Cheetahs snatch extra time victory from Rebels

The Cheetahs scored a try in extra time to snatch a 26-33 victory over the Melbourne Rebels for their first Super Rugby win of the season.


The result extends the Rebels losing streak to 12 straight losses in Super Rugby and ends a six match losing streak for the Cheetahs who had only won in Australia once before.


With the score tied at 26-26 and the clock ticking down, the Cheetahs recycled the ball through 16 phases culminating in replacement Piet van Zyl dashing over in the corner to clinch victory and leave the Rebels without a win in three outings.


The Rebels looked like escaping with a draw after trailing 10-20 at halftime but the Cheetahs went for broke, keeping the ball alive over 70 metres leading to van Zyl’s game-winning try.


The Cheetahs had narrowly lost two of their previous three games before ending their barren spell on Sunday.


Winger Willie le Roux had an eventful match, scoring two of the Cheetahs’ three tries, including an interception off a wayward James O’Connor pass, before being yellow-carded for a deliberate knock down after the Rebels appeared certain to score in he 28th minute.


With the Rebels clawing their way back in the second half, Le Roux also gave away a crucial penalty which handed Melbourne the lead for the first time in the match just after the hour mark.


Fly-half Johan Goosen took over as the tournament’s leading scorer with a match haul of 18 points with three conversions and four penalties from nine attempts.


Rebels’ new Wallaby recruit O’Connor starred for his side, compiling 21 points, including a second-half try, two conversions and four penalties.


O’Connor, starting at fly-half for the Rebels for the first time with Englishman Danny Cipriani relegated to the substitutes’ bench, was in the thick of the action and scored an impressive stepping try eight minutes after the interval.


It dented the Cheetahs comfortable early lead, secured after they jumped to a 20-7 advantage thanks to two tries the explosive le Roux.


The Cheetahs waned as the game wore on, going behind and relying on the sharpshooting Goosen to drag them back into contention with a penalty levelling at 26-26.


The Cheetahs had most of the ball for the final 10 minutes but desperate defending by the Rebels looked like it would be enough for a share of the points until van Zyl’s intervention.


The Cheetahs now head to New Zealand where they will take on seven-time Super Rugby champions Crusaders next weekend, while the Rebels host Western Force next Friday.


Final Score Rebels 26 (10) Cheetahs 33 (20)


Scorers


Rebels
Tries – A Freier, J O’Connor
Pen – J O’Connor 4
Con – J O’Connor 2
Drop –
Cards –


Cheetahs
Tries -W. Le Roux 2, P.Van Zyl
Pen – J Goosen 4
Con – J Goosen 3
Drop –
Cards – W Le Roux (29th min yellow)


Match Officials
Referee: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 1:Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 2:James Leckie
TMO : Steve Leszczynski


Teams


Rebels


1. Nic Henderson ,2 Adam Freier ,3. Laurie Weeks, , 4. Luke Jones, , 5. Hugh Pyle (vc) , 6. Tim Davidson, 7. Tom Chamberlain, 8. Gareth Delve (c),9. Richard Kingi, , 10. James O’Connor, , 11. Cooper Vuna, 12. Lloyd Johansson, 13. Mark Gerrard, 14. – Lachlan Mitchell, 15. – Julian Huxley


Replacements : 16. Ged Robinson 17. Rodney Blake 18. Alister Campbell 19. Jarrod Saffy 20. Nick Phipps 21. Danny Cipriani 22. James Hilgendorf


Cheetahs


Hennie Daniller, Cameron Jacobs, Robert Ebersohn, Andries Strauss, Willie le Roux, Johan Goosen, Tewis de Bruyn, Philip van der Walt, Davon Raubenheimer, Heinrich Brussow, Izak van der Westhuizen, George Earle, WP Nel, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Coenie Oosthuizen.


Replacement

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