Bonus point Cheetahs victory for Brumbies

The Brumbies eased to a 27-40 victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday and picked up a bonus point for scoring four tries.

At half time the scores were level on 13 all and then in the 47th minute Mark Gerrard scored the Brumbies second try which was started a quick blitz of three tries over 10 minutes which sealed the victory.

The biggest clash of the day was probably the two teams’ white shirts.

The Brumbies were more lethal in taking their opportunities than a Cheetah side that only showed glimpses of attacking prowess.

The Cheetahs made a bad start and the visitors exposed huge gaps in the local sides’ defence.

After Brumbies fly half Christian Lealiifano slotted an easy drop goal in the first few minutes, he followed it up with an easy try stepping between his opposite number Jacques-Louis Potgieter and Meyer Bosman to score under the posts.

A few further line breaks in the following minutes gave the impression that the Cheetahs were not up for the contest at all. But the Brumbies started committing a few handling errors, which the home side capitalized on.

A clean line break from Potgieter in the 24th minute produced the Cheetahs first scoring opportunity which wasn’t taken, although the Cheetahs did win a penalty which Potgieter converted.

Another rare line break, this time by Cheetahs hooker Adriaan Strauss, led to another penalty for Potgieter. Strauss was also part of a back line move which set up the Cheetahs’ first try in the 34th minute by Jongi Nokwe (wing).

A few long passes from Cheetah-centre Meyer Bosman started creating space for the Cheetah-backs and they would have been pleased to be on level terms at 13-all at the break.

Twice before and once after half- time the Cheetahs’ pressure led to penalty opportunities for Potgieter, but he missed them all.

The Brumbies had a strong start to the second half as well, and rocked the home side with three wonderful tries within 16 minutes of the restart.

ark Gerrard score with an excellent counter attack after the Cheetahs lost possession and he kicked ahead several times leading up to the try.

Gerrard and Lealiifano started creating pressure on the Cheetahs by kicking into the corners and playing in the home teams’ territory.

Again the Cheetahs’ defence struggled under pressure and Peter Kimlin and Josh Holmes both scored tries after the Brumbies got through some weak defence.

But as in the first half, the visitors seemed to take to foot off the pedal. Their mistakes also increased again as the clock ticked by and after a knock on near his own goal line by Stirling Mortlock (centre), the Cheetahs had a scrum from which Danwel Demas (wing) ran down the blind side to score.

The Cheetahs’ deficit was too big though. They were bolstered in the second half by Springbok-flank Juan Smith, returning from injury, and spent plenty of time in the Brumbies’ half in the last 20 minutes.

But for all the possession they had during this time, they simply lacked the fire power in their backs to pose a real threat to the Brumbies.

During the latter part of the game the Brumbies twice visited the Cheetahs’ 22 metre area, and took the opportunities with Gerrard snatching another drop goal and Mortlock kicking a penalty.

In contrast the Cheetahs didn’t take their opportunities.

A great run and kick ahead by Fabian Juries could have lead to a try had Juries just gathered his own kick. The Cheetahs lost too much ball in the tackle situation when they were on the attack.

They did score the last try of the match through lock Wayne van Heerden, but it wasn’t nearly enough to prevent a disappointing home loss.

They subsequently remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the Super 14 log, whilst the Brumbies return home to Australia having won one of their three tour games in South Africa.

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