Currie Cup

Catrakilis wins it for Province against Cheetahs

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A last-gasp drop goal by replacement flyhalf Demitri Catrakilis helped Western Province snatch a 29-27 victory over the Free State Cheetahs in their Currie Cup rugby match at Free State Stadium on Friday.

The result means Western Province keeps their undefeated record in the Currie Cup competition intact.

With the score at 27-26 in the Cheetahs’ favour, Catrakilis kicked a drop goal in the dying seconds to give Province the win.

The Cheetahs started the first half with a penalty in the second minute.

Flyhalf Riaan Smit kicked the three points after Western Province went offside and gave his side early momentum.

The home side scored the first try of the afternoon through fullback Hennie Daniller, after flanker Lappies Labuschagne and his captain Boom Prinsloo broke away. Smit converted to leave Western Province 10 points adrift.

Province mounted a comeback as winger Cheslin Kolbe ran straight through the hole from a scrum to dot down under the Cheetahs’ posts. Kurt Coleman converted to bring his side within three points.

Coleman drew the scores level at 10 points each after the Cheetahs infringed at the breakdown in the 19th minute, an area of play the hosts struggled with early on.

Coleman made use of his opportunities at goal to help his side to a lead of 13-10 in the 26th minute.

The Cheetahs replied swiftly as Daniller scored his second try of the afternoon after Province’s defensive pattern was left wanting by the hosts.

Smit converted a difficult attempt to give the Bloemfontein-based side back a 17-13 lead at the interval.

Province started the better of the sides in the second half, with Coleman kicking a penalty to bring his side within one point.

The Cheetahs hit back in the 54th minute, when centre Robert Ebersohn again found a gap in the visitors’ defence and scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius rounded off his side’s third try of the afternoon. Elgar Watts converted.

The visitors came back within a single point after flanker Michael Rhodes scored from a driving maul five metres out, with Catrakilis converting.

Catrakilis came into play once again to kick a penalty in the 68th minute, giving his side the lead in the process.

A crucial penalty conceded by Province loose forward Nizaam Carr allowed Watts to give the hosts a one point lead again.

However, Province had the final say as the drop goal from Catrakilis sealed the win for the visitors.

Final Score Free State Cheetahs 27 (17) Western Province 29 (13)

Scorers

Free State Cheetahs
Tries: Hennie Daniller (2), Sarel Pretorius
Conversions: Riaan Smit (2), Elgar Watts
Penalties: Riaan Smit, Elgar Watts.

Western Province
Tries: Cheslin Kolbe, Michael Rhodes
Conversions: Kurt Coleman, Demitri Catrakilis
Penalties: Kurt Coleman (3), Demitri Catrakilis
Drop goal: Catrakilis.

Match Officials
Referee:
Marius Jonker
Assistant Referees: Rasta Rashivhenge, Pieter Janse van Vuuren
TMO: Willie Roos with JJ Wagner is training

Teams

Free State Cheetahs: Hennie Daniller; Riaan Smit, Johann Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Piet Lindeque; Elgar Watts, Sarel Pretorius; Boom Prinsloo (capt), Pieter Labuschagne, Teboho Mohoje; Lood de Jager, Freddy Ngoza; Trevor Nyakane, Hercu Liebenberg, Schalk van der Merwe.

Replacements: AJ le Roux, Rossouw de Klerk, Francois Uys, Davon Raubenheimer, Piet van Zyl, Ryno Benjamin, Willie du Plessis.

Western Province: Gio Aplon; Gerhard van den Heever, Michael van der Spuy, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe; Kurt Coleman, Nic Groom; Nizaam Carr, Michael Rhodes, Deon Fourie (capt); De Kock Steenkamp, Tazz Fuzani; Pat Cilliers, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: Michael Willemse, Brok Harris, Gerbrandt Grobler, Schalk Burger, Josh Katzen, Louis Schreuder, Demetri Catrakilis.

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