What we’ve learned

Five lessons from the past weekend's Vodacom Super Rugby matches, according to SIMON BORCHARDT.

Willie le Roux can't create magic every time he touches the ball
The Cheetahs fullback had a hand in both of their tries, first counter-attacking from inside his half and sending Raymond Rhule away, and then throwing a long pass to Cornal Hendricks, having given a perfect inside pass to Shaun Venter moments earlier. But he also knocked on when put into space, and then threw two poor passes. Le Roux, it seems, is trying to produce a moment of magic every time he gets the ball, which is unrealistic. He needs to accept that there will be times when the 'conservative' approach is the right one, like simply passing to the man next to him instead of skipping three players.

Bloemfontein rugby fans can't be bothered to watch their side live
The Cheetahs reached the Vodacom Super Rugby play-offs last year, yet only 8,000 people pitched up to watch their opening game of the 2014 competition. I'm sorry, but that is just pathetic. The Kings regularly had crowds of 35,000 last year despite being at the bottom of the log. Come on Cheetahs fans in Bloem, get off your couches and go to the game.

The Vodacom Bulls must play to Francois Hougaard's strengths
The more I see of Hougaard the more I think he should have stayed on the wing rather than return to scrumhalf. On Saturday, his kicking was poor, he was slow to the breakdown and I'm surprised it took Frans Ludeke 55 minutes to replace him with Piet van Zyl. If Hougaard is going to stay at 9 – and it seems he will – then the Bulls must accept that he plays on instinct and not according to a pre-determined game. He will never be Fourie du Preez.

Frans Steyn will play for a coach who believes in him
Steyn looked like a different player on Saturday to the one who struggled through Super Rugby last year. He got heavily involved – making tackles, running over Jan Serfontein and Piet van Zyl, and putting in an excellent cross-kick that resulted in Odwa Ndungane's try. In the new issue of SA Rugby magazine we predicted that Steyn would fire under Jake White, and that certainly looks to be the case.

Pat Lambie can take the ball to the gainline
Lambie has been criticised for taking the ball too far behind the advantage line, but against the Bulls he showed that with good coaching he can learn to take it flat. Lambie missed a few kicks at goal, but he still came away with a 16-point haul and will be pleased with his first performance of the season.

Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images

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