Currie Cup

Cheetahs, Sharks share spoils

2014-09-13 16:56
Sarel Pretorius (Gallo Images)

Kimberley - The Sharks and the Free State Cheetahs played to a 30-all draw in their Currie Cup encounter in the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday after the hosts' flyhalf Willie du Plessis kicked a penalty at the death to rob the visitors of a victory.

The Sharks drew first blood after a helter skelter start on both sides, with flyhalf Lionel Cronje kicking a penalty in the eighth minute to give the Durban-based side the early lead. The Cheetahs quickly regrouped and put together useful phases of attack before seasoned scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius burst over from the side of the ruck for his five pointer. Du Plessis converted, giving the hosts a slight lead of four points.

The Cheetahs started to look more composed than a Sharks outfit that has lost its last two games and Pretorius underlined that fact in the 22nd minute when he again burst through the Sharks defenders to run straight through and dot down underneath the uprights for a converted try.

The Sharks finally gave their supporters something to smile about when wing S'bura Sithole went over in the corner five minutes before half-time. Cronje converted a difficult kick and brought the visitors back within four points of the Cheetahs. Their joy was short lived as they were again put under pressure by the hosts and Du Plessis kicked the penalty after the Sharks could only stop them illegally.

Cronje had the final say of the first half as he kicked a penalty on the hooter to make the score 17-13 in favour of the hosts.

The Cheetahs started the second half where they left off and some good attacks followed. Finally flank Tienie Burger scored in the 53rd minute and Du Plessis converted to give the hosts a lead of 11 points.

Cronje kicked a penalty to shorten the Cheetahs lead to eight points, before center Andre Esterhuizen scored and Cronje converted to make it a one point deficit. Du Plessis replied with a penalty of his own to extend the lead to four points again.

The Sharks appeared to have the final say of the game when eighth man Tera Mthembu scored under the uprights and Cronje converted, but Du Plessis kept his cool after the hooter to sneak in the draw.



Tries: S'Bura Sithole, Andre Esterhuizen, Tera Mthembu
Conversions: Lionel Cronje (3)
Penalties: Lionel Cronje (3)

Free State Cheetahs

Tries: Sarel Pretorius (2), Tienie Burger
Conversions: Willie du Plessis (3)
Penalties: Willie du Plessis (3)


Free State Cheetahs

15 Rayno Benjamin, 14 Maputha Dolo, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 JP du Plessis, 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 Caylib Oosthuizen.

Substitutes: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Rudolph Botha, 18 Werner Lourens, 19 Vincent Jobo, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 AJ Coertzen


15. Tim Swiel, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. S'bura Sithole, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Tonderai Chavhanga, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Conrad Hoffmann, 8. Tera Mtembu (captain), 7. Etienne Oosthuizen, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Marco Wentzel, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick

Substitutes: 16. Monde Hadebe, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Johan Meyer, 19. Khaya Majola, 20. Cameron Wright, 21. Fred Zeilinga, 22. SP Marais


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