Cheetahs' slim hopes are extinguished

2019-03-24 06:45
Tian Schoeman
Tian Schoeman (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Glasgow Warriors strengthened their position at the top of Conference A in the  PRO14 with a convincing 35-17 win over the Cheetahs at Scotstoun on Saturday night.

At the same time as the team coached by Dave Rennie were solidifying their hold on an advantageous draw in the knockouts by scoring five tries to three and thus notching a full house of five log points, their opponents appear to have seen their hopes of advancing finally extinguished.

The Cheetahs have three games remaining, and although all those matches are at home in Bloemfontein, the difference between themselves and third placed Connacht is now 16 log points.

As they have tended to be recently, the Cheetahs were entertaining, played the game at pace and they put on a spectacle in their final away game.

However, there was never too much doubt that the Scottish team would win, with Callum Gibbins scoring a try after just five minutes to open a 7-0 lead. They were never headed after that, although the Cheetahs' hopes did flicker briefly.

The Cheetahs' note for optimism was sounded by William Small-Smith, who used his pace to out-strip his opposite number to score a spectacular try in the corner in the 14th minute.

Tiaan Schoeman did not convert so the Warriors retained their lead, and then quickly extended it when three minutes later Kyle Steyn crossed for a converted try that stretched the gap to nine points.

In the 28th minute Rory Hughes ran a good line to bisect the Cheetahs defence and open up a 21-5 advantage at halftime.

Replacement hooker Joseph Dweba began the second half impressively for the Cheetahs, showing his power and pace by running a great line to notch his team's second try. Dweba looked pumped when he scored, and so he should have been, for it was a great individualistic try.

As a team the Cheetahs were pressing at that point, but they needed to score quickly if they were going to really challenge for the win.

Instead it was inside centre Scott MacDowell who dotted down for the Warriors four minutes short of the hour mark, and in doing so securing his team their four-try bonus point.

With a 16 point deficit it was a long way back for the Cheetahs, but full marks to them for putting in a full-hearted effort at at least grabbing the solitary bonus point that might have given the South African team the faintest of mathematical chances of following up last year's feat of making it into the finals series.

By the time Scott Cummings scored the Warriors' fifth try that hope had been erased, but the Cheetahs did strike back with a late consolation score from Small-Smith to bring some respectability to the scoreline.

It was the fourth consecutive away defeat for the Cheetahs.


Glasgow Warriors 35 - Tries:Callum Gibbins, Kyle Steyn, Rory Hughes, Stafford MacDowell and Scott Cummings; Conversions: Peter Horne 3 and Adam Hastings 2.

Cheetahs 17 - Tries: William Small-Smith 2 and Joseph Dweba; Conversion: Tiaan Schoeman.

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Read more on:    cheetahs  |  pro14  |  rugby


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