, as I reckon that many is a bit rich. Who could the five be? Izzy Folau will get a bait, just because, and maybe AA-C (although he shouldn’t). TPN? That guy is a liability, and Dave Dennis is about fifth in line for a blind-side spot.

        Alas, not much quality at all there. Just no one wants to admit it.

  • Pedro

    Umm it was 26-27

    • Lee Grant

      Thanks Pedro – fixed. Didn’t write down the Tahs’ last penalty.

  • Pedro

    Only chip/grubber for yourself when you have beaten the line or there is no fb. Especially when you need to score to win.

    A few points alter this result, from a gritty win to a feckless capitulation. The waratahs weren’t terrible, but just look rudderless.

    Betham was good, as was Falau. Tahs had the fitness advantage, really needed ball in hand. Cheetahs hung in and played smarter despite having a diabolically shit scrum.

  • Gnostic

    If the Tahs dropped or better yet sacked every so called senior player in the squad they would do better IMO. If they didn’t do better they certainly couldn’t execute worse. The key in this game as in so many over the last 10 years being execution of basic skills.
    Barnes, out with injury for so long, what is his first action? He does his usual piss poor execution of a KICK. Straight to the opposition who counters and sets up a try. Yes there was a defensive lapse that allowed him through but ultimate responsibility for the try rests with Barnes poorly executed & aimless kick. I for one will not be sad in the least to see him go. I thought it was a step backwards in selecting him over Carter, because as one dimensional as he is, at least Carter doesn’t kick the ball to the opposition as Barnes does continually.

    • The Rant

      fair enough you have an issue with barnes. But come on mate – that kick while not fantastic was nothing out of the ordinary on a rugby pitch and can’t be blamed for the try which is the responsibility for the other 14 guys on the pitch. Barnes led the chase as he should have. I don’t mind barnes bashing but at least wait until you have something concrete before you wrote a massive paragraph on him.
      I agree with the senior players comment though (although of the senior players I think barnes has the best attitude). peace.

      • Gnostic

        There is only the last 5years of Barnes history at the Tahs and the Wallabies to provide CONCRETE evidence of the level of execution of this skill. I did also mention the fact of the defensive lapse, but the Cheetahs wouldn’t have been in a position to score if Barnes hadn’t handed the ball to them. My point is that this isn’t an isolated instance for Barnes or indeed the other Senior players.
        It should also be said that under Drotske the Cheetahs have improved immensely, their defence in particular is far better organised than in seasons past.

    • The Big Lebowski

      The reason why Carter doesn’t kick the ball is because he can’t kick (or much else for that matter).

      The worst player I have ever seen wearing the No.12 for the Tahs.

  • Larkhage

    quote from rugby heaven: “It might have simply been the bitter aftertaste of that 29-point embarrassment in Canberra last weekend.” – I don’t know, but I’d find getting beaten by one point by the Cheetahs more of an embarrassment than getting demolished by the brumbies… maybe i’m just biased.

    • juan martin

      How so? The cheetahs will more than likely beat the brumbies… they nearly did last year away from home only for an anzac ref to give a bullshit scrum penalty on the 80th minute.

      • Slim 293

        Can you tell me the date that will occur?

        I bet you $1,000,000 that the Cheetahs don’t beat the Brumbies during the regular season.

        As for last year, it had nothing to do with the referee. The Brumbies lifted the tempo in the last 20 minutes of the match and came out deserved winners. Hooper was one of those players who came off the bench to make a huge impact.

        • Nutta


          Now THAT’s a game I would now watch with interest…

        • Benny A’s Tackle

          They do not play each other this year. So you can trouser your mil. Brumbies are a much improved side since the Cheetahs match last year. Judging by how comprehensively the Brumbies dominated every facet of the Tahs game, compared with the Cheetahs chip kick lucky dip I’d say the Brumbies would comfortably beat the Cheets.

        • Slim 293

          Now why did you have to go and reveal that bit of information for?

          I was about to swindle juan martin out of a fortune…

    • bill

      really? maybe the ‘tahs deserve that estimation of their rugby, the cheetahs don’t. It looks like the second coming is in for a few labour pains yet.

  • juan martin

    Maybe this will teach you Australians some respect

    • Larkhage

      how could this teach me to respect the tahs? they’re shit

      • Larkhage

        but we both hate the waratahs, problem?

      • Pedro

        So cute.

        • juan martin

          Are you a wallaby fan? why then do you have that as your avatar? You do know what game that was from, right?

    • Rex Munday

      may I suggest that you change your surname, by deedpoll, to Kerr

    • Jimmy

      Like the Brumbies taught the Sharks “Respect” – you idiot. You are the ones who have form for sending half arsed teams on tour – not us. Tosser

  • Pedro

    And yay, the troll spouted forth verbal diarrhea.

  • juan martin

    Why am I being censored? is this not an opinion board? looks like I win

    • Rex Munday

      because you’re a knob

    • Gottsy

      Go look up the difference between an opinion and an inflammatory statement.

  • Pedro

    Strangely though only pity was felt, for the creature did not understand the futility of physical threats in a merely digital realm.

  • Larkhage

    he’s climin yo windows, he’s snatchin yo people up

  • Tommy

    In a city of 5million people, 12,000 turn up to watch the rugby team. Tough times..

    • Jimmy

      IMO that was too many – who would want to watch this shit?

  • Patrick

    You do seem to have a very inclusive and clearly non-racist attitude to Ghanians, although there may be some room for improvement on your understanding of the cultural nuances of particular English adjectives …

  • Gottsy

    Sooner or later the tahs are going to click, they will be dangerous when they do. It really looks like they aren’t all on the same page out there, is it just me?

    • Lee Grant

      No, you played OK – but some of the other Tahs will have to count down on their errors.

    • Lee Grant

      No you played OK but some of the other Tahs have to cut down on their errors.

      • Gottsy

        I’m a reds fan so a couple of weeks ago I was pretty happy with the mistakes! For The sake of Australian rugby though it would be good if they could pick their act up haha

  • JJJ

    Gatland must be loving this.

  • Nice write-up Lee. Really odd that the Cheetahs didn’t pitch to the presser, I remember the one from two years ago after their first ever away win, Os du Rant was such a happy (and massive) fellow

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