The Cheetahs defence always looked to be a man short against a dangerous Waratahs side at Free State Stadium, but with the score 34-28 shortly after the interval the visitors were not yet managing to run away on the scoreboard.
The top Australian side, however, notched up a further three tries for a total nine tries before the final whistle as the apparent gulf in glass between the sides emerged.
In his first match in charge, Smith was left justifiably frustrated.
“I’m disappointed in the attacking side of things,” said Smith.
“The defence wasn’t up to standard. We were not physical enough. But that we can work on.”
While the Cheetahs’ attack made up for their defensive blunders in the first half which the Waratahs led 29-21 at the break, in the second period the visitors ran riot to mount up their huge tally of tries. In the end it was an embarrassing scoreline for the Cheetahs in their second last game of a season they would prefer to forget.
The Cheetahs, instead, have a trip up to Pretoria to take on the Bulls next week to bring a curtain down on their campaign which currently sees the men from Bloemfontein occupy 13th spot on the log and bottom of the SA conference.
“I think the most disappointing thing was that we didn’t on to the ball as much as we should’ve. A team without the ball cannot perform, and I think it’s something we’ll look at.
“At least I know exactly where we’re at. The attack is actually good, maybe a little bit too liberal at some stages. But at least we have the mindset that we want to play good rugby.” – ANA
Original source: Disappointing start for Franco