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
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
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.
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.
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 CheetahsTeams:
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