Cheetahs secure first ever victory over Bulls

The Cheetahs secured their first ever Super Rugby over the Bulls when they beat the Pretoria franchise 15-9 in a tryless contest in Bloemfontein on Friday.

The Bloemfontein based Cheetahs had played the Bulls 11 times in Super Rugby but had never managed to beat the former champions – until now.

The Bulls kicked a late penalty two minutes from full time which earned them a losing bonus point which moved them off the bottom of the standings.

Springbok fly half Johan Goosen scored all of the Cheetahs points by kicking
four penalties and a drop goal in pouring rain.

The Cheetahs started at a frantic pace, wanting to rectify their mistakes against
the Lions last weekend. They put the Bulls under pressure early on and that
led to points for the home side.

The Cheetahs practised the drop goal scenario, the same one that cost them
the game against the Lions, all week and fly half Johan Goosen chose that option
as early as the 2nd minute, slotting a good effort to give the hosts the early
lead.

The hosts kept building on that pressure and Goosen also kicked a penalty in
the 6th minute to stretch the lead to six points.

The one area where the Cheetahs struggled early on was in the scrums.

After two free kicks for delayed put ins, they were pinned for scrumming on
the angle. Bulls fly half Louis Fouche however missed with his attempt.

Fouche got a second bite of the cherry in the 23rd minute and slotted home
a penalty kick to get the Bulls on the scoreboard for the first time.

It was not long however before Goosen got the chance to stretch the Cheetahs
lead, kicking two penalties within five minutes.

In the last couple of minutes before half time, the Bulls played some good
attacking rugby, with stalwarts like lock Flip van der Merwe and prop Werner
Kruger making good progress.

The Cheetahs defence held steady, even when the Bulls were awarded a scrum
five metres from their try line.

Fouche almost had the last say in the first half, but his kicking boot let
him down once again and the Cheetahs ended the first half with a comfortable
lead of 12-3.

The second half started with some aerial ping pong between the sides before
Fouche squandered another penalty attempt. He was replaced shortly thereafter
by Handre Pollard and the Bulls back line started to look a little more attacking.

Pollard got the chance to reduce the deficit shortly after his appearance,
but missed to the right for what was the third missed attempt for the Bulls.

Pollard finally got one right in the 52nd minute, kicking a much needed penalty
to reduce the deficit to six points.

That inspired the Bulls to new heights, but Goosen again opened up the lead
to nine points with a penalty in the 60th minute.

With the rain pouring down in the last 20 minutes, the Bulls started throwing
the ball around. This however did not have the desired effect, with many passes
going astray. The Cheetahs, with star playmaker Willie le Roux at the forefront,
opted to play more tactically, putting kicks in behind to pin the visitors in
their own half.

With the rain pouring down, the Cheetahs gave a huge defensive effort, with
Pollard’s final penalty in the 79th minute giving the Bulls a bonus point.

Victory for the Cheetahs gives them a physcological boost before their departure
for their Australasian tour on Sunday.

Final Score Cheetahs 15 (12) Bulls 9 (3)

Scorers

Cheetahs
Tries –
Pen – J.Goosen 4
Con –
Drop – J.Goosen
Cards –

Bulls
Tries –
Pen – L.Fouche, H.Pollard 2
Con –
Drop –

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