Mounting losses won’t get Cheetahs down

Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss has vowed that they will not let another loss in Super Rugby get them down after they suffered their fifth defeat of the season.

While the hosts settled in 11th place in the overall standings, the Chiefs took a two-point lead at the top of the table with a 39-33 victory in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

“The boys did very well if you take into account that we’ve been playing full-out for eight weeks straight,” Strauss said.

“We wanted to put the Chiefs under pressure and in some instances we succeeded, but it wasn’t enough to secure a victory.

“We’re not going to look for excuses.

“When the bye [next week] is over, we will take the game, look at it and come back stronger.”

Chiefs skipper Craig Clarke said they had been wary of the Cheetahs after the hosts had defeated the Hurricanes 47-38 in the last match of their Australasian tour in Wellington two weeks earlier.

He credited the Bloemfontein side for putting up a fight, with replacement flyhalf Johan Goosen kicking a penalty to salvage a bonus point after the hooter had sounded.

“We were well aware of the fact that the Cheetahs are a tough side,” Clarke said.

“They showed it against the Hurricanes and they showed it against us tonight.

“They really took the game to us, but I’m proud of the way the team stuck together to secure the victory.”

Chiefs prop Arizona Taumalolo scored a brace of tries, bringing his tally to six this season.

“He [Taumalolo] likes to pick up the ball and go, especially when we’re close to the goal line,” Clarke said.

“He’s got a very good technique, so we use him there whenever we can.”

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