Port Elizabeth - Despite being outmuscled up front at times, the Free State Cheetahs
showed enough class to register a deserved 37-22 win over the Eastern
Province Kings in their Currie Cup clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
The match was evenly poised at half-time when the
Cheetahs led 16-10, but they made excellent use of their attacking
opportunities in the second half to score three more tries after the
break, always keeping daylight between themselves and their opponents.
mistakes and defensive lapses by the Kings were swiftly seized on by
the Cheetahs as scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, celebrating his 100th Currie
Cup game, flyhalf Willie du Plessis and wing Raymond Rhule all crossed
for tries to make the game safe at 37-15 with seven minutes remaining.
Kings showed great endeavour to cross for their third try in the 78th
minute when replacement centre Dwayne Jenner finished off a series of
attacks with a try next to the posts.
The game ended with EP
again on the attack, but it was too little, too late as they again paid
the penalty for committing errors at crucial times.
showed their commitment, however, playing the match with 14 men for 20
minutes after hooker Martin Ferreira and lock Darron Nell were both
shown yellow cards.
The Cheetahs, leading 13-10 when Ferreira
went to the bin, could not capitalise fully on his absence despite
having a five-metre lineout. When their drive was held up, they had a
five-metre scrum but the Kings then pushed them off the ball to earn a
penalty, eliminating the immediate danger.
However, with Du
Plessis showing accurate kicking form, the Cheetahs always had the edge
and the flyhalf added three penalties and three conversions to his try
for a personal contribution of 20 points.
Their opening try came
from centre Francois Venter, engineered by Pretorius and Rhule, and Du
Plessis added the conversion and three penalties for their first half
Down 13-3, the Kings struck back with a magnificent try
by wing Ntabeni Dukisa when he made the most of quick distribution down
the left flank and put in a solo run from about 50 metres, bamboozling
the visiting defence to score under the poles.
The home side
produced another fine try by Siyanda Grey in the second half, but the
Cheetahs' lethal strikes nearly every time they visited the Kings'
22-metre area proved the difference in the end.
Tries: Dukisa Ntabeni, Siyanda Grey, Dwayne Jenner
Conversions: Gary van Aswegen, Scott van Breda
Penalties: Van Aswegen
Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Francois Venter, Sarel Pretorius, Willie du Plessis, Raymond Rhule
Conversions: Du Plessis (3), Pieter-Steyn de Wet
Penalties: Du Plessis (3)
15 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13
Ronnie Cooke, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9
Kevin Luiters, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Shaun McDonald, 5
Darron Nell, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Lizo
Substitutes: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18
Steven Cummins, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Tobie Botes, 21 Dwayne Jenner, 22
Scott van Breda
Free State Cheetahs
Clayton Blommetjies, 14 JP du Plessis, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Joubert
Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8
Lappies Labuschagne, 7 Neil Claassen, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4
Henco Venter, 3 George Marich, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), 1
Substitutes: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Dolph Botha, 18
Brendon Groenewald, 19 Vincent Jobo, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Pieter-Steyn de
Wet, 22 AJ Coertzen