Cheetahs blitz United States Falcons
MATCH REPORT: The Cheetahs produced a second-half rout, to beat the touring United States Falcons 53-25 in their Challenge Series clash in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Despite a competitive first half, which saw the visitors lead 20-17 at the break, the Cheetahs cut loose with a four-try blitz in the second half to take the game away from the Americans.
The victory was based on the Cheetahs’ powerful scrums, earning them a string of penalties, stealing line-outs at regular intervals and a solid maul.
It was a perfect start for the hosts – tries by Cohen Jasper and Sibabalo Qoma giving them a 12-0 lead.
The Yanks got themselves back into the game – Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz and Christian Dyer scoring tries, along with a Luke Carty penalty giving them a 17-12 lead.
Munier Hartzenberg levelled the scores for the Cheetahs with a superb try, before a second Carty penalty made it 20-17 for the Falcons at the half-time break.
Veteran Springbok Ruan Pienaar, coming off the bench, put the Cheetahs level with an early second-half penalty.
Then the Cheetahs’ rout started.
Two powerful maul tries by hooker Marko Janse van Rensburg saw the Cheetahs race into a 34-20 lead.
Replacement Jeandre Rudolph barged over, before some Rosko Specman magic – a weaving run from inside his own half – put the result beyond doubt, 46-20.
With less than five minutes remaining replacement Tavite Lopeti scored a consolation try for the visitors, before Cheetahs captain Victor Sekekete wrapped up proceedings with another try for the hosts.
For the Cheetahs
Tries: Jasper, Qoma, Hartzenberg, Janse van Rensburg 2, Rudolph, Specman, Sekekete
Cons: Steyn, Pienaar 4
For the United States Falcons
Tries: Fa’anana-Schultz, Dyer, Lopeti
Cons: Carty 2
Pens: Carty 2
Cheetahs: 15 Cohen Jasper, 14 Munier Hartzenberg, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 George Lourens, 9 Branden de Kock, 8 Teboho Mohoje, 7 Sibabalo Qoma, 6 Marnus van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete (captain), 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Janus Venter, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jeandre Rudolph, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Robert Ebersohn.
United States Falcons: 15 Marcel Brache, 14 Mitch Wilson, 13 Bryce Campbell (captain), 12 Paul Lasike, 11 Christian Dyer, 10 Luke Carty, 9 Nate Augspurger, 8 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, 7 Cory Daniel, 6 Viliami Helu, 5 Nick Civetta, 4 Keni Nasoqeqe, 3 Paul Mullen, 2 Dylan Fawsitt, 1 Jack Iscaro.
Replacements: 16 Kaleb Geiger, 17 Chance Wenglewski, 18 Angus Maclellan, 19 Siaosi Mahoni, 20 Cam Dolan, 21 Duncan van Schalkwyk, 22 Tavite Lopeti, 23 Chris Mattina.
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
Assistant referees: Paul Mente and Christopher Alison
TMO: Ben Crouse