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    Cheetahs win Bloemfontein scrap

    2016-05-14 20:00

    Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs defeated fellow strugglers the Southern Kings 34-20 on Saturday in a South African derby that will quickly be forgotten by the few thousand spectators who watched it.

    As it happened: Cheetahs v Kings

    "A comedy of errors," was the summation of TV analyst and former Springboks coach Nick Mallett on the SuperSport channel. "The less said about it the better."

    Former South Africa flyhalf Naas Botha was equally scathing about the Round 12 match at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

    "It was a very poor match riddled with bad decision-making, poor passing and handling errors," he said on the same show.

    Wing Raymond Rhule and flank Uzair Cassiem scored tries in the middle of the first half to give the Cheetahs a 17-3 lead that was never seriously threatened.

    The home team turned over 17-6 ahead and twice in the second half built a three-try advantage over the Kings that put them in line for a bonus point.

    But the Bloemfontein outfit conceded two tries to squander the opportunity and they remained third in the Africa 1 standings, 15 points behind leaders, the Stormers.

    The Port Elizabeth-based Kings are even worse off - bottom of the Africa 2 standings having secured just four points from a possible 50.

    After rival flyhalves Elgar Warts of the Kings and Fred Zeilinga of the Cheetahs exchanged penalties, the hosts took control with two tries inside five minutes.

    A lineout steal by flank Oupa Mohoje and break by lock and 2015 South African Rugby Player of the Year Lood de Jager created the momentum for Rhule to score.

    Cheetahs' scrummaging superiority enabled Cassiem to pick up and dive over for his fifth try this season.

    Zeilinga converted both scores before a second penalty from former Cheetah Watts cut the deficit to 11 points by half-time.

    Wing Sergeal Petersen, consistently one of the best Cheetahs during this campaign, set up the third try for centre Michael van der Spuy five minutes after the break.

    And after Kings centre JP du Plessis crossed the try-line and replacement flyhalf Louis Fouche converted, Petersen grabbed a Cassiem off-load and darted clear to score far out.

    Once again the Kings fought back and constant pressure was rewarded when winger Lukhanyo Am claimed his first Super Rugby try and Fouche converted.

    Former Shark Zeilinga finished with 14 points from four conversions and two penalties.

    As the full-time hooter sounded, each team needed a converted try for a bonus point. However, after both secured possession, it was fitting that a poor game was ended by a knock-on.

    In next weekend's Round 13 action, the Cheetahs have a bye, while the Kings head for Durban and a showdown with the Sharks (Saturday, May 21 at 17:10)

    Teams:

    Cheetahs

    15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais

    Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Henco Venter, 20 Armandt Koster, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Nico Lee

    Kings

    15. Jurgen Visser, 14. Lukhanyo Am, 13. JP du Plessis, 12. Shane Gates (captain), 11. Luzuko Vulindlu, 10. Elgar Watts, 9. James Hall, 8. Aidon Davis, 7. Thembelani Bholi, 6. JP Jonck, 5. JC Astle, 4. Schalk Oelofse, 3. Tom Botha, 2. Edgar Marutlulle, 1. Sti Sithole

    Substitutes: 16. Martin Ferreira, 17. Justin Ackerman, 18. Jacobie Adriaanse, 19. Cornell Hess, 20. Stefan Willemse, 21. Ntando Kebe, 22. Louis Fouche, 23. Leighton Eksteen

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