Planet Rugby

Cheetahs cause upset in Sydney

19th March 2011 08:31

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Frans Viljoen cheetahs celebrates

Shock result: Frans Viljoen celebrates victory in Australia

The Cheetahs created the sensation of Super Rugby's Round Five on Saturday with a shock 23-3 win over the Waratahs in Sydney.

Stone last at the start of the weekend, the Free Staters upset the odds to lead from start to finish and claim their first ever win on Australian soil.

Outscored by two tries to none, the Waratahs were booed off their field after a error-riddled display.

There was nothing fancy from the visitors, who simply made fewer mistakes and played smarter rugby in slippery conditions.

Returning Springbok openside flank Heinrich Brüssow had a huge impact on his side and was the menace at the breakdown that made him a key player for the national side.

While the Cheetahs must be praised for their pragmatic and ultimately effective approach, the result must be put down to a below-par performance from the hosts, who conceded a whopping 28 turnovers and seemed more adept at dropping passes than catching them.

Two penalties from young fly-half Sias Ebersohn gave the Cheetahs an unexpected 6-3 lead at the break after a first half characterised by the Waratahs lack of patience.

The home side had fluffed a number of opportunities to score as some sloppy finishing meant they had to wait for the half-hour mark to get on the scoreboard via a Berrick Barnes penalty.

Unable to get the upper hand up front or secure consistent possession from their line-outs, the 'Tahs were making difficult for themselves against a very well-organised Cheetahs defence.

The second half started in similar fashion as the visitors continued to frustrate the Sydneysiders at the breakdown, winning another penalty which Ebersohn duly converted to take the scores to 9-6.

With the Waratahs in full-attack mode Barnes kicked cross-field to Drew Mitchell out in space. The kick was inch perfect but Cheetahs full-back Riann Viljoen pinched it out of the Wallaby wing's hands in midair before bursting clear down the touchline.

Wing Phillip Snyman was up in support and turned on the gas to score.

The 'Tahs never really looked like clawing their way back and the result was sealed in the dying minutes when Sarel Pretorius stuck an arm through pile of bodies to touch down.

The scorers:

For the Waratahs:
Pen: Barnes

For the Cheetahs:
Tries:Snyman, Pretorius
Cons: Ebersohn 2
Pens: Ebersohn 3

Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Afa Pakalani, 13 Lachie Turner, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Pat McCutcheon, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Al Baxter, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Daniel Halangahu, 22 Ryan Cross.

Cheetahs: 15 Riann Viljoen, 14 Phillip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss (c), 11 Fabiaan Juries, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Phillip van der Walt, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Martin Muller, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Frans Viljoen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Francois Uys, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Naas Olivier.

Venue: Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

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