Cheetahs centre Frans Steyn kicked a last-minute penalty to clinch a 39-38 shootout against the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Wednesday night.
Gameflow: The lead changed hands three times in a high-octane match where the Cheetahs sprinted in for four tries in the first half and the Sharks bounce back with four of their own in the second 40. Goal-kicking ultimately proved to be the difference as the hosts converted six of eight shots while the Sharks missed two of six.
Close call: The Cheetahs’ decision to go full throttle in the first half secured a 28-12 lead at the break, but it came at the cost of heavy fatigue in the second half when the field was littered with blokes in orange jerseys clutching their cramping calf muscles. The Sharks bench caught wind of the opportunity and the replacement front row of Ntuthuko Mchunu, Fez Mbatha and Michael Kumbirai gained ascendancy at the scrum, while Manie Libbok and Mpilo Gumede combined to put the visitors back into the lead with 12 minutes to go.
Big boot: Frans Steyn lived up to his reputation as a game-winner slotting four conversions and two penalties to close out the win.
Nice numbers: The match featured 11 different try-scorers – six Sharks and five Cheetahs, including birthday boy Ruan Pienaar.