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Cheetahs get historic win over wobbly Waratahs

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Article Published: Saturday 19 March 2011|

The Cheetahs won their first ever match on Australasian soil when they beat the Waratahs 3-23 in Sydney.

The Cheetahs led the match throughout and at half time the Cheetahs led the Waratahs 3-6.

The Cheetahs scored the first points of the match in the fourteenth minute and the Waratahs took almost 30 minutes to score their first and only points from a penalty.

In the second half the Cheetahs scored the only two tries of the match for their first Super Rugby win of this season.

The Waratahs were at their worst for seasons and constantly dropped the ball or knocked on as if they were playing with a different ball to the Cheetahs.

In the first half the Cheetahs relied mainly on spoiling tactics and were fed penalties from the Waratahs who were becoming increasingly frustrated with their inability to play their game.

This continued until the final quarter when Philip Snyman scored a breakaway try.

Snyman's try sparked the Cheetahs attack into life and they stopped playing a spoiling game and started to attack as they realised for the first time that they could win their first Super Rugby match outside of South Africa.

With 10 minutes remaining on the clock the Cheetahs tried to extend their lead with field goals but they were unsuccesful but they kept the Waratahs pinned back in their 25.

With three minutes remaining on the clock Sarel Petorius scored the Cheetahs second try and the Waratahs knew they had no chance of redeeming themselves.

The Waratahs were expected to improve their record for this season which had seen them win two from three matches but poor set-pieces, weakness at breakdowns and constant handling errors gave the Cheetahs a stunning upset.

Flyhalf Sias Ebersohn kicked three penalties from as many attempts to keep the Cheetahs ahead until tries by Snyman and Pretorius clinched victory.

Ebersohn kicked the Cheetahs into the lead against the run of play with a penalty in the 14th minute.

The Waratahs had made most of the play in the opening stages but were prevented from turning advantages of territory and possession into points by constant handling errors.

The Waratahs looked a little lazy and seemed to be confident that the Cheetahs' defence would eventually crack under constant pressure.

But when attack after attack failed, the hosts were forced to resort to a penalty from Kurtley Beale to tie the scores after 28 minutes.

They could not have anticipated that Beale's penalty would be their only points of the match.

The Waratahs were clearly gripped by the belief they were the superior team and that that superiority would eventually tell.

As the match wore on and the Waratahs failed to gain the upper hand, the team's frustration and self-doubt started ripping through the team.

Ebersohn kicked his second penalty in the 31st minute and the Cheetahs took a slim 6-3 lead to halftime.

A further penalty to Ebersohn in the third minute of the second half made the lead 9-3, which still seemed frail until the 61st minute when Snyman's try made the lead emphatic.

The Waratahs then seemed to grasp the realization that the match was slipping away.

The Waratahs attacked with desperation in the last quarter but the Cheetahs defended superbly and were able to force turnovers from the Waratahs' continuous errors.

The Cheetahs even began to dominate, pressed the Waratahs in defence and made the home team's efforts to save the match more desperate and more futile.

Finally, they capitalized on another Waratahs error to create the try to replacement winger Snyman that sealed the match.

Waratahs fans booed their team as they left the field.

Final Score Waratahs 3 Cheetahs 23


Tries -
Pen - K Beale
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - P Snyman, S Pretorius
Pen - S Ebersohn 3
Con - S Ebersohn 2
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 1:Nathan Pearce
Assistant Ref 2:James Leckie
TMO:George Ayoub


Waratahs :15. Kurtley Beale , 14. Atieli Pakalani , 13. Lachie Turner , 12. Tom Carter , 11. Drew Mitchell , 10. Berrick Barnes , 9. Luke Burgess , 8. Wycliff Palu , 7. Pat McCutcheon , 6. Ben Mowen , 5. Kane Douglas , 4. Dean Mumm [c] , 3. Al Baxter , 2. John Ulugia , 1. Benn Robinson

Reserves , 16. Damien Fitzpatrick , 17. Sekope Kepu , 18. Sitaleki Timani , 19. Dave Dennis , 20. Brendan McKibbin , 21. Daniel Halangahu , 22. Ryan Cross

Cheetahs: Coenie Oosthuizen, Ryno Barnes, WP Nel, Martin Muller, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Heinrich Brussow, Phillip van der Walt, Ashley Johnson, Tweis de Bruyn, Sias Ebersohn, Fabiaan Juries, Andries Strauss (capt), Robert Ebersohn, Phillip Snyman, Riann Viljoen.

Replacements: Skipper Badenhorst, Lourens Adriaanse, Frans Viljoen, Kabamba Floors, Francois Uys, Sarel Pretorius, Naas Olivier.

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