PRO14

Cheetahs let it slip against Connacht

2019-02-16 21:54
Franco Smith (Gallo Images)

Galway - The Cheetahs let slip a handy lead before going down to Irish side Connacht at The Sportsground on Saturday.

As it happened: Connacht v Cheetahs

Connacht won 25-17, but had to come from behind against a fired-up Cheetahs outfit.

Connacht captain and No 8 Jarrad Butler secured victory with a late try, set up by the imperious flyhalf Jack Carty, the PRO14's official website reports.

The Cheetahs led 12-3 in the first half thanks to tries from winger Rabs Maxwane and fullback Louis Fouche, before centre Tom Farrell scored to keep the hosts' hopes alive with a 10-12 deficit at half-time.

Connacht went ahead after the break thanks to a score from hooker Tom McCartney, but Cheetahs scrumhalf Shaun Venter's brilliant solo effort squared it up midway through the second half.

But four minutes from time, Carty whipped out a pass to Butler, who found himself on the wing and showed his power to shrug off his marker and cross the whitewash to seal the deal.

Flyhalf Tian Schoeman set up the opening try for Cheetahs with a lovely grubber behind the home defence for Maxwane to chase and pounce on, with the No 10 converting too.

Fouche added another after 20 minutes, with the typically free-flowing rugby and great hands from the South Africans exploiting the space on the outside.

But the hosts hit back not long after, pounding away at the Cheetahs defence on the line and eventually Farrell crashed through the backline and stretched to dot down.

Carty converted, his second successful kick from the tee following an earlier penalty, and suddenly there was only two points in it at the break.

Connacht showed their strength in the pack to take the lead for the first time 47 minutes in, with McCartney falling over the line off the back of a driving maul line-out.

Carty again added the extras to make it 17-10 and set up an intriguing last half an hour.

In a great back-and-forth game, the Cheetahs levelled it up just over 10 minutes later as they turned over the ball and got it out to Venter, who turned on the gas and raced clear from 60 metres out to dive over.

It was a tight final 20 minutes, with Carty nudging the hosts ahead with a penalty, before a decisive score concluded matters in Galway.

As Connacht surged forward, Carty spun a brilliant pass out to Butler on the wing, who bumped the last defender and crossed to secure the win.

Scorers:

Connacht

Tries: Tom Farrell, Tom McCartney, Jarrad Butler
Conversions: Jack Carty (2)
Penalties: Carty (2)

Cheetahs

Tries: Rabs Maxwane, Louis Fouche, Shaun Venter
Conversion: Tian Schoeman

Teams:

Connacht

15 Darragh Leader, 14 Cian Kelleher, 13 Tom Farrell, 12 Tom Daly, 11 Stephen Fitzgerald,
10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 Jarrad Butler (captain), 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Eoin McKeon, 5 James Cannon, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley

Substitutes: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Peter McCabe, 18 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 19 Cillian Gallagher, 20 Paul Boyle, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Conor Fitzgerald, 23 Kyle Godwin

Cheetahs

15 Louis Fouche, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Nico Lee, 11 Rabs Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Shaun Venter (captain), 8 Gerhard Olivier, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Abongile Nonkontwana, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Jasper Wiese, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Charles Marais

Substitutes: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Walt Steenkamp, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Rudy Paige

Read more on:    connacht  |  cheetahs  |  pro14  |  bloemfontein  |  rugby

 

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