Cape Town - Ryno Benjamin scored a hat-trick to help the Free State Cheetahs beat the Pumas 52-10 in Nelspruit on Friday.
This was another dominant performance by the Cheetahs for a result
which not only secures them a home semi-final but also a possible home
final should they get there. They are also still unbeaten in the
The misery continues for the Pumas who gave another hapless
performance and are still without a win this season in what will be
remembered as a disastrous season for them.
They simply couldn't cope with the Cheetahs onslaught and once the
visitors went ahead with Benjamin's first try of the evening they never
had a chance. The Free State wing had an outstanding game not only
because of his three tries but also for his work-rate throughout the
game. Benjamin constantly looked for work and more than once his speed
to the breakdown resulted in turnovers for his side.
The home side were also decimated in the scrums and in one specific
instance their wayward lineout throwing directly resulted in a try for
The beneficiary of that lost lineout was Cheetahs captain Francois
Venter. The Cheetahs went wide after stealing that lineout which led to
a break by fullback Clayton Blommetjies. Blommetjies got a pass away
to Sergeal Petersen in support who gave the inside pass to Venter
powered over for a five-pointer.
Flank Paul Schoeman contributed with two tries of his own, the
second one coming from a kick down field by Niel Marais. Petersen and
Benjamin chased it down when Petersen made the tackle and Benjamin won
the turnover penalty. The winger reacted quickly and gave a cross field
kick which Schoeman collected to score.
Benjamin's second try came from a scrum penalty on the Pumas 5m line
which was sent wide to Benjamin for an easy run-in. His third came
midway through the second half for a well deserved hat-trick after some
slick handling in the Pumas 22.
Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Benjamin (3), Cassiem, Schoeman (2), Venter, Huggett
Conversions: Marais (5), Zeilinga
15 Heinrich Steyl, 14 Ruwellyn Isbell, 13
Hoffman Maritz, 12 Hennie Skorbinski, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9
Kevin Luiters, 8 Renaldo Bothma (captain), 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian
Shabangu, 5 Jannie Stander, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Louis Albertse, 2 Frank
Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 DeJay Terblanche,
18 Jeremy Jordaan, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Devon
Williams, 22 Tyler Fisher
Free State Cheetahs
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14
Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Ryno Benjamin,
10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6
Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2
Jacques Du Toit, 1 Charles Marais
Replacements: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Armandt Koster, 19 Tienie Burger, 20 Zee Mkhabela, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 William Small-Smith