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Cheetahs top of the log after winning cat fight in Nelspruit

MATCH REPORT: The Cheetahs have won the catfight, beating the Pumas 29-14 and taking away a full bag of points – courtesy of a bonus-point try by George Cronje in the dying seconds of their Currie Cup game in Nelspruit on Saturday.


It was a massive defensive effort that afforded the men from Bloemfontein the win and also moved them to the No.1 spot on the table.

The home side came out blazing, dominating possession in the first 10 minutes which saw hooker Corne Fourie scoring in the sixth minute.

But the Cheetahs gradually found their feet and took command, sending Gideon van der Merwe over for their first try.

Two more tries followed for the Cheetahs, by Rewan Kruger and Marnus van der Merwe, and it was clear they were well prepared for this game, reading the Pumas like a book.

The Pumas tried to claw their way back in the second half, but the superior defence of the visitors made it tough to get over the advantage line.

Added to that the home side struggled to keep the ball in contact, while Cheetahs captain Victor Sekekete proved to be a menace on the ground, stealing vital ball.


Cheetahs wing Cohen Jasper got his marching orders in the 64th minute for playing the ball on the ground and preventing a try, which also granted the Pumas a penalty try.

But the Cheetahs remained firm in their defence, not conceding any points in the time Jasper was in the sin-bin.

With five minutes to go, the Pumas had a real chance to close the gap as they charged for the try-line, but they were called back for a forward pass.

Although the Cheetahs had precious little possession in the second half, they managed to keep the Pumas at bay and finally, with 20 seconds left on the clock, Cronje bullied his way over for the vital bonus point try.



For the Pumas:
Tries: Fourie, Penalty try
Cons: De Beer, Conversion through penalty try

For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Van der Merwe, Kruger, Marnus van der Merwe, Cronje
Cons: Pienaar 3
Pens: Pienaar

Yellow card: Conan Jasper (Cheetahs, 64’ for cynical play)

Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Andrew Kota, 13 Diego Appollis, 12 Wian van Niekerk, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Giovan Snyman, 8 Kwanda Dimaza, 7 Francois Kleinhans, 6 Andre Fouche, 5 Shane Kirkwood (captain), 4 Deon Slabbert, 3 Simon Raw, 2 Corne Fourie, 1 Cameron Dawson.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Jacobs, 17 Dewald Maritz, 18 Etienne Janeke, 19 Malembe Mpofu, 20 Ruwald van der Merwe, 21 Chriswill September, 22 Gene Willemse, 23 Jaco Labuschagne

Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 David Brits, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Cohen Jasper, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Friedle Olivier, 7 Sibabalo Qoma, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete (captain), 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Jeandre Rudolph, 20 George Cronje, 21 Daniel Maartens, 22 Evardi Boshoff, 23 Robert Ebersohn.

Referee: Morné Ferreira
Assistant referees: Paul Mente, Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Egon Seconds

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