magazine-issue
PRO14-header
Mariette Adams

Cheetahs blow it in Cardiff


The Cardiff Blues scored three tries The Cardiff Blues scored three tries

The Cheetahs surrendered a 10-point lead to slump to a 25-20 defeat against the Cardiff Blues at the Arms Parks on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.

The Bloemfontein-based franchise gained a reputation in Super Rugby for blowing big leads and they imploded again in this Pro14 fixture.

The Cheetahs made a strong start to the game. A scrum penalty enabled them to set a 5m lineout and from there prop Ox Nche bulldozed his way through the traffic and over the line for a try. Fred Zeilinga kicked the conversion and added a penalty as the visitors went 10-0 up.

But they then lost their set-piece dominance and let themselves down on defence. Cardiff made them pay, scoring 15 unanswered points.

Tries from wing Lee Rey-Lo and flank Ellis Jenkins put the hosts ahead for the first time, before a penalty extended that advantage. Jenkins’ try came after the Cheetahs had lost lock Rynier Bernardo to the sin bin for a deliberate infringement.

The Cheetahs' ball protection was poor in the second half. They were easily stripped of possession in the tackle, inviting the Blues’ lethal backline to counter-attack.

Zeilinga reduced the gap to two points when he nailed another penalty, but on the 50-minute mark – after a long sequence of bashing away at the Cheetahs’ line – No 8 Nick Williams powered his way over and was awarded the try even though replays showed the ball might have been ripped away in the in-goal area by centre Nico Lee.

The Cheetahs responded with a try from No 8 Uzair Cassiem, but Blues flyhalf Jarrod Evans struck a penalty to put his side ahead by five.

The Free Staters had two chances to snatch a win in the dying moments of the match, with lineouts on the 5m line, but on both occasions, the Blues desperately repelled their attack and a knock-on ended the game.

The Cheetahs remain third in Conference A, with the fourth-placed Blues now 12 points behind them.

Cardiff Blues – Tries: Rey Lee-Lo, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams. Conversions: Jarrod Evans (2). Penalties: Evans (2).

Cheetahs – Tries: Ox Nche, Uzair Cassiem. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (2). Penalties: Zeilinga (2).

Cardiff Blues – 15 Rhun Williams; 14 Aled Summerhill, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Owen Lane; 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Seb Davies, 4 George Earle, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c).

Subs: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Olly Robinson, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Dan Fish, 23 Ryan Edwards.

Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Francois Venter (C), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Sibhale Maxwano, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld,1 Ox Nche.

Subs: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Malcolm Jaer.

Photo: Huw Evans Images

0 Comments
latest-articles
Issue 244

Pollard: I’m in a great space

Handré Pollard is determined to make a meaningful impact for the Bulls and Boks after working his way back to fitness and form.

Seabelo Senatla in SA Rugby magazine

Senatla shifts focus

Blitzboks superstar Seabelo Senatla wants to put himself in contention for Springbok selection, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

New Stormers signing Raymond Rhule

Super Rugby preview: Stormers

The Stormers must win when it really matters in 2018, writes JON CARDINELLI.

You may also like

Get our daily email update. Subscribe to the SA Rugby magazine newsletter: