Planet Rugby

Du Preez late show sinks Cheetahs

25th February 2011 15:18

Share:

Wynand Olivier against Cheetahs in 2010

Clawing a win: The Bulls

A converted try from scrum-half Fourie du Preez was painful viewing for the Cheetahs as the hosts surrendered a 15-point lead to lose 25-23 to the Bulls.

The Bulls have now bagged their second win of the Super Rugby season and in both instances they did so without playing their best rugby.

This time, however, they fought back from 23-8 to snatch the four log points.

While the first half was a slightly dull affair as both sides had struggled to get over the advantage line, the Cheetahs were the better of the two teams despite the serious setback of losing their inspirational skipper Juan Smith to injury in the third minute.

From an infringement at the first, and last ruck in which Smith participated, fly-half Naas Olivier put the hosts on the board with a penalty conversion.

Smith was replaced by Free State's player-of-the-year for 2010, Ashley Johnson, who delivered a show-stopping performance to the delight of the locals.

In an otherwise closely fought first quarter, the Bulls eventually found a way through the solid defensive line of the Cheetahs when lock Bakkies Botha covered a great deal of ground to finish in the corner.

The match remained in the balance as poor kicking prevented either of the sides gaining an advantage.

In the 25th minute, Bulls' fly-half Morne Steyn increased his team's 5-3 lead with a penalty, but the highlight of the first half was to take place two minutes later.

Former Sharks centre Andries Strauss made sure he scored his first try in a Cheetahs' jersey when he pierced the Bulls' defence with precision. From that point onwards, the Cheetahs played with flair and confidence and were fancying their chances as they headed to the break ahead at 11-8.

Taking the field with a renewed sense of confidence, the Cheetahs picked up right where they left off and thanks to a great line-break by scrum-half Sarel Pretorius, they soon found themselves within Bulls' territory.

Pretorius forced the Bulls back to their own 5m line from where it took very few phases for former Springbok Sevens star Robert Ebersohn to join Strauss with his debut try.

More importantly, the hosts suddenly had a ten-point lead over their rivals.

Johnson was then rewarded for his courageous carries on the evening, but the bad luck of Olivier continued as he missed what, in the end, turned out to be a crucial conversion.

The anticipated late surge by the Bulls arrived right on time and was made possible by flank Dewald Potgieter and the enforcer, Botha, towards the end.

The big turning point in the Bulls' fate came in the 15th minute of the second half when Cheetahs' lock Wilhelm Steenkamp was sent off for not rolling away at a ruck.

The Cheetahs watched in despair as the Bulls took charge of the match they had been struggling to control. In desperation, Bulls' number eight Pierre Spies attempted a drop goal but missed.

With Steenkamp off, super-sub Danie Rossouw went over the line for the first Bulls try before Du Preez landed the equaliser. All that was left was for Steyn to slot the conversion on a night where he was not at his best.

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Strauss, R Ebersohn, Johnson
Con: Olivier
Pen: Olivier 2

For Bulls:
Tries: Botha, Rossouw, Du Preez
Con: Steyn 2
Pen: Steyn 2

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Philip Burger, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Naas Olivier (vice-captain), 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Kabamba Floors, 7 Juan Smith (captain), 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Waltie Vermeulen, 3 WP Nel, 2 Rayno Barnes, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Kobus Calldo, 18 Francois Uys, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Riaan Viljoen.

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Derick Kuun, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Stephan Dippenaar.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26