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Cheetahs survive late surge to beat Bulls in Bloemfontein

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 04: Niel Marais of the Cheetahs in action during the Super Rugby match between Toyota Cheetahs and Vodacom Bulls at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Cheetahs overcame a late fightback by the Bulls to win 34-28 at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein

A first half brace from Oupa Mohoje helped secure the Free State’s first win in 2017 while the loss, consigns the Bulls to their second defeat of the campaign.

But the Bulls, with two late tries from Piet van Zyl and Jamba Ulengo, three minutes apart, set up a tense final 15 minutes. It was not to be as Fred Zeilinga added a penalty to see off the men from Pretoria.

Mahoje’s double, tries from Clinton Swart and Justin Basson and four conversions by Fred Zeilinga saw the Cheetahs race to a 28-14 halftime lead.

Handre Pollard kept the Bulls in the hunt with his boot after a Jason Jenkins try, cut the deficit to 14-points at the break.

Next week the Cheetahs are at home in Bloemfontein again while the Bulls have a bye before they host the Sunwolves at Pretoria in Round 4.

More to follow…

Final Score Cheetahs 34 (28) Bulls 28 (14)

Scorers

Cheetahs
Tries – Swart, Mahoje (2), Basson
Pen – Zeilinga (3)
Con – Zeilinga (4)
Drop –

Cards –

Bulls
Tries – Jenkins, Van Zyl, Ulengo
Pen – Pollard (3)
Con – Pollard, Schoeman (2)
Drop –

Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Shuhei Kubo
Assistant Ref 1:AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 2:Lourens van der Merwe
TMO :Marius Jonker

Teams

Cheetahs

Ox Nche, Torsten van Jaarsveld (C), Johan Coetzee, Justin Basson, Reniel Hugo, Uzair Cassiem, Oupa Mohoje, Paul Schoeman, Tian Meyer (VC), Fred Zeilinga, Raymond Rhule, Clinton Swart, Nico Lee, Ryno Benjamin,Clayton Blommetjies,

Replacements : Elandré Huggett, Charles Marais, Danie Mienie, Francois Uys, Niell Jordaan, Zee Mkhabela, Niel Marais, Ruan van Rensbu

Bulls

Jesse Kriel , Travis Ismaiel , Burger Odendaal, Dries Swanepoel, Jamba Ulengo, Handré Pollard (c), Rudy Paige ,Hanro Liebenberg,, Jacques Potgieter , Nick de Jager , RG Snyman , JasonJenkins Trevor Nyakane, Jaco Visagie , Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Pierre Schoeman , Jacobie Adriaanse, Renaldo Bothma , Ruan Steenkamp , Piet van Zyl , TianSchoeman, Warrick Gelant.