Cheetahs overpower Stormers
Cape Town - The Cheetahs scored a surprise 22-14 win over the Stormers in their Pre-Season Series clash, thanks mainly to a 14-point contribution from their flyhalf Johan Goosen, at Newlands, on Saturday evening.
Goosen's boot kept the Cheetahs ahead for most of the way and when the Stormers were still trying to chase down a five-point deficit, substitute flyhalf Sias Ebersohn put the issue beyond doubt with a long-range penalty, two minutes ahead of the final whistle.
The Stormers were full of running at the outset and some explosive breaks into the Cheetahs' half held out the promise of an early score.
However, the Stormers' runners needed to pin their ears back and take advantage of the space out wide but instead they relied on support to arrive.
The Cheetahs' defence stood up to the early tests and they kept their lines intact for the rest of the half. Their cause was helped by the Stormers' poor option taking.
The two flyhalves, Demetri Catrakilis (Stormers) and Goosen (Cheetahs) were responsible for all the first-half scoring.
Goosen goaled two penalties and snapped over a drop goal, while Catrakilis was on target with two penalty goals (9-6).
In the closing stages of the first half, Catrakilis missed two penalties from the Cheetahs' 10-metre line, and those misses meant that the Stormers were left trailing 9-6 at the halftime break.
The action was fast and furious after the interval and two tries were scored in the opening four minutes of second-half play.
First, Stormers' hooker Deon Fourie forced his way over at the corner flag, and then the Cheetahs' speed merchant Rocco Jansen ran in unchallenged from 30 metres out for his side's first try.
Goosen managed to convert Jansen's try, and that opened up a 16-11 lead for the Cheetahs in the 44th minute.
Catrakilis closed the gap six minutes later with his third penalty but Goosen later restored the five-point lead with a 40-metre penalty (19-14).
The Stormers managed to hold the upper hand for sustained passages of play in the second half but they failed to round off several promising raids into the Cheetahs' 22-metre area.
There would have been reward for the Stormers on the hour mark but an infringement on the Cheetahs' tryline denied them a second try.
The Cheetahs trumped up their efforts towards the end of the match but they too could not strike up the cohesion in search of a second try.
Their only score advance came by way of a penalty by substitute flyhalf Sias Ebersohn (22-14)
Stormers: Try: Deon Fourie. Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis (3).
Cheetahs: Try: Rocco Jansen. Conversion: Johan Goosen. Penalties: Goosen (3) and Sias Ebersohn. Drop-goal: Goosen.