Cheetahs battle past Kings

Date published: May 14 2016

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The Cheetahs picked up only their third victory of the season on Saturday when they beat the spirited Kings 34-20 in Bloemfontein.

Raymond Rhule, Uzair Cassiem, Michael van der Spuy and Sergeal Petersen scored the Cheetahs' tries but crossings from JP du Plessis and Lukhanyo Am for the Kings meant there was to be no bonus point for the hosts, who now enjoy a bye round in the competition.

Despite their victory, the Cheetahs will surely be disappointed not to have secured five points against Super Rugby's basement boys.

They were well on their way to a bonus-point win by half-time as they led 17-6 thanks to those tries from wing Rhule and flank Cassiem.

While it wasn't pretty the outfit from Bloemfontein had a superior set-piece and quality wide out which, after a cagey opening that saw Elgar Watts and Fred Zeilinga trade a penalty apiece, came to the fore. In truth the cushion could have been healthier at the turnaround.

Rhule thought he was over in the 21st minute but was denied when scrum-half Shaun Venter's pop pass was adjudged forward by the officials. He was not denied three minutes later though when joining the line from the left wing with a nice angle for a try as his team went right.

That effort left the Cheetahs 10-3 to the good and five minutes later it was 17-3 thanks to a scrum won against the head seeing number eight Cassiem cash in with a carry over the line. Zeilinga added the conversion but Watts did peg back three points to keep his side in touch.

Franco Smith's message would have been more of the same in the second stanza and his charges obliged just five minutes into the half when Petersen broke down the right before setting up centre Van der Spuy for the bonus-point try. Of course the Kings could still deny them that.

Zeilinga would keep the scoreboard ticking over with a long-range penalty on 49 minutes to make it 27-6, but when Kings outside centre JP du Plessis went through for a try soon after, suddenly the Cheetahs had their bonus-point chalked off. They had ample time to recover it.

And it didn't take long as a turnover at the ruck saw number eight Cassiem offload to Petersen who had a free run to the line on the right. The only negative of that try was that it was the in-form winger's last act as he hobbled off with what looked to be an upper thigh injury.

From then on it appeared the Cheetahs were never in any real danger of not getting the maximum as they enjoyed the majority of territory, that was until the 72nd minute when a good spell from the Kings resulted in Am crossing on the right for to deny the hosts the full five.

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Rhule, Cassiem, Van der Spuy, Petersen
Con: Zeilinga 4
Pen: Zeilinga 2
Yellow card: Schoeman (78 min – slowing down ball)

For Kings:
Tries: Du Plessis, Am
Con: Fouché 2
Pen: Watts 2

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (c), 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Nico Lee

Kings: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Shane Gates (c), 11 Luzuko Vulindlu, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 James Hall, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 JP Jonck, 5 JC Astle, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Sti Sithole
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Louis Albertse, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Cornell Hess, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Louis Fouché, 23 Leighton Eksteen

Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Referees: Stuart Berry, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Johan Greeff

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