Cheetahs break losing streak

2012-03-18 09:47

Melbourne - Replacement scrumhalf Piet van Zyl scored an injury-time try to give the Cheetahs a dramatic first win of the Super Rugby season in a 33-26 victory over the Rebels here on Sunday.

With the score tied at 26-26 and the clock ticking down, the Cheetahs recycled the ball through 16 phases culminating in van Zyl dashing over in the corner to clinch victory and leave the Rebels without a win in three outings.

The Rebels looked like escaping with a draw after trailing 10-20 at half-time but the Cheetahs went for broke, keeping the ball alive over 70 metres leading to van Zyl's game-winning try.

The Cheetahs had narrowly lost two of their previous three games before ending their barren spell on Sunday.

Winger Willie le Roux had an eventful match, scoring two of the Cheetahs' three tries, including an interception off a wayward James O'Connor pass, before being yellow-carded for a deliberate knock down after the Rebels appeared certain to score in he 28th minute.

With the Rebels clawing their way back in the second half, Le Roux also gave away a crucial penalty which handed the Rebels the lead for the first time in the match just after the hour mark.

Flyhalf Johan Goosen took over as the tournament's leading scorer with a match haul of 18 points with three conversions and four penalties from nine attempts.

The Rebels' new Wallaby recruit O'Connor starred for his side, compiling 21 points, including a second-half try, two conversions and four penalties.

O'Connor, starting at flyhalf for the Rebels for the first time with Englishman Danny Cipriani relegated to the substitutes' bench, was in the thick of the action and scored an impressive stepping try eight minutes after the interval.

It dented the Cheetahs comfortable early lead, secured after they jumped to a 20-7 advantage thanks to two tries from the explosive Le Roux.

The Cheetahs waned as the game wore on, going behind and relying on the sharpshooting Goosen to drag them back into contention with a penalty levelling matters at 26-26.

The Cheetahs had most of the ball for the final 10 minutes but desperate defending by the Rebels looked like it would be enough for a share of the points until Van Zyl's intervention.

The Cheetahs now head to New Zealand where they will take on seven-time Super Rugby champions the Crusaders next weekend, while the Rebels host Western Force next Friday.


  • Saffies - 2012-03-18 09:51

    Mooi Cheetahs. Die agterlyn lyk witwarm.

  • Jason - 2012-03-18 09:59

    Well done cheetahs, great game. Stormers 4 life!

  • Ockie - 2012-03-18 10:08

    Wow! What a game and what a last try. Well done Cheetahs. You finished a great weekend for SA teams.

  • David - 2012-03-18 10:09

    You've rounded off a great weekend, brilliant stuff Cheetahs. Give the Crusaders hell next week

  • Alwyn Ströh - 2012-03-18 10:10

    Center piet van zyl? Is he back? Or are talking about the scrumhalf piet van zyl?

  • Rodi - 2012-03-18 10:11

    Great Stuff Cheetahs ! Much better teamwork ! Now go get the rest ..

  • Chris - 2012-03-18 10:12

    Completely outstanding, Cheetahs.

  • springbokke - 2012-03-18 10:17

    Cheetahs, well done , it was no mean feat either...both teams , at times , played very entertaining rugby. Will say it again , '' Young Willy Le Roux... a real gem, Hold on coach Nakka...hold on to him''.

  • Blou-Daan - 2012-03-18 10:34

    Dankie Cheetahs, dit was nou regtig n lekker game om te kyk op n Sondag oggend met sulke lekker weer hier in Pretoria.....!!!!!

      Blou-Daan - 2012-03-18 11:08

      @Isak Ek sal my vrou moet vra, ek sit by die werk vandag. Darm net tot 12 uur :-)

      Lion - 2012-03-18 13:26

      DAAN... Dis darem die beste plek in die wereld my ou vriend. Soos hulle se. Die beste deel van die Kaap is die N1 terug Transvaal toe. Sterkte met die Bulle volgende naweek. Hulle gaan kook!!!

  • Christopher Zoony De Croes - 2012-03-18 10:41

    woot woot my superbru pick was cheetahs !! :) tho my fantasy league has o'connor as my kicker, so happy allround. crusaders will be a hurdle to high for cheetahs

      Anton - 2012-03-18 11:28

      The Cheetahs did beat the Crusaders last year. Even though it was in Bloefontein, the same Crusader team (without Dagg) did demolish the Stormers the weekend before in Cape Town. Saders not firing on all pistons, so lets see!

  • Japjapjap - 2012-03-18 10:43

    fantasties!!!! Wat 'n wedstryd! lekker om die dom britte hier bo te sien kommentaar lewer en ons afrikaner boertjies-hart&siel van SA- te prys.VRYSTAAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hier kom die blou Masjien

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-03-18 11:47


      Deon - 2012-03-18 18:06

      @Japjap... Boet, it might be a bit early for you to break out die vierkleur. Teams like the Crusaders etc etc are waiting and are full of Britte and rooinekke by proxy.... Having said that - well done CHEETAHS !!!

  • Claud - 2012-03-18 10:48

    Well Done Cheetahs, now the season starts.

  • Pierre - 2012-03-18 11:18


  • Anton - 2012-03-18 11:27

    A great vicory for the Cheetahs! It should have been 2/2 in Aus, but not to be. Although the Cheetahs' should the same attacking skill that made them the 3rd highest try scroing team in 2011, it is their defensive effort that has improved significantly. Players such as Devin Raubenhaumer and Phillip van der Walt have added to the hard work by players such as Brussouw, Adriaan Strauss, Ashley Johnsonn as well as their hard working props up front. Backline is much more organised in the defense. Unlucky yellow card for Le Roux who had a great game otherwise!

  • Staalburger - 2012-03-18 11:29

    Goeie wedstryd Cheetahs. Julle het positief gespeel tot aan die einde. Julle sal baie beter spanne laat struikel as julle volhard met positiewe spel. Julle krag lê in julle aanval, nie verdediging nie (alhoewel julle goed verdedig het). Bly dus aanval tot die eindfluitjie blaas. Ek is trots op julle!

  • Tongie - 2012-03-18 11:54

    in the 80th minute, when the cheetahs had possession, i bet i wasnt the only one in the comfort of my lounge shouting " fools kick it out and get a draw, lest u make a hash of the game" hahahahaha. great finish to a sporting weekend

  • Cassandra Olivier - 2012-03-18 12:48

    I hope they keep it up

  • Michael - 2012-03-18 15:15

    Well done cheetahs , you should advertise for a second have coach , in the first halve you guys are unstoppable . I wish you all the best for kiwi land .

  • Dirk - 2012-03-18 15:32

    Well Done Cheetas. From far far away in India.

  • ckrohne1 - 2012-03-18 18:50

    Way to go Cheetahs. Hope you break more Aussie and Kiwi hearts. I just love seeing their heats in

  • Jaco - 2012-03-19 03:36

    I watched the highlights on SuperXV as we can not watch it on SuperSport in Peru due to some legal issue. I was forced to listen to the Aussie commentators, it sounded like the Rebels were playing some practice bags, Rebels were the only team on the field... well suppose the practice bags won!!! Go Cheetahs... Go SA...!!!!!!

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