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Commentary by Sport24's Garrin Lambley
18:50 - In next weekend's matches, the Lions host the Stormers
at Ellis Park (Saturday, February 22 at 19:10), while the Cheetahs
welcome the Bulls to Bloemfontein on Friday, February 21 (19:10)
18:49 - Kudos
to Johan Ackermann's men - and Marnitz Boshoff in particular (on debut
nogal) for his match-winning six penalties and a drop goal.
Early days, but the Cheetahs don't look a patch on the side that finished sixth in the overall standings last season.
18:49 - LIONS WIN! LIONS WIN! LIONS WIN!
21-20 to the Lions in Bloemfontein as the FULL-TIME whistle sounds
18:48 - Boshoff drops back into the pocket and slots the drop goal to give the Lions a 21-20 lead after 79 minutes
18:48 - OH. MY. WORD
Marnitz Boshoff you biscuit!
18:45 - Oh dear. Elgar Watts what were you thinking my boy?!
He misses a sitter from right in front to give the Cheetahs breathing space.
Will that come back to haunt them?
18:44 - Hats
off to the Lions for a brave effort. The Cheetahs will be in for a
tongue-lashing - and no doubt some extra push-ups at practice this
18:43 - Frantic stuff by the Lions who swing
it left, right and left again - and are awarded a penalty... which
Boshoff successfully lands to narrow the gap to TWO once again
18:38 - FIVE-POINT GAP RESTORED
With 10 minute sto play, Elgar Watts - on for Johan Goosen - adds a PENALTY.
Cheetahs 20-15 after 70 minutes
18:36 - Johan Goosen leaves the field clutching his arm. He's had a tough afternoon and been a regular recipient of medical attention
18:34 - COACHES FILTHY
Both coaches will have reason to be fuming on the touchline at present!
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske for the way his team are playing at home, and Johan Ackermann as his team butchers not one, but TWO try-scoring opportunities due to knock-ons!
18:29 - YELLOW CARD
Replacement Jean Cook sees yellow for a late and dangerous tackle.
Boshoff adds the resultant penalty to narrow the gap to 17-15...
18:25 - The Cheetahs lead 17-12 after 60 minutes.
That's 20 minutes to get two more tries and a bonus point that will be vital come the end of the season considering pretty much every opponent the Lions play this season will be eyeing them as a "five-pointer"
18:25 - The Lions are back within five points of the Cheetahs thanks to a fourth penalty by flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff
18:18 - Sarel Pretorius enters the fray at scrumhalf for the Cheetahs - winning his 68th Super Rugby cap
18:16 - Goosen gets up after being injured in the build-up to the try to add the CONVERSION
Cheetahs lead 17-9 after 52 minutes
18:14 - Both Cheetahs wings are now on the scoreboard as Cornal Hendricks goes over for the home side's second try
18:14 - TRY TO THE CHEETAHS!
18:12 - CHEETAHS CHANGE
Trevor Nyakane on the field for Coenie Oosthuizen
18:11 - WILLIE BLOWS HOT AND COLD
Cheetahs fullback Willie le Roux has either been very hot - or ice cold today.
He's been involved in every Cheetahs attack and set up their try, but has had butterfingers in equal measure
18:10 - PICTURE
Happy Lions fans! (via Twitter)
18:07 - TWEET
Cheetahs up 7-2 in turnovers won, and 54-44 in tackles made ... Carries are 46 a piece ... Pretty damn toight at the moment - Front Row Grunt
18:06 - CROWD
No confirmation of the crowd in attendance today, but certainly no where near capacity
18:05 - LET'S PLAY!
Craig Joubert gets the second half started in Bloemfontein
17:52 - See you in 10 minutes!
17:51 - UNHAPPY CHEETAHS
Stern words no doubt at the break from Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske who won't be happy with his side's performance in the first 40 minutes against a Lions team sporting six debutants and last having played Super Rugby as a team in 2012.
17:50 - PENALTY TO THE LIONS
Marnitz Boshoff adds a third penalty on the stroke of half-time to narrow the deficit to 10-9 at half-time in Bloemfontein.
17:49 - STORMERS FANS STOP READING
For those Stormers fans out there you won't want to read that your team is trailing 24-7 at half-time in their final Super Rugby warm-up match in a boiling hot Wellington
17:45 - TWEET
I like Raymond Kofi Rhules commitment on defence,his getting the balance right,good prospect that boy! - Breyton Paulse
17:42 - Despite what Bob Skinstad says to the contrary, scrappy play from both sides in the first half. Typical 'first match of the season' stuff
17:38 - And just as the Cheetahs score, they concede a penalty... Boshoff adds three points to the Lions' tally.
The Cheetahs lead 10-6 after 31 minutes
17:37 - PICTURE
Rhule, 21, scored his sixth Super Rugby try of his career (via Twitter)
17:33 - Goosen adds the CONVERSION
Cheetahs lead 10-3 after 26 minutes
17:32 - The Lions break out from their 22m but spill the ball around halfway. Willie le Roux counter-attacks and offloads to Rhule on his outside who goes over untouched
17:31 - AND THE FIRST TRY OF 2014 SUPER RUGBY GOES TO...
Cheetahs flyer RAYMOND RHULE!
17:27 - THE SCORES ARE LEVEL AGAIN
The enigma that is Johan Goosen as he lands the third - and toughest - penalty to give the Cheetahs a share of the lead at 3-3 after 20 minutes.
17:22 - Penalty to the Cheetahs, but REVERSED for indiscipline.
And Lions No 10 Marnitz
Boshoff gives the Lions a 3-0 lead against the run of play!
17:21 - Scrappy opening 15 minutes to the match.
It must be said, the Free State Stadium has never looked greener!
17:20 - TWEET
Both Cheetahs props are Oosthuizen's but not related ... Caylib not so
sharp in first scrum ... Both not so good on own ball in last one - Front Row Grunt
17:17 - It's all the Cheetahs in the opening 11 minutes but the scoreboard remains 0-0...
17:16 - TWEET
Lions make silly errors at the moment,trying to found their momentum! - Breyton Paulse
17:14 - TWEET
First scrum of S15 2014 end with a short arm ... Oi vei! - Front Row Grunt
17:12 - Oh dear!
Woeful kick in perfect conditions by Goosen. He'll have to do FAR better than that should the Cheetahs have any aspirations of doing well in this year's tournament.
17:11 - Another penalty to the Cheetahs, this time in a far easier position for Goosen to give the hosts the lead.
17:08 - First penalty goes to the Cheetahs, but flyhalf Johan Goosen pulls it to the left of the upright
17:08 - AND WE'RE UNDER WAY IN BLOEM!
16:54 - HAVE YOU MADE YOUR SUPERBRU PICK?
If not, HURRY UP!
And if you haven't yet joined the Sport24 Super Rugby SuperBru challenge - shame on you!
Do so NOW!
16:54 - LATE CHANGE
If things weren't bad enough for the Lions, a late change at No 9!
Francois de Klerk replaces Michael Bondesio.
16:51 - PICTURE
Jan Braai about to, um, braai in Bloemfontein (via Twitter)
16:49 - DID YOU KNOW?
The Cheetahs and Lions have clashed NINE times previously in Super Rugby, with the Cheetahs holding a 5-4 edge.
The average score in those previous matches is 31-20 to the side from Bloemfontein.
16:48 - CALLING ALL RUGBY FANS!
Got any pictures of you proudly supporting your team? If so, email them to email@example.com and we'll hit the publish button!
16:47 - WEATHER UPDATE
Sunny skies at Free State Stadium should offer the perfect platform for running rugby.
16:44 - DID YOU KNOW?
Johan Ackermann's Lions' XV includes SIX Super Rugby debutants -
Chrysander Botha, Marnitz Boshoff, Franco Mostert, Julian Redelinghuys,
Robbie Coetzee and Schalk van der Merwe.
16:43 - Nick Mallett and Naas Botha in the SuperSport studio discussing the match - no change in personal there...
16:42 - Twenty off minutes to go until the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby tournament blasts into action!
15:49 - 'EXPERT' PREDICTION
If you don't believe the bookies, maybe you'll take Sport24 Editor Garrin Lambley's predictions to the bank...
Click HERE for Garrin's thoughts...
16:00 - WIN FOR THE CHEETAHS?
The Cheetahs will top the Super Rugby log after the first match of the season - if bookmakers are to be believed...
Click HERE to read what the bookies say...
16:00 - PICTURE
Another battle promises to be between the loose forwards... including Lappies Labuschagne and Derek Minnie (Gallo Images)
16:00 - PICTURE
One key match-up in today's match will certainly be in midfield between Johann Sadie and Lionel Mapoe (Gallo Images)
16:00 - OFFICIALS
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)
16:00 - RECENT RESULTS
2012: Cheetahs won 26-5, Welkom
2012: Lions won 27-25, Johannesburg
2011: Cheetahs won 53-19, Johannesburg
2011: Lions won 25-20, Bloemfontein
2010: Cheetahs won 59-10, Welkom
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois
Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van
der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4
Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18
Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Rynhardt Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius,
22 Elgar Watts, 23 Ryno Benjamin
15. Chrysander Botha, 14. Deon van Rensburg,
13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. Ruan Combrinck, 10. Marnitz
Boshoff, 9. Michael Bondesio, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Derick
Minnie, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Franco Mostert, 3.
Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe
16. Willie Wepener, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Willie
Britz, 20. Warwick Tecklenburg, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Coenie van Wyk,
23. Alwyn Hollenbach
Welcome to Sport24's LIVE scoring and
interactive commentary on today's Super Rugby match between the Cheetahs and Lions from the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.