Cheetahs butcher Bloem win

2012-04-28 18:58

Bloemfontein - The Highlanders wiped out a 21-point deficit during the second half to pip the Cheetahs 36-33 on Saturday in a Super Rugby thriller in Bloemfontein.

The first time the New Zealand visitors led was in the final minute when replacement flyhalf Chris Noakes kicked his second penalty at a silent Free State Stadium.

Highlanders won possession from the resultant kick-off, kept the ball among the forwards until the full-time hooter sounded, and replacement scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan belted the ball into the main stand.

As if facing an at-times rampant South African team was not enough, the men from Dunedin were two short for several first-half minutes after hooker Andrew Hore and England flank James Haskell got yellow cards.

Cheetahs replacement flyhalf Sias Ebersohn bowed his head and tried to hold back tears after the final whistle as he fluffed a simple penalty attempt just before Noakes snatched victory.

Ebersohn came off the bench on the hour mark when pivot Johan Goosen, who had contributed 18 points, was forced off the field after hurting his shoulder while scoring the Cheetahs' third try that was converted for a 30-9 advantage.

Highlanders hit back with three converted tries to draw level only to fall behind again before nerve-less Noakes slotted penalties on 72 and 80 minutes to keep his team second in the New Zealand Conference and fifth overall.

"That was an unbelievable match," said Highlanders loosehead and skipper Jamie MacKintosh. "We were bloody awful and indisciplined until we discovered some momentum during the second half.

"I really feel for the Cheetahs, who are a great attacking side, but we felt their defence was a bit narrow so once we started getting our hands on the ball the plan was to go wide and get around them."

Cheetahs hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss found it hard to accept that his team had let a big lead slip and remain 11th on the southern hemisphere provincial championship standings, six points off the last playoff spot.

"I am so disappointed as we had chances to finish the game off when well ahead. We just were not smart enough as the Highlanders started finding space and running at us," he admitted.

Cowan scored two tries and Noakes one for Highlanders, all of which Noakes converted and he added two penalties to the three kicked by flyhalf Mike Delany during the opening half which ended with Cheetahs 23-9 ahead.

Leading Super Rugby points scorer Goosen raised his season total to 145 with a try, two conversions and three penalties while Ebersohn contributed one conversion and one penalty from five attempts at goal.

Loosehead prop Coenie Oosthuizen and debutant lock Andries Ferreira scored first-half tries for the home team, whose only consolation was a bonus point for losing narrowly.

The Cheetahs host struggling Australian outfit the Western Force next Saturday while the Highlanders travel to Durban for a showdown with the Sharks the same day.



15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen

Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 George Earle, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Snyman

15. Ben Smith, 14. Buxton Popoalii, 13. Tamati Ellison, 12. Shaun Treeby, 11. Hosea Gear, 10. Mike Delany, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Nasi Manu, 7. James Haskell, 6. Adam Thomson, 5. Jarrad Hoeata, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 3. Chris King, 2. Andrew Hore, 1. Jamie MacKintosh (captain)

Substitutes: 16. Jason Rutledge, 17. Ma'afu Fia, 18. Culum Retallick, 19. Doug Tietjens, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Chris Noakes, 22. Siale Piutau


  • LongSword - 2012-04-28 19:10

    No wonder the Sharks always steal their players. And that miss, well, domkop-ish, i hope he wasn't at the Bok camp. As for the team, well, what team?

      Benn - 2012-04-28 19:59

      The saying "Of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most" came up when I read your "comment"

      Sean - 2012-04-29 00:37

      @LongSword , rather stfu !!!

      Walter - 2012-04-29 07:16

      I read in the papers the other day that Strauss was being considered by the new coach as 'Bok skipper for the forthcoming England series. Well, that's got me scratching my head big time and yesterday didn't help me one bit! Poor old Bismark must be muttering to himself........... and I don't blame him one bit!

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-04-29 07:55

      Eish Cheetahs !!! Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory !!!

      maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-04-29 09:02

      Goosen was the difference with his tactical kicking, once He was injured the Cheetas pretty much fell apart. I think the whole of South Africa's rugby public held its breath when he went down. What a find for SA rugby!

  • LongSword - 2012-04-28 19:10

    No wonder the Sharks always steal their players. And that miss, well, domkop-ish, i hope he wasn't at the Bok camp. As for the team, well, what team?

      Sean - 2012-04-29 00:38

      ffs , try and grow a brain !!!!

  • Chris - 2012-04-28 19:21

    Sit 'n Bloubul weer vanaand agter die 'delete' knoppie?

      Warren - 2012-04-28 19:35

      Umm... dis Blouvitrioel, lmfga.

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 03:24

      Chris... Jy is eentonig. Wat het die Blou Bulle nou weer hiermee te doen? Julle kan maar net nie sonder die Bulle nie ne! Lyk my julle het 'n obsessie met die Bulle. Inbox my dan stuur Tokolos vir jou 'n aansoekvorm om 'n Bul supporter te word!!!

  • jacquesalthea.knotter - 2012-04-28 19:22

    Why talk about sharks and cheetahs just look how good the NZ side just ,at will cleared a 21 point deficit in less than 6 minutes .SA beware.The Super 15 Champions will be a NZ side this year.Mark my words.

      Jack - 2012-04-28 20:35

      am only really worried about the Chiefs - they look like major title contenders this year!

      Rich - 2012-04-28 21:14

      The Crusaders are peaking nicely - they'll be there at the end and The Chiefs look great under Rennie, Smith and Coventry. So many years wasted having Foster in charge.

      marnusmnorval - 2012-04-28 23:41

      This year it will be between Chiefs and Crusaders.. They struggled to start but then they start playing as a team they are unstoppable

      Sean - 2012-04-29 00:41

      @jackblack- Only SA team that has a chance , are the Bulls !! I am not Bull Supporter !!

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 03:25

      Crusaders vs. Bulls final Bulls to take SA Conference as well by landslide!!! Stormers to choooooooke... AGAIN!!!!

  • - 2012-04-28 19:22


  • Zion - 2012-04-28 19:24

    another penalty win. Pity really but that is how the world goes round.

      Sean - 2012-04-29 00:42

      Cheatahs threw it away !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hannes Truter - 2012-04-28 19:34

    Kan iemand asb vir Marius Jonker verduidelik wat is 'n 'knock' en die verskil tussen 'n geel-kaart en 'n rooi-kaart asb!!

      Warren - 2012-04-28 19:48

      Yep, that's the first time I see a ref ignore a touch judge's recommendation.

      Alan - 2012-04-28 19:52

      I missed the first 60 min, what happened that Marius missed?

      Jack - 2012-04-28 20:30

      I think Jonker was scared because of the reprimand Peyper no doubt received for handing the Bulls the game last week. He was obviously not lus to make any decisions with sizable match altering consequences...

      Wesley - 2012-04-28 21:18

      Stop blamming the ref, they were 21 points ahead. Bunch of chokers

      Bob - 2012-04-28 21:53

      warren stop blaming the choked

      Sean - 2012-04-29 00:43

      @Wesley - Thank you , they f@cken blew it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 02:45

      CHOOOOOOOOOOKERS!!! Same as the Stormpies will choke come playoff time!

      Warren - 2012-04-29 11:04

      @ Bob: Seriously dude, grow up! How can I blame the ref for our loss after the miss of all misses??? If I have to spell it out to you this is Plonker Jonker's 2nd bad game in a row.

  • dave.reyneke - 2012-04-28 19:37

    One gets the impression that the Cheetas are not 80 minutes fit. They slipped a LOT of tackles in the second half. Sias didnt kick well but the defence was the real culprit. Hoping Goosen's injury isn't serious....he's a future Bok star Bulls Greetings

      Jack - 2012-04-28 20:33

      I'm actually a little skeptical about the "injuries" to Goosen and Kitshoff tonight. I half suspect that both were under orders to go and get themselves injured to avoid call-up for the u20 RWC...just seems a little too convenient...

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 03:30

      Goosen will be like Gaffie in the old days if we don't take very good care of him. When Gaffie started he was the "God" of fly halves only to tackled out of his boots by the AB's and then gradually faded and ended up being nothing. He was still a kid. Goosen is a huge talent but too much is expected of him too soon. Wrap him in cotton and let him get mature and used to this level of rugby. He has the potential to become one of the greats of the game.

      Raymond - 2012-04-29 10:04

      @Tokolos ~ So you can actually make sense without constantly spewing vitriolic crap. Amazing!

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 10:22

      LOL, Raymond... Tokolos have his moments. Greetings from Da Kingdom of Da Bulls!!

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2012-04-28 19:45

    Besides that the Cheetahs ran out of fuel, I also would like to ask why I could see it, but not Naka? With such a lead and tired players, fresh legs should have been the choice to keep the game tied, defense up and handling in control. It was clear that player like Coenie, no 8, etc, was out on their feet. I don't want to use that as the only excuse, but it was visible to any, that watched the game. Coenie came back from flu and played very good, but why so long. Naka, you are having a problem because you cant sh#t the players out due to the fact that you forgot that when their petrol is finished, new legs are needed and at the right time.

      Rinus - 2012-04-28 20:14

      Naka is die Cheetahs se HEEL grootste probleem!!!!

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 07:10

      Ek stem Rinus Stuur hom WP toe!

      Raymond - 2012-04-29 10:06

      @Tokolos ~ and there you go ~ vomiting again. You really should see a doctor about this problem of yours

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 10:32

      Raymond... Lol Like I said, Tokolos have his moments. Although Tokolos will surprise most of you with his rugby knowledge, you should never agree with Tokolos or give a thumbs up, because just a few lines down you will be terribly disappointed again. Sorry for the disappointment!! Greetings from Da Kingdom of Da Bull!!!

  • Andrew - 2012-04-28 19:58

    Nothing more than straight stupidity and shocking captaincy!!!! Never ever think of Strauss as a RSA captain. He is not.

      Rinus - 2012-04-28 20:15

      Strauss did not miss the kicks nor did he decide when to bring on the replacements (or not). Tewis should not have been replaced, others should...

  • Johan - 2012-04-28 20:22

    What great rugby the Cheatahs are playing, they must just learn from the Bulls how to kill a game off. They lack experience to do so but with the Sharks and WP poaching their experience year after year its difficult

      Neville - 2012-04-28 20:46

      Who is the biggest poachers Bjorn Basson , Sadie , Wilhelm, and the list goes on , The Blue Bullbokke

      Johan - 2012-04-28 21:47

      Talking about Cheatah players now, and idiot, Wilhelm was loaned to them. Stick to the cartoon network

      Wesley - 2012-04-28 22:05

      Did you think about it, perhaps the players are not poached, but they leave because they also want to win sometimes

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 03:35

      The want to play professional rugby in a professional outfit. That is why they leave the other franchises. Cheetahs, Stormers, Sharks, Lions cannot keep their players because the dont have what the Bulls have. The Bulls have BMT and... PRETORIA!!!

      Nibiru - 2012-04-29 06:47

      @ Tokolos Surely you mean Tshwane

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 06:54

      Nibiru... Last time I checked it was still THE REPUBLIC OF PRETORIA... IDIOT!!!

      peter.britz1 - 2012-04-29 09:40

      Jip, I agree, they could certainly learn alot out of the Bulls vs Brumbies match lol. What a tosser!

  • Neville - 2012-04-28 20:40

    As n stormer is my tweede span al die jare die Cheetas , hulle speel goeie rugby maar hulle verdedeging is hulle swakpunt .

  • Keith - 2012-04-28 20:45

    Theuns moenie dom is nie- Sias het mis geskop maar almal maak mistakes.In die laaste game wat hy begin het het hy al sy skoppe oorgeklits.Naka roteer nie sy spelers lekka nie.Hy is die flop.

      Tokolos - 2012-04-29 03:36

      Naka is useless!

  • Keith - 2012-04-28 20:58

    Jayden dit is wat my so kwaad maak. Van 1972 af hou ek van Cheetah rugby.Oom Harold en kie moet asseblief die performance clause van Naka in werking stel.Laat die man loop.

  • Werner - 2012-04-28 21:59

    Cheetahs het die game weg gemoer! Sorry geen ander beskrywing daarvoor nie. Hulle moeyt maat weer Cats word sodat die Kings hulle hul naam so kan weggooi

  • Daan - 2012-04-29 06:48

    Naka is unfortunately not the right man for the job. At best he gets the Cheetas to blow hot and cold. Even as a Bulls supporter I'm still disappointed if a SA team loses a game like this.

      Stefan Erasmus - 2012-04-29 09:45

      Stem saam Daan,Verster moet ook gaan.

  • Ockie - 2012-04-29 09:05

    Hard luck Cheetahs. The Highlanders are a very good side, but you outplayed them the first 20 minutes. You then allowed them back in the game and lost narrowly. Sorry Sias ... sometimes people look for a scapegoat, but it should never have come down to a penalty. The whole team let the game slip.

  • Nick - 2012-04-29 10:13

    Cheetahs you broke a nation's heart yesterday...not just the heart of your fans. The team that I really look forward to watching week in week out is the Cheetahs (and that sentiment is echoed by other in SA, Oz and NZ) and it isnt because my Sharks are performing is because they play an amazing brand of ragga. You had it in the fustrating for us...I just cant imagine how the team feels. For 50min or so you made the Highlanders look stupid. My condelences! I am also GUTTED about Goosen's injury...cannot believe it!!! Get well soon JG.

  • Raymond - 2012-04-29 10:22

    I want to know what is happening to James Haskill! A lot being said about Butch 'The Thug' James, but nothing about James "Blind Side" Haskill or the other Highlander thugs on the field. I thought the Highlanders were generally dirty players.

  • EJ - 2012-04-29 15:00

    Cheetahs are playing the NZ brand of they are choking like them

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