Cheetahs upset knocks Sharks off the top

The Cheetahs ended a five match losing streak against the Sharks when they beat the Natal franchise 6-12 at Kings Park in Durban.


The result temporarily moved the Cheetahs to the top of the South African Conference as they have the same amount of points as the Sharks but one more victory.


The Bulls bonus point victory over the Kings however moved the Bulls above the Cheetahs.


A late intercept try by Willie le Roux plus a first half score by Raymond Rhule saw the Cheetahs stun the Sharks.


Right wing Le Roux intercepted a pass from flank Pieter-Steph du Toit and could afford the luxury of looking over his shoulder as he sprinted to the line two minutes from time.


The Sharks retaliated with a break by centre Paul Jordaan that took play close to the Cheetahs tryline, but the home team were penalised while trying to score a pushover try and the referee blew for full-time.


The victory lifted the Cheetahs above the Sharks to first place on the South African conference standings and to third on the combined table.


After surrendering a five-game winning run at Bulls last weekend, it was a welcome return to winning ways for the Bloemfontein-based team at a ground where they traditionally struggle.


The Sharks were suffering their third defeat in five matches after a three-win start to the season and start a four-match Australasia tour next weekend away to defending champions Chiefs of New Zealand.


This was a poor match with the weather playing spoilsport as the slippery ball was constantly mishandled, especially by the Sharks, who were booed by the drenched 10,600 crowd in the closing stages.


The Cheetahs deserved to win as they scored the only tries of the game, defending bravely, got on top in the scrums, forced many turnovers at the breakdown and were generally hungrier for success.


The first score did not arrive until seven minutes before half-time when a couple of hacked kicks toward the Sharks tryline ended with left wing Raymond Rhule diving over and fly-half Burton Francis converting.


After kicking two penalties to touch rather than at the posts, Sharks fly-half Patrick Lambie landed one in first-half stoppage time to leave the home team trailing 7-3 at half-time.


Francis was short with a drop kick attempt and also missed a penalty before Lambie kicked another penalty on 65 minutes to narrow the gap between the teams to a single point.


But as the error count rose, the Sharks rarely threatened to overtake the visitors and will be concerned about a thigh injury to Springbok prop Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira as they prepare to tour.


Final Score Sharks 6 (3) Cheetahs 12 (7)


Scorers


Sharks
Tries –
Pen – P.Lambie 2
Con –
Drop –
Cards –


Cheetahs
Tries – R.Rhule, W.Le Roux.
Pen –
Con – B.Francis
Drop –
Cards –


Match Officials
Referee
: Jonathon White
Assistant Ref 1:Marius Jonker
Assistant Ref 2:Stefan Breytenbach
TMO : Shaun Veldsman


Teams


Sharks


15. Riaan Viljoen , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. Paul Jordaan , 12. Meyer Bosman , 11. Sean Robinson , 10. Patrick Lambie , 9. Cobus Reinach , 8. Keegan Daniel (C) , 7. Jean Deysel , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Franco van der Merwe , 4. Pieter-Steph du Toit , 3. Wiehahn Herbst , 2. Kyle Cooper , 1. Tendai Mtawarira


Replacements , 16. Craig Burden , 17. Jannie du Plessis , 18. Anton Bresler , 19. Tera Mtembu , 20. Charl McLeod , 21. Francois Steyn , 22. Andries Coetzee


Cheetahs


Coenie Oosthuisen ,Adriaan Strauss (captain),Lourens Adriaanse, Lodewyk de Jager,Francois Uys,Heinrich Brussow, Lappies Labuschagne, Phillip van der Walt,Piet van Zyl, Burton Francis,

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