Cheetahs want refs to get tough with teams who deliberately waste time in Pro 14

Rudy Paige of the Cheetahs during the Currie Cup rugby match against the Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on September 8 2018.
Rudy Paige of the Cheetahs during the Currie Cup rugby match against the Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on September 8 2018.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

The perennially in a rush Cheetahs want referees to get tough with teams who deliberately waste time in the Pro 14.

When they run out at home‚ the Cheetahs try and play a high energy‚ lung-busting game but their opponents from north of the equator won’t play ball.

“It was actually quite shocking‚” said their incredulous defence coach Charl Strydom about their recent match against Munster.

“The amount of time Munster wasted really made for a stop-start match.

"After every break in play one of their players would sit down with some issue or another. It means we can’t play the high tempo game that we want to.”

Strydom explained that they don’t get the ball-in-play minutes they need to be competitive against better staffed opponents.

“We want to take teams to 40 to 42 minutes but at the moment we only get 32 minutes which is super low.”

He was quick to concede however that it is a difficult area to police as the referee would not immediately be able to ascertain whether an injury to a player is legitimate or not.

“I think they will have to look at adapting the laws that govern the stoppages in play. I know in tennis players get a warning. They do get a medical time out but everything works according to the clock.

“Maybe that’s where rolling substitutions could come in handy. That way the player is forced to leave the field immediately and the game isn’t held up.”

Getting that past the European decision makers will take some doing but the more immediate concern for Strydom and the rest of the Cheetahs’ brains trust‚ is the threat of rain for their clash against Connacht on Saturday.

“It won’t suit us at all‚” admitted Strydom.

“There is a 50 percent chance of rain. We like it dry and fast.”

Against Connacht they will need to find ways to speed the game up. The Irish side is particularly adept at grinding teams down in the wet and Strydom needs no reminding the visiting pack has some heavy rollers.

“We can’t outmuscle team‚” he conceded.

A win for the Cheetahs‚ who have only won twice in nine matches‚ is critical on Saturday.

They are still eyeing a play-off spot but then they need to win this home game which should serve as a platform for their home and away matches in the New Year against the Southern Kings and Zebre.

Strydom agrees‚ those games are winnable.

“Winning on Saturday will give us nice momentum for those matches. I think the next four‚ five matches will determine our season.”

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