Cheetahs stun limping Crusaders

15th May 2011, 13:36

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Three wins in a row: Cheetahs

Three wins in a row: Cheetahs

A virtuoso display from Sias Ebersohn helped the Cheetahs to a 33-20 Super Rugby win over the Crusaders in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

A virtuoso display from Sias Ebersohn helped the Cheetahs to an 33-20 upset Super Rugby victory over an injury-hit Crusaders outfit in Bloemfontein.

The fly-half contributed 21 points for his side, with his brother also adding a score before Ashley Johnson crossed to cap a workmanlike success.

Naka Drotske's side did well from the outset to close Sonny Bill Williams' space down, giving the Crusaders playmaker little room to create magic.

The hosts opened the scoring with Ebersohn slotting over a penalty.

Crusaders fly-half Dan Carter missed in his attempt at the posts moments later, but soon afterwards the visitors scored the first try of the match. It came following good work from Robbie Freuan, who broke through the line to offload to the finishing Zac Guildford. Carter converted the try to give the Crusaders a four-point lead.

Despite a strong attacking performance in the opening moments of the match the Cheetahs lost too many balls at the contact area. They did get back onto the front foot from a Riaan Viljoen kick which was fielded by Sarel Pretorius. The home side secured quick ball with Ashley Johnson sending a long pass to Robert Ebersohn who stepped inside to score. His twin converted and then added three more points.

Carter then responded with a dummy and dart for the line just five minutes before the break. His conversion gave the Crusaders a one-point lead going in half-time.

After the interval Sias Ebersohn continued his fine form with a penalty in the 50th minute and moments later he confirmed his class with a converted try of his own.

With a 26-17 lead the Cheetahs' confidence grew at a steady pace as they kept the Crusaders from their goal line. The Crusaders only added only three points in the second half through a penalty kick from Mat Berquist who came on for Carter.

With seven minutes left in the match, standout forward Johnson scored an intercept try after the Crusaders fumbled the ball on attack and from there it was all too late for the men from Christchurch, who had also lost centre Williams to injury.

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: R Ebersohn, S Ebersohn, Johnson
Con: S Ebersohn 3
Pen: S Ebersohn 4

For Crusaders:
Tries: Guildford, Carter
Con: Carter 2
Pen: Carter 2

Cheetahs: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corne Uys, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Ashley Johnson, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (capt), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Naas Olivier, 22 Hennie Daniller.

Crusaders: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Robbie Fruean, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (capt), 6 George Whitelock, 5 Chris Jack, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Joe Wheeler, 19 Matt Todd, 20 Steve Alfeld, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 Brent Ward.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)