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Cheetahs hold on to beat Waratahs

Andries Strauss of the Cheetahs getting tackled by Rob Horne

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Article Published: Saturday 26 May 2012|

The Cheetahs edged out the Waratahs 35-34 in a tight Super Rugby match held in Bloemfontein where nine tries were scored in all.

The Cheetahs outscored the Waratahs by four tries to four so both teams earned the four try bonus point.

The Waratahs however secured another bonus point as they finished within seven points of the Cheetahs.

Cheetahs winger Willie le Roux was awarded man of the match after he scored two tries for the Cheetahs.

The Cheetahs held on for a nail-biting victory on Saturday, beating the Waratahs 35-34 in their Super Rugby encounter in the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein.

The home side scored five tries and are now 10th on the overall log.

The Cheetahs' defensive woes of last week against the Sharks continued as Waratahs flanker Dave Dennis dotted down as early as the fourth minute.

The home side fumbled the ball on their own goal line and Dennis got a hand on it for the visitors' first try.

Soon after, Dennis broke through the Cheetahs poor defence and big lock Sitaleki Timani scored his side's second try in the space of two minutes.

The Bloemfontein-based side finally got some rhythm going and scrum half Piet van Zyl scored after the big no. 8 Ashley Johnson made some hard yards.

In an exact replay of the opening minutes, the Cheetahs got their second try soon after with winger Willie le Roux's sniping run cutting through the Waratahs defence to score under the posts for an easy conversion.

McKibbin slotted a penalty in the 22nd minute for the Waratahs to help settle down what has been a high paced first 20 minutes.

The Cheetahs however had other ideas, with hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss intercepting against the run of play and running nearly sixty metres to score in the corner.

The Waratahs never let up on the attack and centre Rob Horne scored in the last couple of minutes before half time, with McKibbin converting.

The visitors got their bonus point try when Timani jogged over for his second after the Waratahs counter attacked from a poor clearing kick by scrum half Van Zyl.

The Cheetahs continued the try feast of the first half with a good try by prop WP Nel, who burst over for only his seventh Super Rugby try after the hosts put together some impressive phases of attack. Smit converted.

Cheetahs winger Le Roux scored the best try of the game in the 56th minute with a brilliant individual effort.

He gathered a chip kick from replacement fly half Sias Ebersohn, kicked again himself and regathered to score under the posts for his second five pointer of the day.

Ebersohn handed the Cheetahs the lead with his conversion which allowed the hosts to go into defensive mode.

With a lead of only one point the hosts needed another try to put the result beyond all doubt, but they defended their lead and in the end made a crucial turnover after centre Berrick Barnes readied himself to kick the winning drop goal.

However the Cheetahs turned the ball over before the Waratahs could get the ball out to Barnes.

Final Score Cheetahs 35 (21) Waratahs 34 (31).


Tries - P. Van Zyl, W. Le Roux 2, A. Strauss, WP. Nel
Pen -
Con - R. Smit 4
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - D. Dennis, S. Timane 2, R. Horne
Pen - B. McKibbin 2
Con - B. McKibbin 4
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
: Craig Joubert
Assistant Ref 1: Sindile Mayende
Assistant Ref 2: Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee



15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Rocco Jansen, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Willie le Roux, 10. Riaan Smit, 9. Piet van Zyl, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Ashley Johnson, 6. Heinrich Brussow, 5. Andries Ferreira, 4. Izak van der Westhuizen, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss (c), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen.

Replacements: 16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Francois Uys, 19. Justin Downey, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Philip Snyman.


15. Bernard Foley, 14. Tom Kingston, 13. Rob Horne, 12. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 11. Drew Mitchell, 10. Berrick Barnes (vc), 9. Brendan McKibbin, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Dave Dennis, 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Sitaleki Timani, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson (c).

Replacements: 16. John Ulugia, 17. Jeremy Tilse, 18. Richard Stanford, 19. Lopeti Timani, 20. Sarel Pretorius, 21. Daniel Halangahu, 22. Tom Carter.

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