Planet Rugby

Cheetahs recover from slow start

02nd October 2009 19:56

Share:

Meyer Bosman wriggles through

The Cheetahs are still in with a shout of Currie Cup semi-final qualification after a comfortable 60-17 victory over the Leopards on Friday.

It was not the start the home team, needing to win with a bonus point in order to maintain semi-final chances, were looking for.

Within eight minutes, the Cheetahs found themselves trailing 10-0 and were lucky to be there. Deon van Rensburg's try had finally, belatedly rounded off a heavy spell of Leopards superiority as the visitors came chargng out of the blocks. There was only one team in it.

Jean Tiedt backed up his side's territorial advantage with a penalty and the conversion of Van Rensburg's try and the Cheetahs huddled under the posts as Tiedt wound up for the conversion in the bucketing rain looking shell-shocked.

Slowly though, they ground their way back into it, winning the kicking exchanges and bullying out the territory. Jacques-Louis Potgieter's kicking radar from the tee was on song and he pulled back six points from it. David de Villiers was a nuisance at Leopards line-outs. Things evened up.

A huge scrum from the Cheetahs enabled Francois Viljoen to intercept the ball from Tiedt's hands under pressure, with Potgieter taking the ball on into the Leopards' 22, where a succession of penalties and phases saw Potgieter dive over under the posts for the hosts' first try.

Potgieter injured himself in the process, so was replaced by Louis Strydom, while Tewis de Bruyn took over the kicking duties.

That didn't affect the game much, with Corne Uys making the next telling break, WP Nel taking the ball on once more and the impressive number eight Ashley Johnson storming over the line from 15m out. De Bruyn supplied the extras once more. That was it for the half and, in truth, for the game as a contest as well.

From a rolling maul five minutes into the second half, Hendro Scholtz plunged over from the back to record his team's third, leaving them 35 minutes to score the all-important fourth.

It only took them six. Three sweeping atacks stretched the Leopards defence, then Johnson was released down the left. He popped inside to Viljoen, who was tackled but not held, and the openside jumped up to his feet and stretched just enough to make it across for the score. De Bruyn made light work of the toughest conversion yet.

The Cheetahs had, by this point, enjoyed 67 per cent of the match's possession and the attrition was taking its toll on the visitors, who were falling off more and more tackles.

Nel got a deserved try with 20 still to go, then Bosman wriggled through a gap for the sixth, with De Bruyn finally blotting his copybook by missing the sixth conversion.

Jongi Nokwe added the seventh, taking him top of the competition's try-scoring charts and Nico Breedt grabbed one through brute strength.

But there was just time for the visitors to grab a consolation through Danie Dames with three minutes to go.

The scorers:

For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Potgieter, Johnson, Scholtz, Viljoen, Nel, Bosman, Nokwe, Breedt
Cons: De Bruyn 5, Strydom
Pens: Potgieter 2

For the Leopards:
Tries: Van Rensburg, Dames
Cons: Tiedt, Jacobs
Pen: Tiedt

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Corné Uys, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Fabian Juries, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Frans Viljoen, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Nico Breedt (c), 3 WP Nel, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Coenie Oosthuizen, 17 Izak van der Westhuizen, 18 Lucas Floors, 19 JP Joubert, 20 Louis Strydom, 21 JW Jonker, 22 Jongi Nokwe.

Leopards: 15 Danie Dames, 14 Jovan Bowles, 13 Deon van Rensburg, 12 Berndt Theissinger, 11 Shuaib Samaai, 10 Cecil Dumont, 9 Jean Tiedt, 8 Riaan Swanepoel, 7 Bennie Adams, 6 André Swanepoel (c), 5 Edrich Linde, 4 Bradley Mockford, 3 Barend van der Walt, 2 Marthinus van der Westhuizen, 1 Divan Kotze.
Replacements: tbc

Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Mark Lawrence

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 Samoa
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820