Welcome to our live coverage of the Cheetahs and Sunwolves from the city of roses.
The Cheetahs and Sunwolves meet in Bloemfontein for this match. This will only be their third meeting and the last time the Sunwolves were in Bloemfontein they were beaten 92-17.
A moment’s silence is impeccably observed by the crowd.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
BEEP! We are off.
1.00: TRY SUNWOLVES! What a start by the visitors who won the kick-off challenge, set up an attack inside the Cheetahs’ 22. Derek Carpenter took a flat ball and offloaded to fullback Shota Emi to score.
2.00: Hayden Cripps adds the conversion. What a start, try after 30 seconds.
4.00: Some reset scrums stop the early attacking intent.
6.00: Cheetahs on the attack but lose the ball. Sunwolves clear.
9.00: The game is scrappy. A couple of reset scrums is now the norm. The Cheetahs are under some pressure from the Sunwolves and stop them just short of their try line.
10.00: Scrum visitors on the Cheetahs five metre.
11.00: PENALTY! Sunwolves earn another penalty after Raymond Rhule is caught offsides. They kick to the corner. Maybe they should’ve taken the initial penalty from under the uprights. But they do have an attacking lineout.
13.00: Sunwolves keep the attack alive as the Cheetahs hold on, win the turnover and Fred Zeilinga clears.
14.00: Not in straight by Yusuke Niwai. Cheetahs scrum on their 10. They win a penalty for a binding infringement.
15.00: TRY CHEETAHS! The home team hit back through their skipper Torsten van Jaarsveld. From the lineout, the Cheetahs set up a maul. It went down and the skipper spotted a gap in the ruck, charged unchallenged and untouched, to score under the posts.
16.00: Zeilinga with an easy conversion, ties the scores.
18.00: The Cheetahs are back on the front foot and attacking inside the Sunwolves’ 22.
20.00: Cheetahs can’t make it count, but do have another penalty. The visitors might need to watch they don’t get a yellow card for repeated infringements.
21.00: PENALTY! Zeilinga from close range opts for a shot and… it’s good. Cheetahs take the lead.
24.oo: Sunwolves are attacking inside the hosts’ half. A couple of chances out wide come to nothing. they keep possession and are close.
25.00: TRY! Cripps is awarded a try but referee Rasta Rasivhenge wants to see if there was a knock on before the standoff scored.
26.00: Try stands. Cripps, from under the posts, converts his try and the Sunwolves regain the lead.
28.00: TRY! The Cheetahs hit back. Referee checks with TMO.
29.00: Hold on. NO TRY! TMO over-rules Rasta Rasivhenge and it doesn’t count. Scrum Sunwolves.
31.00: The Cheetahs try with another wide attack but it breaks down. They need to build a platform before or they will get ball and man. Scrum, home team on the opposition 10.
32.00: PENALTY! Zeilinga will have chance to reduce the scores to one point.
33.00: Kick is good.
35.00: TRY! Cheetahs. It’s Oupa Mohoje; the flank takes a short pass from Tian Meyer and runs in untouched.
36.00: Zeilinga adds another easy conversion and the Cheetahs are six ahead.
39.00: PENALTY! Cripps opts for a shot at goal with a minute before the halftime hooter.
40.00: Cripps makes no mistake and cuts the deficit to three as the siren goes. What a half of rugby!
The halftime score is Cheetahs 20 Sunwolves 17
That was a half of “you score, we score” and the cheetahs have a slender lead. The big question is whether or not, the Sunwolves’ legs and lungs, will last at altitude.
Cheetahs coach Franco Smith says his side “need to earn the right to go wide” and in doing so, win the breakdown battle.
BEEP! We are back underway.
42.00: Scrum Cheetahs. They attack and win a penalty under the sticks for not rolling away.
43.00: Zeilinga slots his third penalty and the hosts extend their lead to six.
45.00: There are some changes being made. Mahoje is down but gets up slowly; he looks fine. Scrum Cheetahs outside their 22.
47.00: Emi almost collects a bouncing ball from his knee but, it’s a scrum to the home team, five out. The scrum is reset.
49.00: Cheetahs attack from a lineout. Sunwolves under pressure here.
50.00: Tian Meyer knocks on with the try-line beckoning. Scrum visitors as they empty their bench.
51.00: Cheetahs win a penalty at the ruck. They kick to the corner instead of going for posts.
53.00: TRY! Clinton Swart takes a ball from Tian Meyer, on the angle, and cuts inside two defenders to score. Zeilinga waists no time with the conversion as the cheetahs chase the bonus point.
54.00: TRY SUNWOLVES! The visitors hit back immediately through wing Kenki Fukuoka after a break in midfield by Derek Carpenter. The centre drew his man and sent the ball wide, and the winger finished off the move.
55.00: Jamie-Jerry Taulagi takes over kicking duties and adds the two points.
59.00: The game is a bit scrappy and some frustration being shown by both sides.
62.00: TRY! It’s number two for Kenki Fukuoka. The winger takes two defenders with him as he crosses the whitewash. An easy conversion awaits.
63.00: Jamie-Jerry Taulagi from in front of the sticks, gives his side the lead going into the final 17 minutes: wow! What a turnaround.
64.00: YELLOW CARD! Takuma Asahara is sent to the bin. The Cheetahs have a chance to kick in front of the posts but, opt for a scrum.
66.00: Cheetahs are five metres out and a man up. They need to score, especially, after declining the three points and the lead.
67.00: TRY! the gamble pays off. Ryno Benjamin collects a “Sydney Harbour Bridge” pass from Meyer, and takes a defender with him as he scores.
68.00: The conversion is missed.
70.00: Sumwolves have an attacking lineout inside Cheetahs’ 22. They set up a maul but the home team stop them dead.
73.00: PENALTY! Zeilinga extends the lead to seven.
75.00: Time is running out for the Sunwolves but hey have the ball.
79.00: Time is running out, Cheetahs in possession.
80.00: The hooter sounds with the Cheetahs deep in their 22. They clear and it’s game over. The Sunwolves claim a losing bonus point for finishing within seven points.
The final score is Cheetahs 38 (20) Sunwolves 31 (17)
Tries – Van Jaarsveldt, Mohoje, Swart, Benjamin
Pen – Zeilinga (4)
Con – Zeilinga (3)
Tries – Emi, Cripps, Fukuoka (2)
Pen – Cripps
Con – Cripps (2), Jamie-Jerry Taulagi (2)
Cards – Asahara (Yellow, 64th minute)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 1: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 2: Quinton Immelman
TMO : Johan Greef
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Zee Mkhabela, 13 Ryno Benjamin, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), 1 Charles Marais
Replacements: 16 Danie Mienie, 17 Elandre Huggett, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Henco Venter 21 Niel Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Ruan van Rensburg
15 Shota Emi, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 William Tupou, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Shumei Matsuhashi, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 Uwe Hela, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Koki Yamamoto
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi