Currie Cup

First blood to Cheetahs

2012-10-19 20:49
Phillip Van der Walt (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein - The Free State Cheetahs convincingly smashed the Eastern Province Kings 53-14 in the first of two promotion/relegation games in Bloemfontein on Friday evening.

The Cheetahs romped to a half-time lead of 24-0 and scored eight-tries-to-two to make a Kings' victory in next weekend's clash in Port Elizabeth almost irrelevant.

The huge points difference means the Kings will have to beat the Cheetahs by at least 40 points and four tries in the second match if they are to advance to the Currie Cup Premier division.

The Kings showed some good intent from the kick-off, but their eagerness was met by good defence from the Bloemfontein-based side.

The hosts looked the better of the sides in the opening minutes, their first couple of attacking phases resulting in an unconverted try for wing Nico Scheepers in the fifth minute.

The Kings tried to recover, but they could not free the ball up in the tackle situation and turned over possession to the hosts.

The visitors also struggled in the scrums, with loosehead prop Jaco Engels conceding numerous penalties for scrumming in on the angle.

With the points difference in the back of their minds the Cheetahs wasted no time turning another attacking opportunity into points.

The Cheetahs put together some good phases of play before the overlap saw prop Ross Geldenhuys go over for the hosts' second unconverted five-pointer.

The Cheetahs piled on the pressure in the scrums and also had the Kings' number at the breakdown area.

Some ill-discipline did not help the Kings' cause, and the Cheetahs scored their third try in the 27th minute after eighthman Philip van der Walt rounded off another good attacking spell.

Scheepers converted the try, his first of the evening, to give his side a 17-0 lead.

Defending for most of the half the Kings enjoyed very little possession and their leaking defence again cost them dearly.

Cheetahs' wing Raymond Rhule ran around the Kings' backline and offloaded to centre Andries Strauss for their bonus-point try, with Scheepers converting.

The visitors played with renewed vigour and scored their first try in the 46th minute, with flanker Devin Oosthuizen rounding off the visitors' best piece of attacking play of the evening, with flyhalf George Whitehead converting.

The Cheetahs, however, bounced back as centre Strauss scored his second try of the evening.

The visitors continued their resurgence as centre Shane Gates crossed the whitewash in the 54th minute, with Whitehead converting.

However, the Kings' fight-back was short-lived as the Cheetahs' hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss intercepted and scored a converted try.

Replacement flyhalf Tewis de Bruyn later extended the home side's lead to 25 points as he succeeded with a penalty conversion, while Rayno Benajmin added another five-pointer.

Referee Jonathan Kaplan then wrapped up the match as he awarded a penalty try against the Kings for collapsing an attacking maul on their own goalline.

Scorers:

Cheetahs
Tries:Ross Geldenhuys, Andries Strauss (2), Nico Scheepers, Phillip van der Walt, Adriaan Strauss, Rayno Benjamin, Penalty Try
Conversions: Scheepers (3), Tewis de Bruyn (3)
Penalties: De Bruyn


EP Kings
Tries: Devin Oosthuizen,  Shane Gates
Conversions:
Penalties: George Whitehead (2)

Teams:


Cheetahs

15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Phillip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Izak van der Merwe, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Marcel van der Merwe

Subs: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Carl Wegner, 19 Davon Ruabenheimer, 20 Tewis du Bruyn, 21 Phillip Snyman, 22 Rayno Benjamin.

EP Kings


15 SP Marais, 14 Paul Perez, 13 Wayne Stevens (c), 12 Shane Gates, 11 Michael Killian 10 Wesley Dunlop, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Devin Oosthuizen, 5 David Bullbring, 4 Reynier Bernardo, 3 Clint Newland, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Jaco Engels.

Subs: 16 Frank Herne, 17 Andre Schlechter, 18 Wayne van Heerden, 19 Mpho Mbiyozo, 20 Scott Mathie, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Norman Nelson.

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Fixtures
07 August 2015
Qualifier v Western Province, TBC 15:30
Pumas v Sharks, Mbombela Stadium 18:00
08 August 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls, Free State Rugby Stadium 14:15
Eastern Province Kings v Golden Lions, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 14:15
14 August 2015
Golden Lions v Pumas, Emirates Airline Park 19:10
Blue Bulls v Qualifier, Loftus Versfeld 19:10
15 August 2015
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs, Newlands Stadium 15:00
Sharks v Eastern Province Kings, Growthpoint Kings Park 17:05
21 August 2015
Eastern Province Kings v Pumas, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 19:00
Blue Bulls v Western Province, Loftus Versfeld 19:10
Qualifier v Free State Cheetahs, TBC 19:10
22 August 2015
Sharks v Golden Lions, Growthpoint Kings Park 17:05
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