The Cheetahs have opened only one of their last 10 Super Rugby campaigns with a win (2015 v Sharks), despite not trailing at half-time in any of their last four season openers.
The Cheetahs will be looking to snare back-to-back wins against fellow South African opponents in Super Rugby for the first time since 2013, after picking up a 21-20 win over the Kings in their last national derby in the competition in 2017.
- The Pumas are set to become the eighth South African team to contest a Super Rugby fixture
- Each of the last two South African teams to enter the competition have won their maiden games (Cats, Kings).
- The Pumas conceded just 6.5 offloads per game in the 2019 Currie Cup, the fewest of any team in the competition; they made 7.2 offloads per game of their own in that time.
- The Cheetahs have the worst win rate in South African derbies (32%), winning only 25 of 77 Super Rugby clashes.
- Two of the three players to steal seven or more lineouts throughout the 2019/20 PRO14 campaign were Cheetahs’ duo Junior Pokomela (8) and Sintu Manjezi (7).
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at a sunny Bloemfontein.
2.00: TRY! Malcolm Jaer opens the scoring, in the corner, after a free-flowing attack from the first lineout of the game. 5-0
3.00: CONVERSION! Ruan Pienaar slots the touchline conversion. 7-0
5.00: The Pumas win a penalty, and will kick at goal.
6.00: PENALTY! Eddie Fouché gets the Pumas on the board with a penalty. 7-3
8.00: The Cheetahs have another promising attack on the left flank, but a cross-kick sails into touch. The home team is, however, awarded a penalty in front of the posts.
10.00: PENALTY! Pienaar makes no mistake. 10-3
12.00: TRY! Jaer has his second after a sublime free-flowing attack. The speed at which the Cheetahs are playing is too much for the visitors to handle. 15-3
13.00: MISS! Pienaar’s touchline kick is wide. 15-3
15.00: TRY! Junior Pokomela waltzes past Devon Williams, on the wing, and walks around to score under the posts. Pumas are in for a big loss if they don’t start tackling. 20-3
16.00: CONVERSION! Pienaar adds the extras. 22-3
18.00: The Cheetahs lose a lineout inside the opposition’s 22, and the Pumas clear with a cross-kick to the halfway line. This is going to be a long afternoon for the visitors.
19.00: The Pumas are shipping multiple penalties at the breakdown allowing the home team to regroup and apply pressure with lineouts inside their 22.
21.00: Nothing comes from the attack after the lifter and jumper are involved in a mix-up while transferring the ball to the back of the maul.
24.00: The pace of the game is fast, the intensity of the hosts is too high for the Pumas, who will not be used to this level of rugby.
25.00: Williams knocks on inside his 22 after the Cheetahs messed up a promising attack. The visitors are camped inside their 22 and cannot find a way to exit.
27.00: The Cheetahs are camped on the opposition’s line, the visitors keep giving away penalties for offside to go with their scrum issues. This is going to be a long day. Cheetahs opting for a scrum.
28.00: TRY! A mix-up between Pienaar and Tian Schoeman sees the rolling ball miskicked by a Pumas player. The ball is regathered by the Cheetahs and sent to Frans Steyn, whose grubber is collected by Rosco Specman on the wing, to dot down. 27-3
30.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 27-3
31.00: TRY! Specman, running an angle, takes Clayton Blommetjies’ deft pass, and races 50 metres to score under the posts. 32-3
32.00: CONVERSION! Pienaar adds another two. 34-3
35.00: The Cheetahs have a lineout inside their half, they go to their driving maul before Pienaar kicks deep into the Pumas’ half. The hosts regain the ball and are mounting an attack inside the opposition’s half.
36.00: Jaer steps out, stopping another prolonged attack.
37.00: Specman is isolated by a tackle from Willie Engelbrecht. The Pumas boot the ball into the Cheetahs’ 22 for their first attack of the half.
39.00: Andisa Ntsila wins the penalty at the ruck for the hosts, who take the penalty quickly, but lose possession with a knock-on outside their 22. Scrum to the hosts because the Pumas knocked-on first.
40.00: Another penalty is awarded to the home side. Schoeman boots the ball deep into the Pumas’ half – one last attack before the break.
41.00: TRY! Specman goes through another big gap, races away to score; however, he waits for Pienaar before giving the scrumhalf an easy try. The winger should have had a hat-trick, but his generosity sees the captain dot down for five. 39-3
41.00: CONVERSION! Pienaar converts his try. 41-3
The halftime score was Cheetahs 41 Pumas 3
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Bloemfontein.
42.00: TRY! Frans Steyn sends William Small-Smith away to score in the corner. The winger runs around to make an easier conversion attempt for his skipper. 46-3
44.00: CONVERSION! Pienaar is racking up the points. 48-3
45.00: TRY! A mistake by Pienaar sees the ball roll through his legs at the base of the scrum. Ginter Smuts’ quick-thinking sees the scrumhalf pick up the ball and cruise away for the Pumas’ first try. 48-8
46.00: CONVERSION! Fouché has to drop-kick the conversion after the ball falls off the tee. 48-10
48.00: Engelbrecht gives away a silly penalty that allows the Cheetahs to kick to the corner.
49.00: Good defending by the visitors to win a penalty on their line.
53.00: No advantage for the visitors. Fouché kicks the penalty to just outside the opposition’s half.
55.00: The Pumas botch another lineout. Jasper Wiese comes away with the ball, breaks a couple of tackles before Steyn boots a raking kick into the Pumas’ 22.
57.00: TRY! A two-tiered backline move from the scrum dumbfounds the defence. A couple of dummy-moves and a long floated pass to Jaer, who dives in for the treble. 53-10
58.00: MISS! Pienaar pushes his kick past the uprights. 53-10
61.00: Pumas are attacking inside the Cheetahs 22.
62.00: TRY! Daniel Maartens drives through two defenders to score under the posts. 53-15
63.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 53-17
67.00: YELLOW CARD! Louis van der Westhuizen is lucky not to see red for a dangerous tackle on Maartens, but the officials think that Maartens had over-extended attempting to tackle the flank. 53-17
71.00: The game has broken down and is very messy.
74.00: The Pumas are in a good position to get a third score while Louis van der Westhuizen is in the bin.
77.00: TRY! Le Roux Roets takes three men over the line after a 16-phase attack by the Pumas. 53-22
78.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 53-22
80.00: TRY! Neil Maritz scores a great solo try. 53-29
81.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 53-31
The final score is Cheetahs 53 (41) Pumas 31 (3)
Tries – Jaer (3), Pokomela, Specman (2), Pienaar, Small-Smith
Pen – Pienaar
Con – Pienaar (5)
Cards – L. Van der Westhuizen (Yellow, 67′)
Tries – Smuts, Maartens, Roets, Maritz
Pen – Fouché
Con – Fouché (4)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Griffin Colby
Assistant Ref 2: Ben Crouse
TMO: Stuart Berry
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Malcolm Jaer, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Charles Marais
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Aidon Davis, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 William Small-Smith
15 Devon Williams, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Wayne van der Bank, 12 Ryan Nell (captain), 11 Neil Maritz, 10 Eddie Fouché, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Kwanda Dimaza, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Morgan Naudé
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Dewald Maritz, 19 Darrien Landsberg, 20 Jeandré Rudolph, 21 Dian Badenhorst, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Ruwellyn Isbell