Cheetahs prevail over the Bulls
After gifting the Lions a win at the death in a game they should have won last week, the Cheetahs came perilously close to repeating the trick with the Bulls in the Super Rugby game between the two last night.
The hosts had put in a dominant performance in a first half in which they had put daylight between them and their Pretoria visitors.
But with the win in sight in the second half they seemed to unravel as the Bulls clawed their way back, only to arrest the slide in the last five minutes of the game to record their first win of this year’s competition.
The result, which saw the hosts score four tries to the Bulls’ three, was thanks to the Cheetahs’ tactic of moving the heavy Bulls pack around on the heavy Free State Stadium pitch.
Initially they found a lot of space out wide before the Bulls’ defensive structure caved in altogether in favour of chasing shadows.
For the second week in successions, the Bulls not only lost but they gave another team the kind of suicidal head start teams cannot afford at this level, especially when your team brims with the intent of playing with the ball but doesn’t seem to have a strategy to get its hand on to said ball.
Where scrums were an Achilles heel last week, the lineout was dysfunctional yesterday to the point where the lineout that led to lock Justin Basson’s try was taken by none other than winger Ryno Benjamin.
Fly half Fred Zeilinga, who scored 20 points last week, again was good off the tee with 14, with man of the match Oupa Mohoje scoring two of the hosts’ four tries.
Earlier in the day centre Lukhanyo Am scored a last-ditch try that got the Sharks their first win of the campaign in a 27-22 win against the Brumbies in Canberra, a victory in which the visitors came back from 15-3 down to secure.
Elsewhere, the Stormers kept up their winning habit with a 32-25 win over the Jaguares, whose disciplinary issues came back to bite them in the backside again as they played the game with 13 men again for the second week in a row.
The Lions prevailed 55-36 over the visiting Waratahs in a game in which defence was almost optional at times, the main aim seemingly scoring as many points as possible.
And believe it or not, the Kings also won convincingly 37-23 against the Sunwolves, away from home nogal.