Cape Town - Sensational winger Seargal Petersen and the big number eight Paul Schoeman both ran in a hat-trick of tries as the Cheetahs thumped the Sunwolves 92-17 in Bloemfontein on Friday - the second biggest winning margin in Super Rugby history.
AS IT HAPPENED: CHEETAHS 92-17 SUNWOLVES
It seemed as if the game was going to be a high scoring affair, with 17 points being scored within the first ten minutes and it certainly did live up to this expectation as the Cheetahs ran in five tries in the first quarter of the match.
The visitors' hectic travelling schedule were - as expected - taking a toll on their reaction time both on attack and defense as the men from Bloemfontein ran in seven tries to none in the first half and fourteen five pointers to two in the end.
As much as the scoreline reflects the attacking prowess of the home side, it also is a testament of their discipline on defense.
An all-round brilliant display of talent and skill from the home side as they ran riot in the second half. Captain Francois Venter, scrum-half Shaun Venter, number eight Paul Schoeman and the flying 21-year-old Sergeal Petersen were all heavily involved.
An early penalty awarded to the Sunwolves after Torsten van Jaarsveld failed to release the tackled player, Tusi Pisi drew first blood for the visitors, 0-3.
The Namibian hooker redeemed himself moments later after the Cheetahs opted to go for a five metre lineout as opposed to taking the three points on offe and it paid off as van Jaarsveld crashed after the home side mauled over for the first try of the match. Marais added the extras to make it 7-3.
Cheetahs captain Francois Venter snatched the ball out of the grasp of Mifiposeti Paea after Pisi's pass failing to go to hand. The inside centre ran in untouched, just 90 seconds after the first score. Marais made no mistake with the conversion and extended the men from Bloemfontein's score to 14-3.
Uzair Cassiem went over for the Cheetahs third and bonus point try, in the corner. The flanker had to fend off two Sunwolves defenders, Marais converted from a difficult angle to makke it 21-3.
Venter found a speeding Raymond Rhule on his inside as the flying winger went over for the fourth Cheetahs try, Marais taking the score to 28-3 with the conversion.
Sergeal Petersen also got on the scoring sheet in the 20th minute, the right winger beat replacement winger Yasutaka Sasakura gathered a well placed grubber kick to cross the whitewash in the corner, Marais unsuccessful from the tee and the score remained 33-3.
Scrum-half Shaun Venter went in for the home side's sixth try after him and hooker van Jaarsveld linked brilliantly on the blindside. The 29-year-old number nine muscled his way over the try line with two Sunwolves players on his back. Marais missed the conversion once again.
A box kick from scrum-half Venter was taken by a speeding Petersen and the 21-year-old winger went over for his second try. Marais converted to make the score 45-3 as the players made their way into the locker rooms.
The Cheetahs picked up where they left off at the end of the first half with Hilton Lobberts going over for the first try of the second half. Cassiem and Petersen linked beautifully before Petersen executed the final pass that sent Lobberts over the whitewash. Marais converted and the scoreboard read 52-3.
Just three minutes later it was the full-back Clayton Blommetjies that got on the scoresheet after Venter took a quick tap and Blommetjies caught a few Sunwolves player off guard and went over, Marais added the extras to make the score 59-3.
The visitors had to wait until the 48th minute before they scored their first try of the match, Derek Carpenter scoring under the upright. Pisi added the extras making the score 59-10.
Consistent and relentless attack from the Sunwolves gifted them their second try, left winger Paea going over in the corner. Pisi added the extras from a very difficult angle and took the scoreline to 59-17. Number eight Paul Schoeman pounced on a loose ball after the Sunwolves were trying to run the ball from their try line, the back-rower crashed over and Marais added the extras that took the score to 66-17.
The driving maul was used to great effect as replacement hooker Jacques du Toit crashed over for his first Super Rugby and the Cheetahs' tenth try, Marais missed the conversion.
A turnover at the ruck and the ball was hacked forward for Petersen to gather and the speedster ran in for his third try of the match, replacement fly-half Fred Zeilinga added the extras to make the scoreboard 78-17.
The prolific winger ran in for his fourth of the match but he handed it to Schoeman to get his second of the match this after Nico Lee offloaded to the flyer.
Moments later the big number eight went in for his hat-trick after linking up with the ever present Petersen. Zeilinga's conversion took the scoreline to final score 92-17 as the Cheetahs recorded the second biggest winning margin in Super Rugby history.
Tries: Petersen 3, Schoeman 3, Van Jaarsveld, Venter, Cassiem, Rhule, Venter, Lobberts, du Toit
Conversions: Marais 7, Zeilinga 3
Tries: Carpenter, Paea
Conversions: Pisi 2
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Francois Venter (captain), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Hilton Lobberts, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Danie Minnie, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Oupa Mohoje, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga
15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Viliami Lolohea, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Mifiposeti Paea, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Yuki Yatomi, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Tomás Leonardi, 5 Liaki Moli, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Masataka Mikami
Substitutes: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Faatiga Lemalu, 20 Yoshiya Hosoda, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Yasutaka Sasakura