TRY! LIONS! SCHOEMAN! 31-26. The Lions score on the hooter again. Superb play, three tries in the final 10 minutes.
CONVERSION! REYNOLDS! 31-28. Easy kick but its all too late.
FULL TIME! 31-28. THE FREE STATE CHEETAHS ARE CURRIE CUP 2019 CHAMPIONS. A poor second half from both sides but the Lions scored three late tries to make it look competitive, the reality is that the Cheetahs were comfortable winners and one feels that had the need arisen they could have gone up a gear or two.
Lions on attack with a line-out inside the Cheetahs 22.
CONVERSION! REYNOLDS! 31-21. It is a 10 point game with four minutes to play. Surely not...
TRY! LIONS! LA GRANGE! 31-19. Wow and Lions score again. Is there still a chance?
CONVERSION! REYNOLDS! 31-14. Easy kick for Reynolds. Three scores away now.
TRY! LIONS! SMIT! 31-12. A rare missed tackle allows the Lions to score and offer their supporters some hope.
The Lions butcher another opportunity by knocking the ball on inside the Cheetahs 22. It is been a really poor half of rugby by both sides.
More brilliant defence by the Cheetahs. They force a knock-on on their own line and can clear via a scrum.
YELLOW CARD for Manjezi. Cheetahs down to 14.
The Cheetahs on attack again but a knock-on stops them in their tracks again. They should be far further ahead but it all looks pretty comfortable at the moment.
Ruan Pienaar controlling the game with some beautiful tactical kicking, keeping the Lions pegged back in their own half.
The referee, Marius van der Westhuizen has a strong word with both captains about keeping the discipline.
Lions are in the Cheetahs 22 but they need points quickly. They don't get it as the ball doesn't come out of the maul. Scrum Cheetahs. No points in the opening 20 minutes of the half.
Lions make a crucial turnover on their own line but the Cheetahs should really have scored. Blommetjies didn't see the runner after he made a superb break.
The game has become scrappy with both teams making handling errors.
Cheetahs with a scrum 10m from their own line. Much like the first half the Lions have started the better but not take their chances.
The Cheetahs manage to clear their lines as Tian Schoeman finds touch near the halfway line.
Successive penalties gets the Lions into the Cheetahs 22. They need to make something happen from here.
Wiese goes over to score the Cheetahs 5th try but the TMO rules Ruan Pienaar knocked it on at the ruck. No try.
KICK OFF! 31-7. Tian Schoeman gets the second half underway. Can the Lions make a comeback?
HALF TIME! 31-7. The Cheetahs have a massive 24 point lead at the break. We are either going to see a massive defeat or a comeback for the ages in the second stanza.
The Lions started the game well in the opening 10 minutes but since then they have hardly had a sniff. The Cheetahs have been all over them with the mobile loose-forwards while Marnus Schoeman has failed to make a positive impression at the breakdown for the Lions.
CONVERSION! PIENAAR! 31-7. Another superb kick by the veteran scrum-half to add the extras.
TRY! CHEETAHS! STEENKAMP! 29-7. This is getting ugly for the Lions as Steenkamp goes over from a driving maul.
Cheetahs have another line-out on the Lions 5m line. The visitors need to keep them out or the dam walls could cave in after the break.
Reynolds with a massive error. Penalty to the Lions on the halfway line but Reynolds fails to find touch. Can't afford these kinds of mistakes.
Cheetahs are all over the Lions at the moment. One feels the Lions need the next points but the hosts are camped inside their half.
CONVERSION! PIENAAR! 24-7. Easiest kick of the afternoon for Pienaar and it sails over.
TRY! CHEETAHS! BLOMMETJIES! 22-7. Another try for the hosts at the crowd goes absolutely nuts. Nche again makes a break (is he really a prop?). Numerous phases go by before Blommetjies finds a miss-match and scores near the posts.
A bit of a kicking contest ensues but Tian Schoeman puts a monster kick in to the Lions 22. After a slow start the Cheetahs are starting to dominate this Currie Cup final.
CONVERSION! PIENAAR! 17-7. Another superb kick by Pienaar who fades with one down the centre from right-hand touch.
TRY! CHEETAHS! SMALL-SMITH! 15-7. What a try by the hosts. Superb finish by Small-Smith after turnover ball came out wide. Pure pace to beat the defence and go over in the right-hand corner.
Cheetahs have upped the pace of the game but passes are not going to hand which is allowing the Lions to maintain good territory.
Lions win a scrum penalty and they can relieve some of the pressure.
After Reynolds attempts a long-range drop goal Ox Nche makes a 30m break and eventually the hosts get a scrum 5m from the Lions line.
PENALTY! CHEETAHS! PIENAAR! 10-7. Pienaar converts a penalty from a slight angle 40m out. It came from Schoeman not releasing the player on the ground, again.
CONVERSION! REYNOLDS! 7-7. We are level again as Reynolds converts an easy kick.
TRY! LIONS! SIMELANE! 7-5. Tyrone Green makes his 3rd clean break of the match, offloads to Stean Pienaar before the ball goes wide to Simelane. Easy for the centre who scores beneath the posts.
CONVERSION! PIENAAR! 7-0. Pienaar strikes it sweetly from the touchline and it skims the inside of the post before going over. Quality kick.
TRY! CHEETAHS! DWEBA! 5-0. The Cheetahs are off the mark as Dweba goes over from a driving maul in the left-hand corner.
Cheetahs get a penalty on the Lions 10m line but they opt for the line-out.
Lions with all the possession inside the Cheetahs half but they struggle to make ground until Tyrone Green makes a break. Another turnover allows the Cheetahs to clear via Pienaar.
Ruan Pienaar with a little knock at the base of a ruck. Scrum Lions, 10m inside the Cheetahs half, centre field. Great attacking platform this.
Lions with the early possession but a turnover offers the Cheetahs a way out.
KICK OFF! 0-0. The Currie Cup final is underway! It is Shaun Reynolds who kicks off as the visitors play from left to right.
Ruan Pienaar with an early clearing kick to midway between his own 22 and the 10m line.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Currie Cup final between the Free State Cheetahs and Golden Lions at the Free State Stadium.
It is the two teams who finished 1st and 2nd on the table. The Lions were comfortable against the Griquas in the semi's while the Cheetahs made a second half comeback to defeat the Sharks.
In the round robin stage the Lions traveled to Bloemfontein and walked away with an unlikely 22-20 victory. Can they put in a repeat performance?
Crucial to the Cheetahs will be their 80 minute effort. They have had to come back from second half deficits in the last two matches, they will not want to do that for a third week running.
It promises to be a high-scoring affair with both teams keen on keeping ball in hand. Among the loosies it should be a cracking battle with Junior Pokomela is fine form and Marnus Schoeman looking to attack the breakdown and slow Cheetahs ball down.
Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Tian Meyer (c), 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Gerhard Olivier, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Reinach Venter, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Abongile Nonkontwana, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Darren Adonis, 23 Louis Fouche.
Lions – 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Duncan Matthews, 11 Stean Pienaar, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje (c), 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith.
Subs: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Len Massyn, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jan-Louis la Grange 23 Jamba Ulengo.
Since Ruan Pienaar became available for the Cheetahs captain Tian Meyer has moved to the wing which has offered them an attacking dimension. The move is to ensure the Cheetahs always have a solid scrum-half at the base of rucks to ensure good possession and quick ball remain just that.
Despite that Meyer can be caught out of position on occasion. Much could be decided by Lions 10, Shaun Reynolds who's tactical kicking will need to be on point.
We are 30 minutes away from kick off. The excitement in Bloemfontein is quite unbelievable with an apparently sold out stadium - when last did that happen in Bloemfontein?
The Harley-Davidson's are ready to make a noise as the players stand in the tunnel waiting to enter the field of play. Cracking game expected in front of a full stadium. Electric atmosphere!
It's a deafening noise as the Cheetahs make their way out. The orange jerseys are flags far outweigh that of the Lions.
There is a minutes silence for the passing of Springbok legend and 1995 Rugby World Cup winner, Chester Williams who passed away yesterday at the age of 49.
Time to belt out the national anthem!
And as per the 1995 Rugby World Cup final, an plane makes its way over the stadium.
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