Cheetahs secure first home Currie Cup victory

The Free State Cheetahs secured their first home victory in this year’s Currie Cup competition with a 40-20 win over Griquas, at the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.


Griquas had their first chance at points as early as the third minute after multiple phases by the visitors were disrupted illegally by the Cheetahs. Winger Nico Scheepers slotted the penalty to give his side the early lead.


The hosts had a couple of chances early on, but knock-ons and good defence by Griquas snubbed them of any early points.


Finally the Cheetahs were rewarded when winger Riaan Smit kicked a penalty to draw the side’s level. It was not long, however, before Scheepers answered in kind to restore the visitors lead.


The Cheetahs started to play some good attacking rugby and progressed to five metres from Griquas goal line with a lineout. Flanker and captain Boom Prinsloo drove over from the resulting driving maul for an unconverted try.


The hosts went into half-time with the momentum on their side after winger Raymond Rhule scored two minutes before the break.


Rhule was on the receiving end of prop Trevor Nyakane’s pass under pressure and went over for a converted try.


The Cheetahs had the last say of the first half with Prinsloo scoring his second five pointer of the afternoon. Smit converted to give his side a half time lead of 22-5.


The Cheetahs scored their bonus point try as early as the 47th minute after flyhalf Elgar Watts beat the visitors defence to jot down. Watts converted his own try give his side a 23 point lead.


Griquas finally breached the hosts defence when winger Rocco Jansen scored an individual try shortly thereafter.


Cheetahs lock Teboho Mohoje received a yellow card for a professional foul and the visitors crossed the line. Scheepers converted, but that still left his side with a deficit of 16 points.


With 20 minutes to go, Watts settled things down with a penalty, but Griquas scored their second try of the afternoon via Australian lock Rory Arnold.


Shortly after Arnold was red card for biting, but the try stood with Scheepers adding two the points.


The momentum however remained with hosts, with Watts kicking another penalty and replacement scrumhalf Kevin Luiters scoring on the final whistle.


Final Score Free State Cheetahs 40 (22) Griquas 20 (5)


Scorers


Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Boom Prinsloo (2), Raymond Rhule, Elgar Watts, Kevin Luiters
Conversions: Riaan Smit (2), Elgar Watts
Penalties: Riaan Smit, Elgar Watts (2).


Griquas
Tries: Rocco Jansen, Rory Arnold
Conversions: Nico Scheepers (2)
Penalties: Nico Scheepers (2).


Match Officials
Referee
: Craig Joubert
Assistant Referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Francois de Bruin
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee


Teams


Free State Cheetahs: Hennie Daniller; Riaan Smit, Johann Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Rhule; Elgar Watts, Sarel Pretorius; Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Boom Prinsloo (capt); Lood de Jager, Teboho Mohoje; Rossouw de Klerk, Hercu Liebenberg, Trevor Nyakane.


Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Wian du Preez, Waltie Vermeulen, Davon Raubenheimer, Kevin Luiters, Willie du Plessis, Piet Lindeque.


Griquas: PJ Vermeulen; Nico Scheepers, JP Nel, Howard Mnisi, Rocco Jansen; Francois Brummer, Marnus Hugo; Leon Karemaker, Burger Schoeman, Carel Greeff; Rory Arnold, Hilton Lobberts; Nick Schonert, Ryno Barnes (capt), Steph Roberts.


Replacements: Matthew Dobson, Brummer Badenhorst, Patrick O’Brien, Marnus Schoeman, Jacques Coetzee, Du Randt Gerber, Richard Lawson.

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