Centre Bernhard Janse van Rensburg bagged a brace as the Free State Cheetahs clinched an impressive 43-27 bonus-point win against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Friday.
The result sees the Cheetahs get their Currie Cup title race off to the perfect start. The clinical manner in which they secured this away win not only sets the right tone for the rest of the tournament, but sends a signal of intent from a Cheetahs outfit that will be at full-strength for the duration of the competition.
Needing a victory to kick-start their campaign after an opening round defeat to bitter rivals Western Province, the Blue Bulls fought valiantly. But they were simply outplayed on the night and as a result stay in the bottom heap on the log.
The visitors started strongly and led 22-10 at the midway mark thanks to a breakaway try from Henco Venter and Janse van Rensburg’s double.
The Bulls initially threatened after the restart, but spurned several opportunities close to the tryline. Instead, the Cheetahs would score first points of the half, somewhat against the run of play, to extend their advantage.
There was a late flurry of tries both ways, but by then it was too late to make a difference to the outcome.
#CurrieCup – HALFTIME:
Bulls 12-22 Cheetahs
It’s the men from Bloemfontein who go into the break the happier of the two teams. pic.twitter.com/agSNzE7fuX
— SuperSport ⚽️🏆 (@SuperSportTV) July 19, 2019
Bulls – Tries: Cornal Hendricks, Ruan Steenkamp, Rosko Specman, Johan Grobbelaar, Conraad van Vuuren. Conversion: Manie Libbok.
Cheetahs – Tries: Henco Venter, Bernhard Janse van Rensburg (2), Louis Fourche, Jasper Wiese, Darren Adonis. Conversions: Tian Schoeman (5). Penalty: Schoeman.
Bulls – 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kötze, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Roelof Smit, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Ruan Nortjé, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima.
Subs: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Dylan Sage.
Cheetahs – 15 Louis Fouche, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Henco Venter, 7 Abongile Nonkontwana, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Reinach Venter, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Gerhard Olivier, 22 Dian Badenhorst, 23 Darren Adonis.
Photo: Frans Lombard/ActionPix/@Nader_pale_toe/Twitter