Cheetahs thrash Glasgow Warriors
PRO14 REPORT: The Cheetahs put in a thrilling display of free-flowing rugby as they downed last year’s Pro14 finalists Glasgow Warriors 48-14 in Bloemfontein to open up the new campaign.
The first time the competition’s curtain-raiser had taken place in South Africa, the hosts certainly put on a show as they ran in seven tries to send a marker down to the rest of Conference A.
Returning talisman Ruan Pienaar starred, while there were doubles for Rhyno Smith and Joseph Dweba on a special night for the Cheetahs.
The local hero took little time to make his mark, Pienaar was alert to gather a fumble deep in Glasgow ground, crossing for the first try of the Pro14 season after just six minutes played.
Dweba extended their lead as he took the ball at pace and demonstrated an electric burst of speed that left the visitors chasing dust as he sped to the line.
Glasgow fought back, Nick Frisby chasing a lengthy grubber to reduce arrears, but Dweba added his second from a powerful maul.
The visitors stuck in there, Robbie Nairn bundling over to keep the Warriors in the competition, but once again the Cheetahs responded immediately, Walt Steenkamp popping to Smith to cross under the posts.
They put the matter beyond doubt with 20 minutes to play as Pokomela put the finishing touches to a flowing move before Smith added his second, chasing up Pienaar’s kick.
Sias Koen topped things off when he was on the end of a stunning full-pitch break.
Tries: Pienaar, Dweba 2, Smith 2, Pokomela, Koen
Cons: Pienaar 5
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Frisby, Nairn
Cons: Thomson 2
Cheetahs: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Henco Venter, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Sias Koen, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Louis Fouche.
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Glenn Bryce, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Callum Gibbins (captain), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Andrew Davidson, 3 D’arcy Rae, 2 Grant Stewart, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Adam Nicol, 19 Bruce Flockhart, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Jamie Dobie, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Robbie Nairn.
Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Griffin Colby (both South Africa)
TMO: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)