Highlanders bring Cheetahs back down to earth




Super rugby AU : Standings | Fixtures | Super Rugby Aotearoa: Standings | Fixtures |


The Highlanders earned their first victory of the 2010 season when they beat the Cheetahs 24-31 in Bloemfontein in Round three of the Super14.

The Highlanders led 9-15 at half time after scoring the only two tries of the match through Kendrick Lynn and Fetu’,u Vainikolo.

They held on to the lead and started to create some space between the Cheetahs for most of the third quarter.

Heinrich Brussouw breathed some life into the Cheetahs with a try which was converted by Naas Olivier and that brought the Cheetahs to within two points.

The Highlanders however hit back with a try by Michael Hobbs after Israel Dagg had kicked a penalty.

The South African TMO had a busy match and was called on three times in the match and found in favour of the South African team three times.

The Highlanders were good value for their win in a hard-fought contest between two of the competition’s struggling teams – the New Zealanders always looked superior when they had the ball in hand.


The Cheetahs, seeking to win two matches in a row for the first time since they became a separate franchise, took an early lead through a penalty goal but trailed for the rest of the match. But the home team stayed in contention with solid forward play and committed defence.


The Highlanders led 15-9 lead at half-time, scoring two tries while the Cheetahs replied with three penalty goals by flyhalf Naas Olivier. 


The home side were awarded seven penalties to two during the first period but the penalty count was even after the break.


The first try after seven minutes came after a well-worked move, with the Highlanders building up patiently before flyhalf Michael Hobbs made a half-break and offloaded to hooker Jason Rutledge, who in turn fed prop Clint Newland. Centre Kenny Lynn ran into space and romped over after receiving from Newland.


There was an element of luck about the second try, however.


Cheetahs hooker Adriaan Strauss was tackled about 10 metres in from touch and as the forwards gathered to contest the ball, it popped out and was picked up by an unmarked Fetu’u Vainikolo. The left wing was able to run 65 metres to score.


The Cheetahs came back strongly in the second half, getting to within two points midway through the second period after flank Heinrich Brussow bullocked over for a converted try.


But the New Zealand team scored an excellent try through flyhalf Michael Hobbs after slick inter-passing with centre Jason Shoemark eight minutes from time.


At that point the Highlanders were 12 points ahead but the Cheetahs scored again through flank Juan Smith.


Both the Cheetahs tries needed confirmation from the television match official as the scorers barged through a melee of opponents.


The Highlanders, who finished 11th in the 2009 competition, while the Cheetahs were in last place, almost scored a bonus point try in the last minute as their forwards mauled furiously near the Cheetahs line.


The TMO however ruled against them. 


Final Score Cheetahs 24 Highlanders 31


Tries – H Brussow, J Smith
Pen – N. Olivier 4
Con – N Olivier
Drop –

Tries – K Lynn , F Vainikolo, M Hobbs
Pen – I Dagg 4
Con – I Dagg 2
Drop –


Match Officials
Referee: Pro Legoete(SA)
Ass. refs: Craig Joubert (SA), Cobus Wessels (SA)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (SA)



Cheetahs – 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Danwel Demas, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Frans Viljoen, 7 Juan Smith (c), 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.

Reserves: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Hennie Daniller

Highlanders -, 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Fetu’,u Vainikolo, 10 Michael Hobbs, 9 Jimmy Cowan (c), 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 John Hardie, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Clint Newland, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.

Reserves: 16 Jason MacDonald, 17 Chris King, 18 Hayden Triggs, 19 Tim Boys, 20 Sean Romans, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 James Paterson.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.