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
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
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
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
Fitting the spirit of the match well, the Sharks then fought back
with Bosch scoring and converting a try to restore parity to the
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.
Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Junior Pokomela, William Small-Smith, Ruan Pienaar, Joseph Dweba, Ox Nche, Jasper Wiese
Conversions: Pienaar (5)
Penalties: Tian Schoeman (2)
Tries: Curwin Bosch (2), Sanele Nohamba, Lwazi Mvovo
Conversions: Bosch (2)
Penalties: Bosch (2)
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
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