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    Cheetahs stun Sharks in Durban

    2015-02-14 19:01

    Durban - The Cheetahs started their 2015 Super Rugby campaign with a bang, as they upset the fancied Sharks 35-29 at King's Park in on Saturday night.

    As it happened: Sharks v Cheetahs

    The hosts lost skipper Bismarck du Plessis due to injury before the start of the match, with flyhalf Pat Lambie taking over the captaincy duties.

    The visitors, already without influential flanker Heinrich Brussow, then lost Springbok lock Lood de Jager inside the first ten minutes as the game began with plenty of disruptions.

    Springbok back Lambie opened the scoring for the hosts with a 30 metre penalty, but the visitors hit back immediately, as Coenie Oosthuizen's charge into the 22m area culminated in Willie le Roux finding Jean Cook in space on the left wing, the flanker scoring the game's first try.

    Lambie added a second penalty from 40m out, as the Sharks struggled to contain the Free Staters' characteristically cavalier nature.

    After a first Cheetahs penalty, Lambie then rounded off a fine team move, to dot down under the posts for the Sharks'™ first try of the season --eighthman Tera Mtembu picked up the ball from the back of the scrum, fed scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, who then put Lambie away.

    But the Cheetahs hit back immediately, as hooker Kyle Coope's clearance kick from the restart failed to go out, and centre Francois Venter finished off another fluent move, with a 27th minute try.

    It was 17-13 by the half-hour mark and the Sharks had further disruption when prop Tendai Mtawarira limped off before halftime. Joe Pietersen signed off an immaculate first half's kicking display, by notching a second penalty in the 37th minute, as the Cheetahs opened up a seven-point lead.

    Lambie had time for his third penalty on the stroke of half-time, as an entertaining first period ended with the Sharks trailing 16-20.

    The men from Bloemfontein reopened a seven point lead four minutes into the second half, as Pietersen again punished the Sharks for infringing at the breakdown, before Lambie replied with his fourth penalty goal.

    The Sharks then rang the changes with half an hour to go, with the notable introduction of Jean Deysel, who has returned from club rugby in Japan.

    Lambie made it a one-point gap in the 56th minute, after Oupa Mohoje's high tackle had been spotted by the touch judge.

    The visitors were far from done, however, and they stretched their lead even further as Boom Prinsloo, who had just come on for Mohoje, was pushed over from a well-worked line-out move. Pietersen surprisingly missed the conversion, but the Cheetahs were handily placed, 28-22 ahead with a quarter of an hour to play.

    With the Sharks' defence increasingly stretched, the Cheetahs secured their bonus point with ten minutes to play, as replacement forward Carl Wegner crashed over from close range - Pietersen adding the extras.

    But the Sharks staged a late fight-back, which started with a delicate Deysel flick back before he was bundled into touch, and ended with wing Lwazi Mvovo streaking over for a converted try, to set up a tense finale.

    The home side, desperate for an opening victory, then took the ball through 18 phases, before earning a penalty under the Cheetahs' posts. A quick tap and recycle then saw Marcell Coetzee fumble the ball inches from the line, as the away side held on for a famous win.



    Tries: Pat Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo

    Conversions: Lambie (2 )

    Penalties: Lambie 5


    Tries: Jean Cook, Francois Venter, Boom Prinsloo, Carl Wegner

    Conversions: Joe Pietersen (3)

    Penalties: Pietersen (3)



    15. SP Marais, 14. S’bura Sithole, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie (captain), 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Tera Mtembu, 7. Renaldo Bothma, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Mouritz Botha, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16. Monde Hadebe, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Matt Stevens, 19. Marco Wentzel,20. Jean Deysel, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Fred Zeilinga, 23. Odwa Ndungane


    15 Willie le Roux, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Petersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Minnie.

    Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 BG Uys, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Boom Prinsloo, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Cornal Hendricks

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