Blue Bulls snatch Cheetahs Currie Cup draw

Louis Fouche kicked an enormous 54 metre extra time penalty to earn the Blue Bulls a 22-all draw with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in the Currie Cup.


The result takes the Blue Bulls to a record of four wins, four losses and one draw from nine Currie Cup matches played so far and keeps them alive in the tournament for the time being.


The Bulls mounted a late charge which will leave the Cheetahs wondering how they lost the match in Bloemfontein.


The first half evolved into a battle of the flyhalves, which the hosts won, although both sides paid for handling errors.


Bulls flyhalf Louis Fouche took the initiative with two early drop goal attempts, but he mised both, and teenager Johan Goosen gave the Cheetahs a 6-0 lead as he converted two penalties within the first 10 minutes.


The opposing number 10’s traded blows throughout the opening stanza, with Goosen missing a drop goal in the 29th minute, and the Cheetahs held a 12-9 advantage at the break.


Goosen, who shone for the hosts, was crucial in breaking the kicking deadlock when he stole clear in the 49th minute and offloaded to Wilhelm Steenkamp, who dotted down under the posts for his first try of the Currie Cup season.


Goosen, the Man of the Match in only his second start for the Cheetahs, added the conversion and another penalty, and while Fouche responded with three points for the visitors — their first of the second period — the hosts held a 22-12 advantage midway through the second half.


The Bulls struck back, however, with time running out as centre Francois Venter found a gap and bolted 30 metres to dive over for the visitors.


Fouche converted a straight forward conversion and narrowed the gap to just three points with seven minutes left.


Given one last chance at the posts after the final phase of the match, Fouche sent a tough kick sailing over from just in front of the halfway line to secure the draw.


The Cheetahs remained in semi-final contention, lying in fourth spot on the log with five games to play, but trailed the third-placed Sharks by six points.


The Bulls, meanwhile, bagged a vital two points but were left with plenty of work to do, lying sixth in the standings.


Final Score Free State Cheetahs 22 Blue Bulls 22


Scorers


Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Wilhelm Steenkamp
Conversions: Johan Goosen
Penalties: Goosen (5)


Blue Bulls
Tries: Francois Venter
Conversions: Louis Fouche
Penalties: Fouche (5)


Teams


Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Philip Snyman, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Pieter Labuschagne, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Marcel van der Merwe


Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Burger


Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Gary Botha (captain), 1 Dean Greyling


Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Jurgen Visser

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