Chiefs late comeback earns draw with Cheetahs

The Cheetahs secured their third Super Rugby with the Chiefs when the two teams drew 43-all in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Chiefs outscored the Cheetahs by six tries to four and the difference in scoring was down to penalties.

Last week the Chiefs left it late against the Bulls and earned a bonus point 34-all draw and this week history repeated itself as they earned another late bonus point draw.

The Cheetahs led 34-10 at half-time and looked in control of the game, but
a good comeback by the Chiefs, much like last week against the Bulls in Pretoria,
snubbed the hosts of their first victory ever over the Hamilton-based side.

The Cheetahs started well and put the Chiefs under pressure. The visitors infringed
at the break down and gave away a penalty, but Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen
missed his kick to the right.

Cheetahs scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, sniped through the Chiefs defence for the
first try of the afternoon. Goosen converted to give the hosts an early lead
of 7-0.

The Cheetahs again attacked and looked dangerous with ball in hand, but the
Chiefs regained composure and progressed to the hosts half, claiming a penalty
after the Cheetahs infringed. The visitors’ All Black flyhalf Aaron Cruden kicked
the penalty with ease.

The Cheetahs were on fire though, and scored the second try of the afternoon
in the 13th minute when centre Rayno Benjamin ran through after a good break
by Springbok playmaker Willie le Roux.

Goosen again converted to give the Cheetahs a lead of 11 points and stretched
that even further by kicking a penalty shortly after.

The Chiefs used the resulting kick off and built some good momentum and August
Pulu ran through to score the try, with Cruden converting to reduce the deficit
to just seven points.

Goosen again kicked a penalty ten minutes from half time, but it was the nippy
scrum half Sarel Pretorius that scored his second try of the afternoon after
a good scrum by the hosts.

The penalty awarded after the visitors scrummed illegally was taken quickly
by Pretorius and he sneaked through for his second with Goosen converting.

The hosts scored the bonus point try shortly before half time, with flanker
Boom Prinsloo going over at the back of a driving maul with Goosen converting
to give the Cheetahs a 34-10 lead at the break.

In the second half, Pulu scored his second try of the afternoon in the same
scenario as the first, with Cruden again converting.

Goosen again opened up the lead to 20 points by kicking his third penalty of
the afternoon, but the Chiefs reduced the deficit through winger Tim Nanai-Williams’
try in the 60th minute.

The visitors again struck with winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma running in for the
bonus point after the Cheetahs fell asleep on the defence.

Cruden converted to bring his side within eight points. Tikoirotuma scored
his second try and Cruden converted as the Chiefs moved within a point of the
Cheetahs.

Goosen kicked a penalty ten minutes from full time to open the gap to four
points and another three minutes from the end to seemingly cement the game for
the Cheetahs, but Nanai-Williams scored and Cruden converted after the hooter
sounded to end the match in a draw.

Final Score Cheetahs 43 (34) Chiefs 43 (10)

Scorers

Cheetahs
Tries – S.Pretorius 2, R.Benjamin, B.Prinsloo
Pen – J.Goosen 5
Con – J.Goosen 4
Drop –
Cards –

Chiefs
Tries – A.Pulu 2, T.Nanai-Williams2, A.Tikoirotuma 2 
Pen – A.Cruden
Con – A.Cruden 4
Drop –
Cards –

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