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Maartens double earns much-needed win for Cheetahs

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Daniel Maartens was the Cheetahs’ hero with two late tries as the South African franchise edged out Benetton Treviso 31-25 in the Pro14.

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The Cheetahs came into the contest with only one win from eight games all season, but managed to double that tally as Maartens’ second score – from the back of a rolling maul in the 73rd minute – proved decisive.

Toyota Stadium was sparsely populated for Saturday’s contest, but the spectators in attendance witnessed a topsy-turvy contest with multiple shifts in momentum.

Maartens’ two second-half scores came either side of Ian McKinley rounding off phase after phase of Treviso attack with a try that put the Italian team ahead for a third time.

Marco Zanon and Dewaldt Duvenage were Treviso’s other try-scorers, but the Cheetahs prevailed as Nico Lee and Shaun Venter went over prior to Maartens’ brace.

Louis Fouche added a penalty after Maartens’ second try, with Treviso unable to find a reply in the closing minutes.

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Flankly 10 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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