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Fourteen-man Cheetahs edge Griquas, Pumas see off USA Falcons

CHALLENGE SERIES WRAP: The Cheetahs ended their 2022 Challenge Series campaign with a 27-20 win over Griquas in Bloemfontein on Friday.


The win will be a confidence booster for the Bloemfontein side ahead of their European Challenge Cup campaign which begins in December.

The match was a tightly-contested one with only a late converted try separating the two teams.

The win is even more impressive for the Cheetahs as they played with 14 men from the 35th minute after prop Cameron Dawson got a red card for a dangerous cleanout on Johan Mulder.

The Cheetahs found themselves in front in the opening 10 minutes when Jeandre Rudolph scored a try, which was followed by a conversion from Ruan Pienaar.

The home side then doubled their lead a few minutes later when Tapiwa Mafura found his way to the tryline. Pienaar was successful with the conversion again.

Griquas needed to be the next to score if they wanted to stay in the game and they did via Jay-Cee Nel, who scored his team’s first try after 32 minutes. Eddie Fouche added two extra points with the conversion.


The visitors started to make life difficult for the hosts and two penalties from Fouche ensured that Griquas went into the break just one point behind on the scoreboard.

Pienaar managed to extend his team’s lead to four points with a penalty in the early stages of the second half.

It then became a seven-point ball game with 25 minutes left on the clock when Pienaar added another three-pointer.

However, not long after that Griquas were back in touch when Janco Uys scored the visitors’ second try. Fouche levelled the scores with his conversion.


The game then became a bit of an arm-wrestle before the Cheetahs landed the killer blow with a Marko Janse van Rensburg try from a driving maul with less than five minutes on the clock.

Pienaar was successful with the conversion and the home side held on for the win.

Pumas go Falcon hunting

Meanwhile, the Pumas proved to be too strong for the USA Falcons in Friday’s earlier game.

The Currie Cup champions outscored their opponents by five tries to two on their way to a 33-15 win at the Free State Stadium.

After a bit of an arm-wrestle in the opening stages, the Pumas eventually opened the scoring in the 20th minute when flyhalf Tinus de Beer was put into space to run in for an easy try.

The Falcons tried hard to breach the Cheetahs’ defence after that, but they had to settle for three points from flyhalf Duncan van Schalkwyk after 31 minutes.

Things then turned pear-shaped for the Americans when the Pumas extended their lead a few minutes later after Lundi Msenge ran in for his team’s second try.

Tinus de Beer converted both first-half tries with his accurate boot and at half-time, the Pumas were looking comfortable with a 14-3 lead.

It didn’t take long for the Pumas to extend that lead when replacement Eduan Swart crashed over for a try before No.8 Andre Fouche scored his team’s fourth a few minutes later.

After a De Beer conversion, it was 26-3 to the Pumas.

With less than 20 minutes left on the clock, Devon Williams put the result beyond doubt with his team’s fifth try.

There was a late flourish from the USA with tries from Chris Mattina and Connor Mooneyham to make the scoreline a bit more respectable.

The scores and scorers:

Cheetahs 27-20 Griquas

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Rudolph, Mafura, Janse van Rensburg
Cons: Pienaar 3
Pens: Pienaar 2

For Griquas:
Tries: Nel, Uys
Cons: Fouche 2
Pens: Fouche 2

Red card: Cameron Dawson (Cheetahs, 36′ – foul play, dangerous cleanout)


Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Munier Hartzenberg, 10 Siyabonga Masuku, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Victor Sekekete (captain), 4 Friedle Olivier, 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 Sibabalo Qoma, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Evardi Boshoff, 23 Andell Loubser.

Griquas: 15 Ashlon Davids, 14 Reagan Oranje, 13 Jay-Cee Nel, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Johan Mulder, 8 Carl Els, 7 Michael Amiras, 6 Niel Otto (Captain), 5 Albert Liebenberg, 4 Mihlali Stamper, 3 Janu Botha, 2 Janco Uys, 1 Kudzwai Dube.
Replacements: 16 Sean Swart, 17 Eddie Davids, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Thabo Ndimande, 20 Stephan Smit, 21 Bobby Alexander, 22 George Whitehead, 23 Vaughen Isaacs.

Referee: Christopher Allison
Assistant referees: Paul Mente and Dylen November
TMO: Quinton Immelman

Pumas 33-15 USA Falcons

The scorers:

For Pumas:
Tries: De Beer, Msenge, Swart, Fouche, Williams
Cons: De Beer 4

For United States Falcons:
Tries: Mattina, Mooneyham
Con: Mattina
Pen: Van Schalkwyk


Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Sebastian de Klerk, 13 Diego Appollis, 12 Aliqhayiya Mgijima, 11 Lundi Msenge, 10 Tinus De Beer (captain), 9 Chriswill September, 8 Andre Fouche, 7 Kwanda Dimaza, 6 Jaco Labuschagne, 5 Shane Kirkwood, 4 Malembe Mpofu, 3 Ignatius Prinsloo, 2 Jacques Momberg, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Eduan Swart, 17 Etienne Janeke, 18 Njabulo Gumede, 19 Jeandre Leonard, 20 Llewellyn Classen, 21 Giovan Snyman, 22 Wian van Niekerk, 23 Sihle Njezula.

United States Falcons: 15 Mitch Wilson, 14 Connor Mooneyham, 13 Tavite Lopeti, 12 Bryce Campbell (captain), 11 Chris Mattina, 10 Duncan van Schalkwyk, 9 Ryan Rees, 8 Michael de Waal, 7 Moni Tonga’uiha, 6 Benjamin Bonasso, 5 Cam Dolan, 4 Siaosi Mahoni, 3 Angus Maclellan, 2 Kaleb Geiger, 1 Chance Wenglewski.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Fawsitt, 17 Faka’osi Pifeleti, 18 Nathan Sylvia, 19 Keni Nasoqeqe, 20 Cory Gilliland-Daniel, 21 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, 22 Nate Augspurger, 23 Paul Lasike.

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Dylen November, Darren Colby
TMO: Quinton Immelman

Photo credit: Johan Pretorius

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