Planet Rugby

Noakes nicks it for Highlanders

28th April 2012 15:16

Share:

Cheetahs against Highlanders in 2012

Close one: Bloemfontein clash

A last-minute Chris Noakes penalty saw the Highlanders claim a fine 36-33 win over the Cheetahs on Saturday.

The replacement's successful 80-minute effort came following Sias Ebersohn missing a straightforward penalty from right in front.

And that uncharacteristic blunder saw the New Zealanders go up to the opposition half and when referee Marius Jonker blew, up stepped Noakes.

The win keeps the Highlanders five points behind conference leaders the Chiefs, with the third-place Crusaders, who play on Sunday, six behind.

Fresh from their bye week, the Cheetahs looked fit and raring to go from the outset and set about playing the visitors at their own, dynamic game.

With winger Willie le Roux regularly dropping in at first receiver and also Adriaan Strauss and Coenie Oosthuizen offering momentum with ball in-hand, Naka Drotske's side enjoyed most of the possession in the opening stages and put points on the board via the maturing Johann Goosen.

Their dominance was interrupted by a few passages of Highlanders ball, which saw back-row duo Adam Thomson and James Haskell combine on more than one occasion. Following a levelling penalty from Mike Delany, the Cheetahs were not to be denied retaking the lead when a series of passages led to an in-form Oosthuizen going over. Goosen's extras made it 10-3 to a home side.

Two yellow cards played a factor in the second quarter when first Andrew Hore was sent to the bin following several infringements from his side. But then with Goosen having added a further six points to the scoreline, flanker Haskell soon joined Hore after throwing a punch.

It was obvious that with their two-man advantage, the Cheetahs would be turning down shots at goal and instead look to take maximums against their now stretched opponents. And that is what they did as following sustained pressure, Andries Ferreira bustled over.

At half-time it was 23-9 to the men from Bloemfontein as the Highlanders had it all to do.

The Cheetahs came out in the second-half in Bloemfontein all guns blazing and almost scored immediately, but Springbok flanker Heinrich Brussow found himself held up.

Soon afterwards Goosen capped his good performance with a try form 60 metres out, scoring in the corner, but injuring his shoulder in the process. His replacement Ebersohn kicked the conversion superbly while Baby Bok Goosen left the action on a stretcher.

The Cheetahs lost huge momentum after Goosen departed and replacement Noakes scored under the uprights and converted to get the Highlanders back into the game.

The home side's defence started showing cracks and when replacement scrum-half Jimmy Cowan scored twice with fifteen minutes remaining, the scores were tied at 30 points each.

Ebersohn settled things down with a penalty kick in the 70th minute, but Noakes replied.

The home side kept on attacking and after eleven phases got the penalty in front but to his dismay Ebersohn missed it. Noakes however, made no mistake when he kicked for victory.

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Oosthuizen, Ferreira, Goosen
Con: Goosen 2, S Ebersohn
Pen: Goosen 3, S Ebersohn

For Highlanders:
Tries: Noakes, Cowan 2
Con: Noakes 3
Pen: Delany 3, Noakes 2

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 George Earle, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Snyman.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Buxton Popoali'i, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 James Haskell, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Chris King, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Ma'afu Fia, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Doug Tietjens, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Chris Noakes, 22 Siale Piutau.

Referee: Marius Jonker (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 Edinburgh16:00
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 Sharks17:05
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