Cheetahs get comfortable Currie Cup win

The Free State Cheetahs scored nine tries and remained in the hunt for a semifinal birth after adding five log points with a 59-24 win over the Pumas in a Currie Cup fixture in Bloemfontein on Friday night.

The match got off to a rather false start in more than one way. First one of the Harley Davidson motorbikes that welcomed the players onto the field had to be helped off as it couldn’t be restarted.

To the amusement of the crowd, four Cheetahs players assisted in pushing the bike off the field to the game could get underway. It then took the Cheetahs a good 24 minutes to find second gear.

The hosts, however, enjoyed most of the possession and were hardly threatend by the Pumas. The visitors led 3-0 going into the second quarter, but prop WP Nel’s strength was enough to help him over the line for the first try of the game as the Cheetahs took control. From a strong scrum in the Pumas half, centre Robert Ebersohn carved his way through three defenders for a brilliant try.

And after a crucial knock-on by Siviwe Magaba, the Pumas No 12, landed in the hands of Cheetahs flank Kabamba Floors, with plenty of supportive runners in attendance, Ashley Johnson rounded off in the right-hand corner.

Louis Strydom’s conversion hit the uprights for his first and only miss of the night for the hosts. On the stroke of half-time, Pumas flank Jaco Bouwer was sent off the field with a yellow card, and Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss took advantage to bag the bonus point with their fourth try.

While the hosts had struggled for 25 minutes in an attempt to open their account in the first half, they required only 70 seconds after the break when Nel was on hand to dot down again.

Hardly five minutes later Johnson also scored his second of the night and Strydom’s conversion gave them a 40-3 lead.

Three tries followed for each side, including a beauty by Springbok Sevens speedster Shaun Venter for the visitors.

Final Score Free State Cheetahs 59 Pumas 24


Tries: WP Nel (2), Robert Ebersohn, Ashley Johnson (2), Adriaan Strauss (2), Skipper Badenhorst, Corné Uys.
Conversions: Louis Strydom (5), Meyer Bosman (2)

Tries: Shaun Venter, Ricardo Croy, Hannes Franklin.
Conversions: Ricardo Croy (3).
Penalty: Elgar Watts

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