Planet Rugby

Pumas no match for Free State

24th September 2010 21:06

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Ashley Johnson

Two tries: Ashley Johnson

The Cheetahs bagged maximum points in their Currie Cup fixture with a 59-24 victory over the Pumas in Bloemfontein on Friday.

The Free State scored nine tries and remained in the hunt for a semi-finals birth after adding five log points with a comprehensive win in Bloemfontein.

The match got off to a rather false start in more than one way. First one of the Harley Davidson motorbikes that welcomed the players onto the field had to be helped off as it couldn't be restarted.

To the amusement of the crowd, four Cheetahs players assisted in pushing the bike off the field to the game could get underway.

It then took the Cheetahs a good 24 minutes to find second gear. The hosts, however, enjoyed most of the possession and were hardly threatened by the Pumas.

The visitors led 3-0 going into the second quarter, but prop WP Nel's strength was enough to help him over the line for the first try of the game as the Cheetahs took control.

From a strong scrum in the Pumas half, centre Robert Ebersohn carved his way through three defenders for a brilliant try.

And after a crucial knock-on by Siviwe Magaba, the Pumas number twelve, landed in the hands of Cheetahs flank Kabamba Floors, with plenty of supportive runners in attendance, Ashley Johnson rounded off in the right-hand corner. Louis Strydom's conversion hit the uprights for his first and only miss of the night for the hosts.

On the stroke of half-time, Pumas flank Jaco Bouwer was sent off the field with a yellow card, and Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss took advantage to bag the bonus point with their fourth try.

While the hosts had struggled for 25 minutes in an attempt to open their account in the first half, they required only 70 seconds after the break when Nel was on hand to dot down again.

Hardly five minutes later Johnson also scored his second of the night and Strydom's conversion gave them a 40-3 lead. Three tries followed for each side, including a beauty by Springbok Sevens speedster Shaun Venter for the visitors.

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Badenhorst, R Ebersohn, Johnson 2, Nel 2, Strauss 2, C Uys
Cons: Bosman 2, Strydom 5

For Pumas:
Tries: Croy, Van Dyk, Venter
Cons: Croy 3
Pens: Watts

Cheetahs: 15 Riaan Smit, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Tewis De Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Philip Van der Walt, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel , 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.

Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Kobus Calldo, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tertius Carse, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Corné Uys.

Pumas: 15 Johan Jackson, 14 Conrad Marais, 13 Shaun Venter, 12 Siviwe Magaba, 11 Vainon Willis, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Hendrik van der Nest, 8 Christo le Roux, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Corné Steenkamp (captain), 5 Eduan van der Walt, 4 Johan Velthuizen, 3 Ashley Buys, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Hans van Dyk, 17 Ronnie Uys, 18 De-Jay Terblanche, 19 Willem Serfontein, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Ricardo Croy, 22 Nicky Kritzinger.

Referee: Joey Salmans

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