The Cheetahs beat Western Province 32-25 in Cape Town on Friday night after an arm wrestle of a game.
It was a fantastic match of classical South African rugby with typical aggression. Western Province looked as though they had all the momentum in the first half but Fred Zeilinga's boot kept his side in the game with six successful penalties and 100 per cent kicking stats.
The win sees the Cheetahs just go to second the log after they failed to score a bonus point try. This the Free State side's third win in a row after claiming big wins against Boland away and the Bulls at home.
This is Western Province's second loss in a row after losing to the Bulls last weekend as well which sees them sit at 6th on the table.
The home side drew first blood five minutes into the game after Thomson slotted a penalty. Western Province then scored off a try after brilliant set play off a line-out on the Cheetahs 22m, where Jano Vermaak got the ball from the jumper, and then broke the line and gave the ball off to Huw Jones who cantered over the line.
The Cheetahs debutante Nico Lee then made his mark on the match when he scored his first try of the game to give his side the lead. The Cheetahs carried out a fantastic switch move, which opened up the WP defence for Lee to run straight through to the try line.
Kobus van Wyk was the next to score after the Cheetahs made a break for the home side's line but it was turned over by WP for Van Wyk to take a quick pass from the back of the ruck to charge for the line and score
Nico Lee proved to be massive asset for his side as he broke the line beautifully again, and was brought down just short of the line but was able to just get his arms away to give the off load to Tian Meyer who dotted down in the corner.
The Cape Town men were then able to score a consolation try after a break from Godlen Masimla who off loaded to Leolin Zas who scored for his side.
For Western Province:
Tries: Jones, Van Wyk, Zas
Cons: Thomson, Du Preez
Pens: Thomson 2
For Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Lee, Meyer
Pen: Zeilinga 6
Western Province: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Chris van Zyl (c), 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Godlen Masimla, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Cheslin Kolbe.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Nico Lee, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Charles Marais
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Michael van der Spuy.