Currie Cup

Cheetahs' second half effort floors Sharks

2019-08-31 18:45
Ruan Pienaar (Gallo Images)
Ruan Pienaar (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Free State Cheetahs emerged victorious from a chaotic Currie Cup semi-final against the Sharks with a 51-30 win in Bloemfontein in a match that saw 11 tries scored between the two sides.

As it happened | Free State Cheetahs v Sharks

Curwin Bosch kicked off proceedings for the Sharks and promptly scored the game's first try within seconds. The Cheetahs were unable to gather the ball and a neat one-two between Bosch and Aphelele Fassi put the former through. He then converted to cap more-or-less the perfect start to the match for the flyhalf.

Tian Schoeman answered back with a penalty for the home side before Junior Pokomela was able to cross the whitewash around the 10th minute to put the home side ahead for the first time in the match.

Schoeman missed the conversion but did kick another penalty four minutes later to extend their lead to 11-7.

The Sharks dominated the remainder of the first half and retook the lead around the 20-minute mark after a beautiful individual play by Sanele Nohamba. He ran into contact and somehow wriggled his way through to break the line and score the visitor's second try. Like Schoeman before, Bosch missed the conversion but added another three points with a later penalty.

They finished the first half in style as Lwazi Mvovo was able to expose some more frailties in the home side's defence in the 39th minute. Bosch again missed the conversion and the Sharks led 20-11 at half-time.

Bosch extended their lead with another penalty five minutes into the second period, but that was the point when the Cheetahs decided enough was enough.

Tian Schoeman was set up for a try brilliantly by William Small-Smith to score his first try of the game in the 49th minute but missed the conversion.

Despite the change in tone of proceedings, it took until the 60th minute for the Cheetahs to again break the Sharks' defence.

They caught the visitors off-guard with a quick lineout close to the line and Clayton Blommetjies popped a short offload to Ruan Pienaar in space to score. Pienaar took over kicking duties and made the conversion to bring the score to 23-23.

Moments later they had the lead when Joseph Dweba opened up the taps down the wing and no-one had a hope of catching him. Pienaar kicked the conversion.

Fitting the spirit of the match well, the Sharks then fought back with Bosch scoring and converting a try to restore parity to the scoreboard.

The final 10 minutes belonged to the home side, though, as tries by Pokomela, Ox Nche, and Jasper Wiese, all of which were converted by Pienaar, saw the game taken well and truly away from the Sharks.

The Cheetahs now face a home final against the Lions.

Scorers:

Free State Cheetahs

Tries: Junior Pokomela, William Small-Smith, Ruan Pienaar, Joseph Dweba, Ox Nche, Jasper Wiese

Conversions: Pienaar (5)

Penalties: Tian Schoeman (2)

Sharks

Tries: Curwin Bosch (2), Sanele Nohamba, Lwazi Mvovo

Conversions: Bosch (2)

Penalties: Bosch (2)

Teams:

Free State Cheetahs

15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Tian Meyer (captain ), 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Abongile Nonkontwana, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjesi, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Reinach Venter, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Gerhard Olivier, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Louis Fouche, 22 Darren Adonis

Sharks

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward (co-captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Tera Mtembu (co-captain), 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Phepsi Buthelezi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Dylan Richardson, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Rhyno Smith, 23 JP Pietersen

 

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