Cape Town - The Cheetahs bowed out of Super Rugby with their heads held high
after a victory over the Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in
As it happened: Kings v Cheetahs
The Cheetahs won 21-20 after trailing 12-3 at half-time.
Tries from Clinton Swart and Raymond Rhule proved too much for the
Kings who scored through Makazole Mapimpi, Wandile Mjekevu and Lubabalo
It was an even game between the discarded and forgotten men of South
African rugby, with both sides axed from Super Rugby from next season
and set to join the PRO12.
Both teams were clearly eager to make a statement in their last Super
Rugby games and due to this played with a lot of passion and emotion.
The game made for entertaining viewing as both sides opted to run the
ball but it was also helter-skelter stuff as a lot of passes didn't go
to hand and as a result there were turnovers aplenty.
The Cheetahs were rewarded for their early dominance of the territory
with a Fred Zeilinga penalty having earlier turned down kickable goals
and opting for touch. This time, captain Francois Venter pointed to the
posts and Zeilinga made no mistake.
Mapimpi got the game's first try in the 20th minute. From a Kings'
attacking five-metre scrum, Louis Schreuder decided to go blindside to
the waiting Mapimpi who managed to power over the line despite the
efforts of two Cheetahs defenders.
Lionel Cronje converted to extend the
lead to 7-3.
Five minutes before half-time, the Kings doubled their lead. From the
five-metre attacking lineout, the Kings set up the driving maul which
was brought down just short.
From the ruck, Schreuder popped the ball
inside to the onrushing Mjekevu, who broke through to dot down from
close range after having run an excellent angle.
Soon after the resumption of the second half, the Kings scored their
third try. Malcolm Jaer made the break in midfield and was eventually
Cronje recycled the ball to Berton Klaasen whose nice pass set
Mtyanda up through the gap with a free run to the try-line to dot down
as the home side extended their lead to 17-3.
Zeilinga pulled a penalty back for the Free State side before Cronje
responded with a penalty of his own.
Finally, the Cheetahs got the try
they were looking for.
A tiring Kings defence were exposed out wide as
Swart went over in the corner after the Cheetahs took the ball out left
from an attacking scrum out on the right.
The Cheetahs then scored their second try in as many minutes.
Francois Venter ran a superb line receiving from Clayton Blommetjies
before his inside pass found Raymond Rhule who ran through to dot down.
Niel Marais converted.
Marais then gave the Cheetahs a one-point lead with a penalty from
right in front after the Kings were penalised for going offside.
that's how it remained as the Cheetahs completed a remarkable
Tries: Makazole Mapimpi, Wandie Mjekevu, Lubabalo Mtyanda
Conversion: Lionel Cronje
Tries: Clinton Swart, Raymond Rhule
Conversion: Niel Marais
Penalties: Fred Zeilinga (2), Marais
15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Mzamo Majola
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Irne Herbst/Mzwanele Zito, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Waylon Murray/Yaw Penxe
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Chris Dry, 22 Ruan van Rensburg, 23 Niel Marais