Currie Cup

Cheetahs start with 12-try rout

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The Free State Cheetahs showed exactly why they are the joint Currie Cup champions and early favourites to feature in the play-offs again come October, when they started their 2007 campaign with a 12-try rout (91-3) of newcomers Boland Cavaliers in Bloemfontein on Friday.

For the Cavaliers, who qualified to play in the top echelon by virtue of two easy victories over the Pumas recently, it was a timely wake-up call.

With the loss of most of their top stars through the Fidentia scandal (their sponsor went under curatorship) it is clear they simply don’t have the depth or strength to compete at this level.

You suspect they might be on the wrong end of few more such hidings.

After a relatively slow start – considering the end result – the Cheetahs raced to a 49-3 lead at half-time.

Free State played some excellent running rugby with Philip Burger (fullback), Gavin Passens (wing) and Eddie Fredericks (wing) the star performers.

Forgotten Springbok Marius Joubert (centre) also showed that at this level he is a cut above most.

Heinrich Brussouw (flank), Richardt Strauss (hooker) and Corniel van Zyl (lock) also had too much class for their opponents.

Strauss, one of two players who scored a hat-trick, was without doubt the player of the match.

The other hat-trick came from Passens.

For Boland it was an uphill battle in the scrums and line-outs.

Stormers scrum-half JP Joubert was the best in the visiting side and one of the few players from Boland who could match the class of the Bloemfontein outfit.

Such was the Cheetahs’ dominance that replacement scrum-half Tewis de Bruyn took over at fly-half in the final 20 minutes and calmly slotted five conversions.

The scorers:

For the Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Passens 3, Fredericks 2, Strauss 3, Nell, Burger, Du Preez, De Villiers
Cons: De Waal 6, De Bruyn 5
Pens: De Waal 3

For the Boland Cavaliers:
Pen: Peach

Teams:

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Phillip Burger, 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Hendrik Meyer, 11 Gavin Passens, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Rudolph van der Merwe, 7 Daniel Vermeulen, 6 Heinrich Brussouw, 5 Corniel van Zyl, 4 Rory Duncan (captain), 3 Kobus Calldo, 2 R Strauss, 1 W du Preez
Replacements: 16 Ollie Le Roux, 17 Herculaas Liebenberg, 18 David De Villiers, 19 Darron Nell, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Barry Goodes, 22 Alwyn Hollenbach.

Boland Cavaliers: 15 Renfred Danzel, 14 John Daniels, 13 Piet van Zyl, 12 Hennie Daniller, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Isma-eel Dollie, 9 JP Joubert, 8 Francois Prinsloo, 7 Chris Potgieter, 6 Juan Mofu, 5 Kollie Basson, 4 Randell Julies, 3 Andries Human, 2 Conrad Burke (captain), 1 Janro van Niekerk.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Wiun, 17 Ruan du Preez, 18 Gert Schoombie, 19 Angelo Brinkhuis, 20 Dewald Duvenhage, 21 Lionel Cornelius, 22 Antonius van Verhoeven.

Referee: Deon van Blommestein (SARU)
Touch judges: Fakumile Yamile (Eastern Province). Johan Greeff (Blue Bulls)
 
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