Cheetahs all but end Blues Super 14 campaign

The Cheetahs all but ended the Blues chances of making the play offs with a 36-32 bonus point victory in Bloemfontein.

The Cheeetahs and the Blues both secured bonus points for scoring four tries but the Cheetahs scored a fifth try in the final minutes which secured the victory for the home side.

The Blues remain in South Africa for another week as they play the Lions in Johannesburg in Round 13. They return to New Zealand for their final round clash with the Chiefs in Auckland.

The Cheetahs have matches against the Force and the Lions to come – both in Bloemfontein.


The Blues lacked their usual intensity and probably took the struggling Cheetahs too lightly,


The Blues were without injured skipper and hooker Keven Mealamu needed a bonus-point win to retain any hope of making the knockout phase and must have fancied their chances against rivals who had won just twice in 10 outings.


But the Cheetahs scored a try 150 seconds into the first half in Bloemfontein and when they fell behind midway through the second half, quickly regained the lead for a deserved triumph.


While the Blues collected two bonus points and climbed above Chiefs of New Zealand and Sharks of South Africa, they are seven points off the fourth play-off place with just two rounds of the Super 14 left.


Cheetahs, second last above Lions of South Africa before facing the Blues, rose one place above Force of Australia, who visit Bloemfontein next weekend.


“We were sharp today and it paid off. This result proved that we are a quality side although injuries have cost us dearly this season,” Cheetahs flanker Juan Smith said.


Blues acting captain and number eight Jerome Kaino conceded that any hope of snatching a place among the last four vanished in the pleasant autumn conditions of this central city.


“There were too many mistakes by us, but hats off to the Cheetahs for capitalising on our errors. We have been too inconsistent this season,” confessed Kaino.


Trailing 22-13 at half-time, the Blues moved five points ahead approaching the three-quarter mark of an always lively encounter watched by a small crowd thanks to tries from wing Rene Ranger and scrum-half Alby Mathewson.


However, the five-point advantage last barely a minute before blood-bin replacement forward Philip van der Walt dived over between the posts and another try from Waltie Vermeulen pushed Cheetahs nine points clear.


Wing Anthony Tuitavake dotted down at the other end four minutes from full-time, but fly-half Stephen Brett failed to convert and a stoppage-time assault petered out in midfield.


Smith, wings Jongi Nokwe and Bjorn Basson, Van der Walt and Vermeulen crossed the line for the Cheeetahs while fly-half Naas Olivier kicked conversions and a penalty and centre Meyer Bosman two conversions.


Centre Isaia Toeava, Ranger, Mathewson and Tuitavake were the Blues try scorers with Brett converting three and kicking two penalties for the three-time champions.


Final Score Cheetahs 36 Blues 32


Tries – J Smith, J Nokwe, B. Basson, P van der Walt ,W Vermeulen
Pen – N Olivier
Con – N Olivier 4
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – I.Toeava, R Ranger, A Mathewson,A Tuitavake
Pen – S Brett 2
Con – S Brett 2
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Marius Jonker (SA)
Assistant referees: Mark Lawrence (SA), Cobus Wessels (SA)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (SA)


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