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Super Rugby | Bloemfontein
17:10 (GMT) | 18-04-2015
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Join us again next week for more live coverage of Super Rugby.
  • 80
Pietersen lines up the penalty but he hist the upright and the Reds keep the ball close and run the clock down. The visitors give the ball to Frisby who kicks the ball out for FULL-TIME: Reds 18-17 Cheetahs
  • 79
The Reds, from a line-out on their own 10m line, cannot win the ball and the Cheetahs go on the attack and they win the penalty just outside the Reds 22, with the Reds player playing the ball on the ground.
  • 77
The Reds, from a scrum on halfway, go wide before Genia's kick is charged down. The Cheetahs get the ball back before it is lost and Thomson comes away with it and the Reds go onto the attack. The ball goes out into touch and the home side takes it quickly and Benjamin is in space, but he is tackled out into touch in the Reds 22
  • 74
The Reds can sense they are within a chance of winning this game as Kerevi is again put into space as the visitors make their way into the Cheetahs 22. The Reds take it through the phases before Genia passes to Frisby who slots a drop goal and the Reds take the lead, 18-17
  • 72
The Reds go to the midfield from the scrum, but they lose it forward again and the Cheetahs have a scrum inside their own 22. from the scrum Du Plessis clears towards the 10m line
  • 69
The Reds win another penalty soon after the restart and this time Turner finds touch in the Cheetahs 22 for a Reds line-out. The Reds again try and fool the Cheetahs at the line-out, but this time they lose it forward and the Cheetahs will get the scrum in their own 22
  • 67
O'Connor line-up the kick from about 30m out but it goes wide and the Cheetahs are still in the lead, 17-15
  • 65
The Cheetahs have the ball in the Reds half before Du Plessis kicks and Frisby is under pressure in his own 22 before the visitors clear their lines, The Reds are now on the attack with Turner nearly through a gap as they are just metres from the Cheetsahs 22 and they get a penalty.
  • 63
The Reds form a driving maul before Genia goes to the blindside and makes some valuable metres. Genia finds some space behind the Cheetahs defense and finds touch in the Cheetahs 22. The Cheetahs win the penalty and Du Plessis finds touch inside the Reds half
  • 61
The home side goes onto the attack once again before they kick again and after a brief kick duel the Reds will have a line-out on halfway.
  • 58
Pietersen adds the conversion and the Cheetahs lead 17-15
  • 57
The home side forms the driving maul 10m out and they make their way to the tryline with Prinsloo diving over for the Cheetahs' second try!
  • 56
The Cheetahs with some rare possession find themselves with a line-out inside the Reds half. They form the maul before Prinsloo breaks free. It goes wide to Venter who makes some metres and the home side gets the penalty after a high tackle. Du Plessis gives his team a line-out 10m from the Reds tryline.
  • 54
O'Connor misses the conversion, but the Reds now lead 15-10
  • 52
From the scrum Thomson takes the ball up before Kerevi is nearly through as the Reds are just 5m out, after two phases the Reds go wide again and O'Connor passes to Kerevi who is in for the try!
  • 50
The Cheetahs take the ball up from inside their own 22 before Du Plessis finds touch near the Cheetahs 10m line. The Reds continue their dominance of possession in the second half as they make their way towards the Cheetahs 22 and they get the scrum after the home side knocks-on.
  • 48
From the line-out Genia goes wide before Genia kicks over the top and the Cheetahs will have a defensive line-out in their own 22. Prinsloo takes it up before Pietersen clears and Hunt finds touch inside the Cheetahs 22.
  • 46
The Reds get a penalty in their own 22 now and Turner gives his team a line-out deep inside the Cheetahs half of the field.
  • 44
O'Connor adds the conversion and the scores are level at 10-10
  • 43
The Reds have the ball in the Cheetahs half before Genia sends a kick in behind the Cheetahs defence, but it is too far and goes touch in goal. Horwill gets the ball back for his team from the restart before O'Connor is in space, he passes Adam Korczyk who sprints in for the try!
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SECOND-HALF: Reds' fullback Lachie Turner gets the game back under way!

Half Time

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While you have a break here is some enjoyable viewing :
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The Reds form the maul but go nowhere with good defence from the Cheetahs. The visitors now turn to one-off runners before they go wide. They get another penalty at the ruck and O'Connor sets-up the kick from right in front. He converts the penalty and that is HALF-TIME: Cheetahs 10-3 Reds.
  • 39
The Cheetahs, from a line-out inside their own half, are put under pressure and the Reds get a penalty. Turners gives his team an attacking line-out about 5m from the Cheetahs tryline.
  • 37
From a line-out deep inside the Cheetahs half, the Reds form a maul before it goes to the backline with O'Connor making some metres. The Reds are pushed backwards before Frisby kicks poorly and Benjamin calls the mark in his 22
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Pietersen adds the extras and the Cheetahs lead 10-0
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Du Plessis is now space after a scrappy kick and passes to Benjamin who beats the least defender on the sideline to sprint in for the first try of the game!
  • 32
The Reds win another scrum penalty with Oosthuizen binding illegally. Turner gives his team an attacking line-out in the Cheetahs 22. The visitors go wide but are met with some good defence and the Cheetahs rips the ball away before Pietersen clears
  • 29
After a kicking duel, Genia finally finds touch but still inside the Reds half for a Cheetahs line-out. The home side goes wide from the line-out and Sadie is in space before it is lost forward by Pretorius and the Reds have a scrum 10m out from their own 22
  • 27
After getting the ball back from a scrappy scrum the Cheetahs kick into the Reds half, before the visitors kick themselves.The Cheetahs win a penalty and will have a line-out just inside the Reds half. The home side forms the maul before going wide and Benjamin is in space, but his kick goes out on the full.
  • 25
The Reds get another penalty with another massive scrum and Turner gives his team an attacking line-out in the Cheetahs 22. The visitors cannot not maintain the scrappy ball they won and Frisby loses the ball forward and the Cheetahs have a scrum on their own 10m line
  • 23
The Cheetahs get a penalty just outside their own 22 but Pietersen cannot find touch and Frisby punishes them with a good touch finder deep in the Cheetahs half. The Cheetahs go wide from the set piece but Hendricks loses the ball forward on halfway.
  • 20
From the line-out the Cheetahs go to the midfield before Pietersen kicks down field. Turner sends a fantastic kick and the home side is back in their own half. The Reds win the line-out but are tackled back before Frisby sends a high ball.
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The Reds, after some good play from Gill at the line-out now find themselves within 5m of the Cheetahs tryline. However, Turner loses the ball forward and the Cheetahs have a defensive scrum 5m out from their own tryline. Genia is offside at the scrum and Pietersen finds touch near halfway
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The visitors, after a massive scrum, take the ball up with Genia. After a few phases play is brought back for a penalty for the Reds at the scrum and Turner gives his team a line-out between the Cheetahs 10m and 22m line
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From the scrum, the Reds go to Kerevi again before Frisby sends a high ball. the Cheetahs returns it, but Hunt finds touch deep inside the Cheetahs half. The Reds win the line-out but the Sadie nearly intercepts for the Cheetahs. The Reds get a scrum near halfway.
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The Reds from a line-out just inside the Cheetahs half go to the midfield with Kerevi taking it up. But the Cheetahs turn it over and Pretorius sends a kick down field which goes dead. Play is brought back for a Reds scrum near their own 10m line
  • 10
Britz takes the ball up for the Cheetahs but he is tackled into touch. The Reds, from the line-out go wide. The Reds kick down field through Hunt but Hendricks dots it down in his own tryline
  • 8
The Cheetahs take the ball through a number of phases but again lose it and after a brief kicking duel, it is the Reds who find touch through Frisby in the Cheetahs half. From the line-out Venter finds space but his pass cannot find a teammate.
  • 6
Benjamin finds space from the restart and sprints down field before passing to Venter who is tackled in touch 10m short of the Reds tryline. The visitors win the line-out and clear their lines, giving the Cheetahs an attacking line-out on their 10m line.
  • 4
The home side continue to dominate possession in the early stages and they win a penalty. Pietersen lines-up the kick for polls from 40m out and converts the penalty and the Cheetahs lead 3-0
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The Cheetahs win a line-out on the Reds 10m line and they form the driving maul, It is a strong maul as they make their way towards the Reds 22 before it is turned over and the visitors clear through Hunt
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KICK-OFF: Cheetahs flyhalf Joe Pietersen gets the game under way!
  • -12
The Cheetahs have not triumphed by more than seven points in any of their last six home games, a run which includes three defeats.
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of Round 10 of Super Rugby with the Cheetahs facing the Reds at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
Mc cheetahs logo 80x50
Mc reds logo 80x50
  • 15 Coenie van Wyk
  • 14 Cornal Hendricks
  • 13 Johann Sadie
  • 12 Francois Venter
  • 11 Ryno Benjamin
  • 10 Joe Pietersen
  • 9 Sarel Pretorius
  • 8 Willie Britz
  • 7 Boom Prinsloo
  • 6 Heinrich Brussow
  • 5 Francois Uys
  • 4 Carl Wegner
  • 3 Coenie Oosthuizen
  • 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld
  • 1 BG Uys
  • 23 Michael van de Spuy
  • 22 Willie du Plessis
  • 21 Tian Meyer
  • 20 Tienie Burger
  • 19 Steven Sykes
  • 18 Maks van Dyk
  • 17 Danie Mienie
  • 16 Stephan Coetzee
  • 15 Karmichael Hunt
  • 14 Lachie Turner
  • 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia
  • 12 Samu Kerevi
  • 11 James O'Connor
  • 10 Nick Frisby
  • 9 Will Genia
  • 8 Adam Thomson
  • 7 Liam Gill
  • 6 Curtis Browning
  • 5 James Horwill
  • 4 Rob Simmons
  • 3 Greg Holmes
  • 2 James Hanson
  • 1 James Slipper
  • 23 Chris Kuridrani
  • 22 Campbell Magnay
  • 21 Anthony Fainga'a
  • 20 Adam Korczyk
  • 19 Marco Kotze
  • 18 Sam Talakai
  • 17 Ben Daley
  • 16 Andrew Ready
Mc article gary gold   michael horak 6

Preview: S15 Round 10, Part Two

Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:56

The spotlight will shine brightly on the South African teams in this edition of our preview, even though two of the matches are cross-conference encounters.

The spotlight will shine brightly on the South African teams in this edition of our preview, even though two of the matches are cross-conference encounters.

With the SA conference a closely contested affair in which all teams are still in the running at the halfway stage, four of the five teams feature in Part Two.

The Lions have a bye  and do not feature.

By the end of Saturday's action anyone of the Bulls, Stormers and Sharks could top the SA conference.

Just four log points separate the Bulls on 24 (after eight matches), Stormers on 22 (eight), Lions on 21 (nine) and Sharks on 20 (nine). Even the Cheetahs are not out of the running - as they trail the Sharks by seven points with a game in hand.

We kick off this edition of our preview in Perth, where the Stormers face the Western Force; followed by the match of the weekend - the Sharks versus Bulls in Durban.

The weekend's action is concluded when the Cheetahs will look to make up some lost ground when  they host the Reds in Bloemfontein.

Saturday, April 18

Western Force v Stormers
(nib Stadium, Perth - Kick-off: 19.45; 13.45 SAST, 11.45 GMT)

The Force will be hard-pressed to end their seven-match losing streak against a Stormers team that displayed some ominous form against the defending champion Waratahs last week.

Having not won since their Week One victory over the Waratahs in mid-February, the Force go into the match happy with their underdog status.

However, they are confident they can upstage a team that topped the table after the opening month of the competition.

Coach Michael Foley said Saturday marks another strong challenge for his side - who will be facing a South African team for the fourth consecutive week.

They lost 24-25 to the Bulls in Pretoria and fell 9-15 to the Sharks in Durban, before returning home to Perth where they lost 15-24 yo the Cheetahs last week.

"As with any South African opponent, it's important that we're up for the physical challenge in defence and at the breakdown, which has been a feature of our performances in our past three matches," Foley said.

"While playing physically is a foundation, we have to play smart to finish off the effort that's being put in every week.

"When 'decision making' is mentioned, it's easy to assume there's a level of complexity, but it's a simple focus on firstly creating momentum and secondly playing with awareness to take opportunities we're creating."

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is adamant they will not take the foot off the gas against a team sitting second from bottom of the standings.

"The big thing for us it to improve on last week's [32-18] win [over the Tahs] and not take it for granted that it will happen again," Coetzee said.
"The biggest mistake we could make is under estimate the Force.

"There is no talk of complacency, but rather energy in the team."
The Stormers mentor said it is crucial to get it right this weekend if they are to have a chance of reclaiming the No.1 ranking in the SA conference - a position they last held after Week Four.

"The biggest thing in this game is about discipline and not giving soft penalties away - which will enable a good kicking side to get territory and they have a good maul as well," Coetzee said, adding: "That is the difference for me from last weekend to this weekend."
Recent results:

2014: Stormers won 24-8, Cape Town
2012: Stormers won 17-3, Perth
2011: Stormers won 51-16, Cape Town
2010: Force won 16-15, Perth
2009: Stormers won 25-24, Cape Town
2008: Stormers won 32-16, Perth

Prediction: The Force are enduring their worst run of form (seven defeats) since losing nine straight at the beginning of their inaugural season in 2006. The Force failed to reach double figures in their last two meetings with the Stormers.  They have lost their last three against the South African side by margins of 25, 14 and 16 points respectively. Three of the last four meetings between the sides have seen 32 or fewer points scored. The Stormers are aiming to win consecutive away matches outside of South Africa
for the first time since April 2012, which included a win against the Force. Both Vincent Koch and Ben McCalman have conceded 13 penalties this season, only one other man (Charlie Faumuina, 14) has conceded more. Of course the Force have a chance to win. Anything can happen. But I wouldn't bet my house on a home team win. The Stormers by at least 15 points.


Western Force:
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Luke Burton, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes (c), 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Marcel Brache.
Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees, Will Houston
TMO: Ian Smith

Sharks v Bulls
(Kings Park, Durban - Kick-off: 17.05; 15.05 GMT)

The Sharks believe they have turned the corner after a tumultuous month that resulted in the suspension of three of their most senior players (including captain Bismarck du Plessis) and defeats in their last two matches.

After the humiliating 10-52 loss to the Crusaders a fortnight ago, they showed some drive in going to lose by just two points (21-23) to the impressive Lions last week - a game they may well have won if a last-minute penalty kick had gone over.

The Bulls have shown some flashes of real brilliance in recent weeks - especially in the victories over the Crusaders and reds.

However, they also displayed their vulnerability in going down to the Lions - a match sandwiched between those two impressive victories.

Not surprising then Sharks assistant coach Sean Everitt believes his team has a realistic chance of putting their campaign back on track with a crucial win at home.

"There were a lot of positives to take out of the [Lions] game [last week] and if we can just polish those up a bit, the result could go our way," Everitt said.

"Obviously we're still in with a good shout [of reaching the play-offs], but what we need to do is concentrate on our performances and make sure we rectify the mistakes we've made and that we move forward."

The backline mentor pinpointed workrate and effort as the two big positives to come from their last outing.

"And at times when we kept the ball, we looked very good as well, we scored two nice tries from way out," Everitt said.

"We're happy with the way we're attacking but unfortunately, the unforced errors are counting against us."

Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke described his team's trip to Durban as "massive challenge" for the SA conference leaders.

"We will be facing a Sharks team what will be hurting and desperate to redeem themselves at home and I think it is fair to say that this will be our toughest assignment this year."

The other key factor is the Bulls' vulnerability on the road.

They have won just once in their last 11 away matches - against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in Week Four.

Bulls captain Pierre Spies said they will have to show their ability to win away from home consistently if they want to remain in the competition.

"Durban is a tough place to play at and with so much at stake in the SA conference, we really cannot afford to play average rugby,"Spies said.

"This is going to be an epic local derby and we need to front up to it."

Recent results:
2015: Bulls won 43-35, Pretoria
2014: Bulls won 23-19, Pretoria
2014: Sharks won 31-16, Durban
2013: Bulls won 20-19, Pretoria
2013: Bulls won 18-16, Durban
2012: Sharks won 32-10, Durban
2012: Bulls won 18-13, Pretoria

Prediction: The Sharks have lost their last two matches, but have not been beaten three times in a row since May 2013. The Bulls have won eight of the last 11 instances of this fixture but never by a double figure margin. The Sharks' three wins in this run have been by an aggregate difference of 40 points; in those 11 fixtures the Sharks (259) have scored two more points in total than the
Bulls (257). All but one of the Bulls' matches have seen at least 40 points on the board this season, an average of 52 per game.
Only the Crusaders (29.3) have averaged more points than the Bulls (28.6), despite the South Africans rank equalling last for breaks per game (4.9). Jessie Kriel (802) and SP Marais (672) rank first and third for metres gained this season. The Bulls will go into the game as favourites, but you would expect the Sharks to bounce back at some stage. This may well be the game - the Sharks to win a brutal, perhaps even spiteful, encounter by less than 10 points.


15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.  
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Etienne Oosthuizen, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 SP Marais.

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Morné Mellett, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Pieter Labuschagne, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Jurgen Visser.

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Archie Sehlako
TMO: Marius Jonker

Cheetahs v Reds
(Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 19.10; 03.10 Sunday, April 19 AEST, 17.10 GMT)

This may well be the most entertaining match of the weekend - two teams who enjoy an expansive game, but neither really place a premium on defence.

The Reds have scored just 12 tries (of which four were against the Bulls last week) and leaked 25.

The Cheetahs' attack has been more productive - with 17 tries - but their defence is also worse than the reds, letting 28 tries in.

Reds head coach Richard Graham said his side was looking forward to the challenge of taking on the Cheetahs at their home ground.

"This weekend is another fantastic challenge in South Africa," Graham said.

"The group delivered some real positives last week [a 22-43 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria], but we understand we need to tighten up on a number of areas if we are to get a result against the Cheetahs," he said.

"The team have focused a lot this week on our attacking framework and how we can continue to maximize our strengths from prop through to fullback.

"The four tries against the Bulls demonstrated we are heading in the right direction.

"However, each week in Super Rugby there is a need to evolve.

"The Cheetahs enjoy the game becoming loose and with the likes of Sarel Pretorius, Cornal Hendricks and Raymond Rhule they are able to capitalise very quickly.

"Add Heinrich Brüssow to that mix and they become a very capable side."

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské admitted that, despite their positive finish to their Australasian tour (a win over the Force last week), Saturday is not going to be an easy game.

"The Reds have a lot of game breakers and two of their best players are coming back or this encounter," Drotské said.

"We've put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we need to win.

"If we play the way we know we can play and keep to our structures, then I believe we can win. It is in our hands."

Recent results:
2014: Reds won 43-33, Brisbane
2013: Cheetahs won 27-13, Bloemfontein
2011: Reds won 41-8, Brisbane
2010: Reds won 31-10, Bloemfontein
2009: Reds won 22-3, Brisbane
2008: Cheetahs won 29-14, Bloemfontein

Prediction: The Cheetahs have not triumphed by more than seven points in any of their last six home games, a run which includes three defeats. The Reds have won five of the last seven instances of this match, but have been defeated in four of five away from home. The Reds have lost six in a row, equalling their worst run of form since their worst-ever sequence of nine straight defeats between February and April 2007. Away from home the Reds have lost 10 of their last 11, securing a losing bonus point in two just of those defeats. The Reds have scored fewer points per match (11.6) than any other side so far. The Cheetahs have conceded more points per match (31) than any other side heading into Round 10. The Cheetahs will go into the match as favourites, but it will not be such a big surprise if the reds win. However, we feel the Cheetahs will sneak a win - by less than 10 points.


15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Johannes Prinsloo, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Burrie Uys.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Tienie Burger, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Ryno Benjamin.
Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 James O'Connor, 10 Nick Frisby, 9 Will Genia, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Marco Kotze, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Anthony Fainga'a, 22 Campbell Magnay, 23 Chris Kuridrani.
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Lourens van der Merwe
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Compiled by Jan de Koning

Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article cheetahs v reds 630

Reds score first win on the road

Sat, 18 Apr 2015 19:03

REPORT: The Reds survived a late charge from the Cheetahs to record their first win on the road this season - a 18-17 triumph on Saturday.

The Reds survived a late charge from the Cheetahs to record their first win on the road this season - a 18-17 triumph in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The crucial score for the Reds came six minutes from time at the Free State Stadium - when a long Will Genia pass found halfback partner Nick Frisby, who calmly slotted a drop-goal.

It was the Reds' first win since their Round Two triumph over the Western Force and finally lifted them off the foot of the table - top above the Western Force and Blues and just below the Cheetahs.

With under a minute left on the clock Cheetahs flyhalf Joe Pietersen had a penalty shot at goal from 35 metres out, right in front, but saw his attempt bounce off the upright.

It was not a classic match. In fact it was error-strewn.

The game also produced a flurry of bad injuries.

Reds flank Curtis Browning suffered a knee injury in the second minute, then Heinrich Brüssow fractured his arm in the 14th minute. The Cheetahs also lost fullback Coenie van Wyk to a fractured ankle in the 25th minute and prop Coenie Oosthuizen to a knee injury just before half-time.

"I am so proud of my guys," said Reds skipper and Wallabies loosehead prop James Slipper.

"We have been waiting a long time for this victory.

"The rugby gods smiled on us at the death when the penalty struck the post, but a little luck was overdue this season.

"We did well at scrum time and that was no surprise as the guys have been putting a lot of effort into that aspect of our game.

"There has been considerable talk among us about starting each half well and those two early second-half tries ultimately made the difference."    

Cheetahs lock and skipper Francois Uys said the first-half losses of Van Wyk, Oosthuizen and Brüssow through injuries took its toll.

"We lost some key guys early on, but credit must go to the substitutes for a great effort.

"The Reds applied a lot of second-half pressure, pinning us back deep in our half, and that proved decisive."  

Pietersen kicked an early penalty and converted a scintillating try by left wing Rayno Benjamin to give the Cheetahs a 10-point advantage before Reds left wing James O'Connor narrowed the gap via a penalty.

An O'Connor break set up replacement forward Adam Korczyk to score a try and centre Samu Kerevi dotted down soon after.

O'Connor, who lost his place in the Wallaby squad due to continuous off-field indiscipline, converted the first and the Reds led 15-10 on 52 minutes.

A try by loose forward Johannes Prinsloo after a driving maul, which Pietersen converted, nudged the Cheetahs ahead again.

They retained the two-point advantage for 17 minutes until Frisby lifted the Reds off the bottom, a space now occupied by New Zealand's Blues.

Man of the match: James O'Connor showed his attacking prowess, Samu Kerevi displayed monstrous power with ball in hand, Will Genia is regaining some of his form, while Adam Thomson and Liam Gill made real nuisances of themselves. Heinrich Brüssow was great value while he was on the field, Ryno Benjamin showed his Sevens pace in scoring a great length-of-the-field try and Joe Pietersen showed his experience, although he butchered a sitter of a penalty which would have won the game for his team. However, Cheetahs No.8 Willie Britz was the most energetic of all the players and as effective as any of the other - winning our award.


For the Cheetahs:
Benjamin, Prinsloo
Cons: Pietersen 2
Pen: Pietersen

For the Reds:
Korczyk, Kerevi
Con: O'Connor
Pen: O'Connor
DG: Frisby


Cheetahs: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Johannes Prinsloo, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Burrie Uys.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Tienie Burger, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Willie du Plessis, 23 Michael van der Spuy.
Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 James O'Connor, 10 Nick Frisby, 9 Will Genia, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Marco Kotze, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Anthony Fainga'a, 22 Campbell Magnay, 23 Chris Kuridrani.
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Lourens van der Merwe
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Ryno Benjamin (33min) and Boom Prinsloo (57min)
Adam Korczyk (43min) and Samu Kerevi (52min)
Joe Pietersen (34min) and Joe Pietersen (58min)
James O'Connor (44min)
Joe Pietersen (4min)
James O'Connor (40min)
Nick Frisby (74min)
VENUE Bloemfontein
REFEREE Jaco van Heerden