Fri 30 Sep 2022 | 06:39

Cheetahs edge Bulls in scrappy affair

Cheetahs edge Bulls in scrappy affair
Fri 30 Sep 2022 | 06:39
Cheetahs edge Bulls in scrappy affair
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MATCH REPORT: The Cheetahs opened their Challenge Series campaign with a 17-14 win over the Bulls in a scrappy affair in Bloemfontein on Friday.

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The encounter, part of the Cheetahs’ preparations for their entry into the European Challenge Cup in December, was the epitome of a ‘pre-season’ outing.

The visitors held a slender two-point (7-5) lead at the half-time break – with both sides squandering a number of opportunities.

The sloppy nature of the game was encapsulated in the number of missed tackles – both teams going into double digits.

The Cheetahs’ second try – and the first points of a stop-start second half – came after a dropped pass, hacked ahead by first Ruan Pienaar and then Enver Brandt, who used his pace to get to the ball for the five-pointer.

Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie admitted that the rash of errors robbed his team any hope of momentum.

“Our game management was also not good enough,” Fourie added.

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‘there is certainly plenty to work on.

“The positive is that we won, while playing badly.”

The coach dismissed the suggestion that it was a ‘second-string’ Bulls team.

He added that he was preparing to face Italy, who pulled out at the last minute and had to stick to the named side.

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“I was a bit worried,” he said about the last-minute change of opposition.

“The Bulls side that started was really powerful,” Fourie said, adding: “[Prop] Dylan Smith started in the URC match [against Edinburgh] last week, [fellow prop] Jacques van Rooyen has played a lot of games for their URC side, [hooker] Bismarck du Plessis is a Springbok with plenty of experience.

“There is also Morné Steyn.

“They have a really strong squad with lots of depth.”

The only big concern is the shoulder injury suffered by flank Roelof Smit, who will undergo a scan to determine the seriousness of the problem.

The scorers

For the Cheetahs
Tries: Zito, Brandt, Van der Westhuizen
Con: Pienaar

For the Bulls
Tries: Van Rooyen, Penalty try
Cons: Steyn, Penalty try does not require a conversion

Yellow cards: Stravino Jacobs (Bulls, 51 – foul play, playing an opponent in the air), Victor Sekekete (Cheetahs, 60 – repeated infringements, illegally collapsing a maul)

Teams:

Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 Siyamthanda Masuku, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Friedle Olivier, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Victor Sekekete (captain), 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Cameron Dawson.
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Marne Coetzee, 19 Rynier Bernardo, 20 Marnus van der Merwe, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 David Britz, 23 Cohen Jasper.

Bulls: 15 Wandisile Simelane, 14 Sibongile Novuka, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuuren, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morné Steyn (Captain), 9 Bernard van der Linde, 8 Muller Uys, 7 Phumzile Maqondwana, 6 Raynhard Mouton, 5 Ruan Vermaak, 4 Merwe Olivier, 3 Jacques van Rooyen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Wiehan Bezuidenhout, 18 Mhleli Dlamini, 19 Juan van der Westhuizen, 20 Abulele Ndabambi, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Juan Mostert, 23 Frederik du Plessis.

Referee: Paul Mente
Assistant referees: Christopher Allison, Ashleigh Murray-Pretorius
Television Match Official: Ben Crous

PV: 14
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