A penalty from fly-half Louis FouchÃ© with the last kick of the game secured a 22-22 draw for the Blue Bulls in their clash with the Cheetahs.
A penalty from fly-half Louis FouchÃ© with the last kick of the game secured a 22-22 draw for the Blue Bulls in their Currie Cup clash with the Cheetahs.
Seventeen points from South Africa U20 fly-half Johan Goosen looked to be enough to edge the Cheetahs over the line, but while Goosen delivered a man of the match display, it was his opposite number who had the final say.
At times one wouldn't have thought that the Bulls' line-up included nine Springboks, with the men from Pretoria producing a largely sloppy and ill-disciplined performance.
The Cheetahs had the better of the territory and possession in the first forty but where unable to translate their dominance into tries. However, with the Bulls infringing with great regularity, Goosen was presented with numerous opportunities to strike from the kicking tee.
The fly-half struck four penalties in the opening period and in what became a bit of a battle of the boot, out scored FouchÃ© by sixteen points to twelve – the half-time score.
The Bulls ended the first half one man down after Flip van der Merwe was sent to the sin bin after persistent infringements from the team as a whole.
The home side where unable to make the most of the numerical advantage and only added to their half-time score shortly after the lock had returned to the fray.
It was Goosen who again came to the fore, this time with the ball in hand, as he broke through the Bulls defence in the midfield and drew full-back Zane Kircher before offloading to substitute Wilhelm Steenkamp.
Goosen and FouchÃ© traded further penalties before the game was thrown wide open by a try from centre Francois Venter.
The build-up for the try began with a great piece of play from Akona Ndungane, with the winger doing well to reclaim a 22m dropout. The ball was carried on by the forwards before Venter broke through the middle and raced away for the five-pointer.
The conversion from FouchÃ© made it 22-19 and suddenly the Cheetahs were in danger of losing a game in which they had enjoyed the best of the running.
The Bulls piled on the pressure in the final stages and with the eighty minutes up, FouchÃ© was handed the chance to level the score with a kick from five metres inside the Cheetahs half and the same distance from the left-hand touchline.
The 21-year-old had missed easier kicks earlier in the clash but held his nerve to slot over when it really mattered.
For the Cheetahs:
Pen: Goosen 5
For the Bulls:
Pen: FouchÃ© 5
Yellow card: van der Merwe (Blue Bulls)
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Philip Snyman, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Pieter Labuschagne, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Burger
Bulls:15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis FouchÃ©, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 JuandrÃ© Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Gary Botha (captain), 1 Dean GreylingReplacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Jurgen Visser.
Referee: Marius Jonker