Planet Rugby

Cheetahs spoil the Force's party

23rd March 2013 12:32

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The Cheetahs came from behind to beat the Force 19-10 in the first ever match played at the redeveloped niB Stadium in Perth on Saturday.

Willie Le Roux's try four minutes from time sealed the win for the Cheetahs as they rounded off a promising tour with another victory.

Benson Stanley scored the only try in the first half in a game littered with handling errors and sub-standard execution, as both sides struggled to find breakthroughs in attack.

Heinrich Brüssow was a menace for the Cheetahs at the breakdown and his influence was telling in the second half, as the visitors clawed their way into the lead through a succession of penalties from fly-half Riaan Smit.

Concerns over the Cheetahs fitness at the end of a gruelling tour proved unfounded as their defence held out in the dying stages, backing up their victory over the Waratahs last weekend.

Neither side troubled the score board after the opening ten minutes, Sias Ebersohn sending a penalty attempt wide of the uprights against his former side.

The fly-half missed another attempt on 16 minutes as the game remained scoreless.

Smit finally put some points on the board after 23 minutes, before the Force struck for the game's first try.

Good work from Toby Lynn created a wide pass from promising centre Kyle Godwin, finding Benson Stanley in plenty of space to touch down in the right-hand corner, with Ebersohn converting.

Smit curled in a second penalty to cut the Force's lead to a single point despite limited possession, with six points remaining in the first half.

The Force tried to have the final say of the half after a break from Godwin, but the ball was coughed up by Pek Cowan and the Force remained ahead by a single point going into the interval at 7-6.

Both sides struggled to collect points throughout the opening of the second half, until Brüssow was penalised at the breakdown to allow replacement Jayden Hayward a shot at goal and extend the Force's lead.

The visitors then came desperately close to a crucial score when Philip van der Walt crashed over the line, but lost possession going to ground the ball. The Cheetahs did take something however after Smit landed another penalty to narrow the gap to 10-9 going into the final ten minutes.

Smit then handed the visitors the lead with a long-range effort, the Cheetahs now ahead 10-12 on the scoreboard.

Le Roux confirmed the visitors comeback with a breakaway try after good defensive work from the Cheetahs, pouncing on the hack through from Francois Uys to create a nine-point gap on the scoreboard after Smit's conversion.

It sealed their third consecutive win on the road after defeating the Highlanders and the Waratahs, on a positive night for Naka Drotske's side.

The scorers:

For Force:
Try: Stanley
Con: Ebersohn
Pen: Hayward

For Cheetahs:
Try: Le Roux
Con: Smit
Pens: Smit 4

Force: 15 Will Tupou, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan (c).
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Matt Hodgson, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Jayden Hayward.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Ligtoring Landman, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Ryno Benjamin.

Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)

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