Planet Rugby

Cheetahs sneak to narrow win

13th September 2013 20:06

Share:

sarel pretorius cheetahs

Try scorer: Sarel Pretorius

Riaan Smit's 76th minute penalty sealed a close victory for the Free State Cheetahs by 26-23 against the Golden Lions on Friday.

The home side had been completely dominant in the first half, going into the interval leading 23-3 thanks to tries from Johann Sadie and Sarel Pretorius.

But the Lions were resilient after the break. When many would have expected the Cheetahs to go on to wrap up a try bonus point, Johan Ackermann's side hit back with two tries of their own from replacement Ruhan Nel and winger Anthony Volmink.

Fly-half Elton Jantjies kicked three penalties including the equaliser in the 73rd minute, but the Lions brave effort ultimately wasn't enough.

A precise game-plan from the Cheetahs during the opening ten minutes to play up the middle eventually created the necessary space out wide for Sadie to cross over, Pretorius doing enough to lure in the defenders to give the centre space.

Despite the Lions being kept relatively on the backfoot, their scrum was a powerful advantage and continued to cause the Cheetahs with controlling possession in key areas of the field.

Jantjies added first points of the match with a long-range penalty in the 20th minute, but Smit immediately responded as the Lions were penalised for not releasing.

A second Smit penalty came shortly before Jantjies spent ten minutes in the sin-bin for deliberately throwing the ball after being forced into touch.

After Smit's third penalty continued to punish the Lions for their indiscipline, Pretorius pounced for a try from an attacking five metre scrum. With Jantjies sat on the sidelines, Pretorius targeted the defensive channel normally occupied by the Lions fly-half and scampered his way over for a try just before the break.

The expectation was that the Cheetahs would then run away with the match, but instead the Lions soaked up nearly all the possession in the third quarter.

The result was a second penalty for Jantjies before Nel found his way to the try line - taking a fine offload from the in-form Jaco Kriel to run in under the posts and close the gap to 23-13.

Volmink's clever score a few minutes later - when the winger pounced on the loose ball on the Lions goal-line after Rhule was put under pressure - brought the Lions within three and with Jantjies' third penalty in the 73rd minute an astonishing comeback was on the cards.

Instead the Cheetahs worked another opportunity for Smit, who didn't miss. The win sees the hosts move to the top of the Currie Cup Premier Division before the rest of the sides play tomorrow.

The scorers:

For Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Sadie, Pretorius
Cons: Smit 2
Pens: Smit 4

For Golden Lions:
Tries: Nel, Volmink
Cons: Jantjies 2
Pens: Jantjies 3
Yellow Card: Jantjies

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Boom Prinsloo (capt), 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Teboho Mohoje, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Freddie Ngoza, 19 Tertius Daniller, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Piet Lindeque.

Golden Lions: 15 Marnitz Boshoff, 14 Andries Coetzee, 13 Robert de Bruyn, 12 Dylan des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Derick Minnie (captain), 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Ruan Venter, 3 Bees Roux, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Hugo Kloppers, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Deon Helberg, 22 Ruhan Nel.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs SaracensMunster vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London IrishGrenoble vs London Irish Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615