Discarded by the Springbok selectors, Free State Cheetahs flank Heinrich Brussow received high praise from both camps after the British and Irish Lions’ close 26-24 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské, in ruing the three missed penalties by his side and the two soft tries they conceded within the first nine minutes, said that he was particularly proud of his three loose forwards – and added that he thought Brüssow played well.
He would not be drawn on the fact that Brüssow was overlooked for the Springbok squad, but said “he’ll get his chance, there is no doubt about that.”
“Brussouw played very well,” Lions captain Paul O’Connell remarked, after saying that the Lions perhaps neglected to get enough players to the point of breakdown.
“We have to get numbers there and we have to get low down,” O’Connell said, adding: “South African teams are good there [at the breakdowns].
“Turnovers can kill you and take a lot of momentum out.”
Drotské was happy with his side generally. But he had special praise for the three loose forwards.
“I thought they were superb.”
The Lions had performed well at the breakdown in their first two matches, he pointed out.
“It is one of their strengths, and I though it went well today,” he said.
The World Cup-winning hooker in 1995, who knows what goes on in the scrum, said he rated Andrew Sheridan as one of the top loosehead props in the game. It was obvious that the Cheetahs struggled against him.
Drotské admitted he didn’t think his side could come back from being 0-20 down – but in the end it was very, very close as Louis Strydom’s 77th minute drop-goal attempt flew just wide.Tweet