It is 'no contest' in Bloem
PRO14 MATCH REPORT: The Southern Kings talked a big game, with plenty of fighting talk in the build-up.
As ‘boxing’ matches go, this was a ‘no contest’ – the Cheetahs winning 45-0 against an outclassed Kings, to keep their play-offs hope alive.
The home team scored three first-half tries for a 17-0 lead at the break and turned up the heat in the second half.
* Did you miss any of the action? To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!
Kings coach Robbi Kempson promised a more combative display from his team, after last week’s spiteful one-point win for the Cheetahs in Port Elizabeth.
However, Hooker Joseph Dweba scored a double, as the Cheetahs produced a more assured performance.
The first-half brace from Dweba – either side of Chris Massyn’s score – put Cheetahs in control at the break, before Jasper Wiese dotted down after the restart to secure the bonus point.
Three tries in the final 15 minutes from Clayton Blommetjies, Rhyno Smith and Louis Fouche put further gloss on the scoreline as well as boosting Cheetahs’ Final Series hopes.
Kings had their moments either side of the interval, especially when Walt Steenkamp saw yellow, but they were unable to prevent an eighth straight derby defeat in the Pro14.
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) February 1, 2020
Patience was the name of the game in the early stages as the two sides cancelled each other out, although the frantic pace suggested the deadlock would not last long.
That proved to be the case when Cheetahs landed the opening blow in the 10th minute when Dweba burrowed over the line following a powerful driving maul from the pack.
Pienaar was unable to add the conversion but the all-important breakthrough paved the way for more points as the hosts started to exert more pressure on their rivals.
A second try eventually arrived midway through the first half.
Benhard Janse van Rensburg punched holes in the Kings defence before clever interplay from Dweba and Charles Marais set up Massyn to crash over under the posts, with Pienaar converting.
With their tails now up, Cheetahs began to look dangerous with every attack and soon Dweba has his second of the game to give the hosts a healthy advantage with half an hour played.
Kings attempted to hit back just before the interval and a play of possession deep in the Cheetahs half ended in a yellow card for Steenkamp, who was penalised for hands in the ruck.
But the Kings showed their ambition by turning down a shot at goal and opting for a scrum instead – a decision that proved costly when an obstruction ended their next attack.
Starting the second half with a man advantage, Kings came within a whisker of opening their try account soon after the restart when Yaw Penxe almost got on the end of a grubber kick.
His attempt to touch down the bouncing ball before it went out of play came up short, however, and having passed up two golden opportunities either side of the break, Kings remained scoreless.
Instead, it was Cheetahs who scored the first points of the second half with a well-worked move that ended in Chris Smit offloading to an onrushing Wiese to crash over the tryline.
With the bonus-point secured, and after a second successful conversion from Pienaar, the result was now beyond doubt as Cheetahs attempted to improve the scoreline.
A fifth try came courtesy of Blommetjies before Smith and Fouche, who also added a couple of conversion, got in on the act with ten minutes to play to put the icing on the cake.
Top work from Jasper Wiese to wrap up the bonus point for @CheetahsRugby 👏
What have you made of their performance this afternoon? 💪
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) February 1, 2020
Play of the day
Where to start? While Cheetahs’ first effort was a case of brute power over skill, the rest of their tries all demonstrated why the South African outfit are flying high in Conference A.
Massyn’s score was the first glimpse at what they can do when in full flow, with Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Dweba and Marais all combining to set up the back-rower under the posts.
But it was after the break when the Cheetahs really found their top gear, with Wiese’s bonus-point score just edged out for play of the day late on by a lovely finish from Smith.
The ball was thrown out wide with quick hands to Blommetjies, who spotted space in behind the Kings defence and stabbed a kick through for Smith to run onto and dot down.
Man of the match
This really could only go to one man.
Dweba has already enjoyed a season to remember with five tries to his name in the Pro14 before Cheetahs and Kings locked horns for a second time in seven days.
And after a bruising but scoreless opening ten minutes, it was the hooker who got the hosts up and running with a deadly accurate line-out before storming over from the back of the maul.
Playing with a smile on his face throughout, Dweba was clearly enjoying himself and it was no surprise when he went over for a second try before the half-time break.
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Dweba 2, Massyn, Wiese, Blommetjies, Smith, Fouche
Cons: Pienaar 2, Schoeman, Fouche 2
For the Southern Kings
Yellow cards: Walt Steenkamp (Cheetahs, 39 – repeated infringements, sealing off the ball at the ruck), Elrigh Louw (Southern Kings, 67 – foul play, high tackle)
Cheetahs: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (Captain), 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Chris Massyn, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Aidon Davis, 20 Daniel Maartens, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Chris Smit.
Southern Kings: 15 Andell Loubser, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 JT Jackson,
11 Erich Cronje, 10 Bader Pretorius, 9 Theo Maree, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Ruaan Lerm, 5 Jerry Sexton, 4 Jacobus Astle, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Jacques du Toit (captain),1 Cameron Dawson.
Replacements: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Ig Prinsloo, 19 Bobby de Wee, 20 Lusanda Badiyana, 21 Josh Allderman, 22 Demetri Catrakilis, 23 Howard Mnisi.
Referee: Divan Uys (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Greeff (South Africa)
Report by @PRO14Official