Cheetahs keep Province winless in Currie Cup

Fred Zeilinga in action for the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup

The Free State Cheetahs continued their great form in this year’s Currie Cup when they beat Western Province 32-25 at Newlands on Friday night.

The Bloemfontein side are unbeaten in their first three matches of the competition. In contrast, Province, who led the fixture 18-13 at half-time, have lost the first two matches of their campaign and are now going to struggle to get a home semi-final.

The home side took an early 3-0 lead when flyhalf Brandon Thomson converted a penalty after the Cheetahs were pinned for going off their feet at a ruck in the shadow of their own uprights. But that lead would soon be stretched to 10-0 when WP scored a try from a great lineout move. After good ball at the back of the lineout, scrumhalf Jano Vermaak broke clear before offloading to centre Huw Jones to score.

Cheetahs flyhalf Fred Zeilinga hit back with two penalties, before the visitors took the lead in the 21st minute when they scored a great set-piece try of their own. After a strong scrum, a planned move saw outside centre and Currie Cup debutant Nico Lee cut the line to score.

WP then took back the lead against the run of play when in the 28th minute when Jones put wing Kobus van Wyk away after a great counter ruck by the home side’s forwards in the Cheetahs’ half. Thomson then converted another penalty late in the first half to give WP a five-point lead at the break.

The Cheetahs, though, hit back straight after half-time when Lee broke a couple of tackles, before brilliantly offloading to his captain and scrumhalf Tian Meyer to go over for the try. Zeilinga produced one of his best displays with the boot, and kicked two more penalties to give the Cheetahs a 26-18 lead with 20 minutes remaining.

WP, though, raised their game in the last quarter and scored another great try from a lineout in the 65th minute. This time it was replacement No 9 Godlen Masimla who went through a gap before offloading to wing Leolin Zas to score.

But Zeilinga kicked two more penalties in the last 10 minutes of the encounter to give the Cheetahs their second away win of the campaign in the Western Cape.

Final Score Western Province 25 (18) Free State Cheetahs 32 (13)


Western Province
Tries: Huw Jones, Kobus van Wyk, Leolin Zas
Conversions: Brandon Thomson, Robert du Preez
Penalties: Thomson (2).

Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Nicolaas Lee, Tian Meyer
Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (2)
Penalties: Zeilinga (6).


Western Province

15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.

Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Godlen Masimla, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Cheslin Kolbe.

Free State Cheetahs

1. Charles Marais , 2. Jacques du Toit , 3. Johan Coetzee , 4. Carl Wegner , 5. Reniel Hugo (vc) , 6. Paul Schoeman , 7. Uzair Cassiem , 8. Niell Jordaan , 9. Tian Meyer (c) , 10. Fred Zeilinga , 11. Raymond Rhule , 12. William Small-Smith , 13. Nico Lee , 14. Ryno Benjamin , 15. Clayton Blommetjies

Replacements: , 16. Torsten van Jaarsveld , 17. Ox Nche , 18. Tom Botha , 19. Justin Basson , 20. Henco Venter , 21. Shaun Venter , 22. Niel Marais , 23. Michael van der Spuy


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