FS Cheetahs crush Bulldogs
East London - The Free State Cheetahs ran in eight tries as they crushed the Border Bulldogs 50-18 in their Vodacom Cup South section match at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in East London on Saturday.
The Cheetahs led 21-8 at half-time.
Wing Robert van Schalkwyk led the charge for the visitors with three tries of his own as the Cheetahs moved to the top of the South section after their fourth win in five matches.
Border’s miserable season continued as they slumped to their fifth consecutive loss of the season.
The Bulldogs were simply outclassed by the visitors although the host’s propensity to run the ball from deep in their own half did not help them in the territory stakes.
Despite the heavy defeat the home side were first to score when eighthman Bonga Mntunjani dived over for an unconverted try in the third minute of the contest.
However, the early score seemed to rouse the Cheetahs as first Van Schalkwyk and then outside centre Philip Snyman crossed for five-pointers of their own.
Van Schalkwyk then showed his finishing ability to snatch his second try with just two minutes remaining in the first half.
Cheetahs’ flyhalf Sias Ebersohn added two penalties to one from Border centre Jeffrey Taljard as the visitors went to the break holding a 13 point lead.
Border seemed to lose their structure in the second half and, with Cheetahs’ flank Philip van der Walt dominating the lineouts; the visitors put the Bulldogs to the sword as they ran in five tries.
Thirteen minutes into the second stanza the flood gates opened as left wing Kholo Ramashala went over for the bonus point try before Van Schalkwyk completed his hat-trick with more than a quarter of the match still to play.
Replacement wing Zandre de Bruin added his name to the try-scorers in the 60th minute before Border finally responded, 15 minutes later, as replacement lock Ross Doneghan rumbled over the tryline.
Doneghan’s score heralded the start of an amazing finish to the match that saw three tries scored in as many minutes.
Cheetahs’ loosehead prop Trevor Nyakane bulldozed his way over in the 78th and 79th minute to complete an impressive match for the front-ranker before wing Byron McGuigan scored a consolation effort for the home side after the hooter had sounded.
Tries: Bonga Mntunjani, Ross Doneghan, Byron McGuigan
Penalty: Jeffrey Taljard
Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Robert van Schalkwyk (3), Philip Snyman, Kholo Ramashala, Zandre de Bruin, Trevor Nyakane (2)
Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (2)
Penalties: Ebersohn (2)