Vodacom Super 14

Cheetahs crush Hurricanes

2010-03-06 21:36
Meyer Bosman (File)
Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs pulled off an upset 28-12 win over the previously unbeaten Hurricanes in a Super 14 southern hemisphere championship match on Saturday.

It seemed an unlikely result when the Hurricanes, who had won their previous three matches, dominated possession and showed more flair on attack in the first half hour.

But while scrumhalf Piri Weepu missed three early kicks at goal, Cheetahs centre Meyer Bosman and flyhalf Naas Olivier combined to land eight kicks out of eight during the match.

Bosman booted four long range penalties while Olivier succeeded with three penalties and a conversion from the touchline of his team's only try, scored by Kabamba Floors.

The game swung decisively to the Cheetahs in the second half, with the Hurricanes showing the effects of playing at high altitude after a long flight from New Zealand.

Cheetahs captain Juan Smith said the win came after a difficult week in which his team were heavily criticised for a poor performance at the same venue against the Highlanders.

"The Cheetahs are the most difficult team to play against," quipped Smith.

"One week we're the most shocking team and another week we can beat anyone."

Hurricanes captain Andrew Hore said his team had gone to Bloemfontein expecting a win but admitted his players conceded too many penalties.

"We couldn't play our game with the penalties we gave away," he said.

The visitors were also handicapped when two of their players - Ma'a Nonu and Jeremy Thrush - were sent to the sin-bin.

The Hurricanes paid for missed opportunities in the first half and trailed 12-5 at the interval.

The New Zealanders scored the only try of the half, with left wing David Smith scoring his fourth try of the campaign after ten minutes following a slick move from a lineout.

The Cheetahs took control in the second half, however, and stretched their lead to 20 points with 20 minutes to play.

Replacement loose forward Floors scored in the right corner eight minutes after half-time when he collected a chip ahead by wing Jongi Nokwe and held off two tackles to force his way over.

Reduced to 14 men when Thrush was handed a yellow card in the 66th minute, the Hurricanes mounted a brief rally, with fullback Cory Jane scoring with ten minutes to go.


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