Super Rugby

Crusaders beat Cheetahs in Bloemfontein




The Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs face a tough challenge this weekend as they host Super Rugby’s only unbeaten team and tournament leading Crusaders.

The Cheetahs have played 8 matches so far this season and won two. The Crusaders are unbeaten after 8 matches.

The New Zealanders have beaten the Free State side in eight of their past 10 meetings, racking up a half-century in the last two games in Bloem and Christchurch.

This game will be high-scoring; the Cheetahs love to attack and the Saders are a wonderful attacking side.

The Crusaders run out to some boos from the home crowd. Matt Todd makes his 100th appearance for the Crusaders and Francois Venter gets his 50th cap.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: BEEP! BEEP! Richie Mo’unga starts the game with a short kick, Carl Wegner gathers and the Cheetahs run the ball from their 22.

3.00: The home team go through the phases, taking the ball from their 22 to the Crusaders’ half. But, they lose it forward and the visitors have a scrum.

4.00: The Crusaders go wide but Seta Tamanivalu, loses the ball trying to offload, into touch.

5.00: Ryan Crotty makes a break in midfield after Bryn Hall’s good decision making. The centre runs all the way into the opposition’s 22, tries a switch with Hall in support, but, the scrumhalf loses the ball. Warning signs for the Cheetahs.

6.00: The field is damp and cutting up early on. Scrumming will be tough.

7.00: Johan Coetzee is pinged for collapsing and the Crusaders kick deep. They will have the lineout on the 22.

8.00: Teboho Mohoje is penalised for being offside. The visitors will take a shot at goal.

9.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga puts the first points on the board.

11.00: BIG TACKLE by Raymond Rhule. The crusaders run the ball out from their 22 and David Havili skips past a defender and takes the ball to the Cheetahs’ five-metre before the winger saves the day.

13.00: TRY David Havili! The fullback gets over this time. Mo’unga took the ball flat and passed to Ryan Crotty, who passes to Seta Tamanivalu on the wrap-around. The winger bounces a Rhule and sends Havili away.

14.00: the conversion is missed but the Crusaders look ominous.

17.00: Clayton Blommetjies makes a break and sends Nico Lee away. The centre takes the tackle when he should have passed; he had men on his outside. The Cheetahs get a penalty and kick to touch.

19.00: TRY Raymond Rhule! The Cheetahs go 70 metres down the field and the winger scores. He collected the pass from Sergeal Petersen, who picked up from the ruck, darted to the short-side and delivered the final ball to the Rhule.

20.00: The conversion is good by Niel Marais.

22.00: Sergeal Petersen is beaten by the pass and the Crusaders almost score immediately after conceding. The Cheetahs are running everything from their try-line; dangerous but, this is how they play.

24.00: Francois Uys wins the Crusaders’ throw and Blommetjies kicks a massive touch-finder and relieves the pressure.

26.00: The Crusaders are playing fast and loose; running everything. It almost backfires as the Cheetahs win the ball and chase a kick. The visitors’ scramble defence is good and they clear the danger.

30.00: Sergeal Petersen takes Shaun Venter’s pass and beats the defender on the outside. He runs into enemy territory but his pass, misses the support runner, and the move breaks down.

32.00: The visitors attack and go through the phases. The move is halted by an infringement by a Cheetahs player. The penalty is for not rolling away. Sam Whitelock decides to kick to touch.

33.00: Whitelock takes the ball at the back of the lineout and sets up a driving maul. Good D from the hosts as the maul is stopped.

34.00: TRY George Bridge! The winger takes the ball into traffic, bounces Johan Coetzee, goes through two more tackles, carries Nico Lee and scores.

35.00: Conversion by Mo’unga is good. The visitors extend their lead. 

37.00: TRY Sergeal Petersen! It all came from Retshegofaditswe Nche. The prop bounced Owen Franks and Joe Moody, stormed forward, draws the oncoming defender and pops to the winger – with Bryn Hall hanging onto him.

37.00: Wait, NO TRY! TMO over-rules. That is disgraceful; the pass was never forward. Terrible.

39.00: TRY George Bridge! The winger gets his second after collecting a long cross-kick from Mo’unga, steps inside three defenders and runs in under the poles.

40.00: Mo’unga adds the extras.


The halftime score was Cheetahs 7 Crusaders 22

The Cheetahs were back out very early after getting the hair-dryer from Franco Smith, who did not look happy.

41.00: Penalty to the Crusaders and they kick to touch.

43.00: The Crusaders attack but the scramble D from the home team earns them a penalty and a chance to clear.

44.00: YELLOW CARD Armandt Koster! The lock, know in jersey 26, is sent to the bin for a cynical infringement at the breakdown – looks harsh.

45.00: There is a long delay for an injury assessment; Saders have the scrum, on the 5 and five metres in from touch.

46.00: The scrum is reset.

47.00: TRY Mo’unga! The first-five ran an arced run, drew in Niel Marais and rounded the flyhalf to score under the poles: easy as you like.

48.00: He makes no mistake with the conversion. Game over.

53.00: TRY Retshegofaditswe Nche! The prop takes a ball in the flyhalf pocket and charges through the gap and beats all defenders to the try-line. Wow! The Ox has his justice after his first half brilliance was wiped out by terrible officiating.

54.00: Marais adds the extras.

56.00: TRY Havili! The fullback dives over from close range after sustained pressure. Havili stepped inside the defender and scored under the posts.

57.00: Mo’unga kicks his fourth conversion and that is the ball game, I promise. 

58.00: TRY Mitchell Drummond! It’s getting embarrassing now for the Cheetahs. Havili makes another break and sends the substitute No 9 away.

59.00: Mo’unga adds the two points.

63.00: The Crusaders are toying with their opponents now. every time they touch the ball, they look like scoring.

66.00: The Cheetahs cannot get out of their 22. They are giving away penalties at the scrum and any more might lead to another yellow.

69.00: A scuffle has broken out.

70.00: HAT-TRICK Bridge! The crusaders send the ball wide, Bridge steps inside from near the touchline and skip past the defenders. Great finish!

71.00: Mitchell Hunt can’t make it 50.

72.00: TMO being consulted for an elbow by a Crusaders.

72.00: YELLOW CARD! Sam Whitelock is sent to the bin.

74.00: The Cheetahs are edging closer to the try-line but, it’s slow ball at the breakdown.

77.00: The hosts are still inside the Crusaders’ 22 but, they can’t get over the goal-line.

78.00: YELLOW CARD! Mitchell Hunt is in the bin.

79.00: TRY Sergeal Petersen! The Cheetahs set up a maul and Sergeal Petersen goes over with the final play of the game.

80.00: Marais adds his third conversion and that is that – game over


Live In-Play Betting.

Final score: Cheetahs 21 (7) Crusaders 48 (22)


Tries – Rhule, Nche, Petersen,
Pen –
Con – N. Marais (3)
Drop –
Cards – Koster (Yellow, 44th minute)

Tries – Havili (2), Bridge (3), Mo’unga, Drummond
Pen – Mo’unga
Con – Mo’unga (5)
Drop –
Cards – Whitelock (Yellow, 73rd minute), Hunt (Yellow, 78th minute)

Match Officials
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: AJ Jacobs
TMO: Johan Greeff



15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.

Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Niell Jordaan, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Clinton Swart.


15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele

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