ON THE EDGE

Cheetahs: The numbers

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 09:36
Johan-goosen-cheetahs-ball2

The Cheetahs' victory over the Highlanders produced a few interesting statistics.

* It was the first time in eight seasons that the Cheetahs as a franchise beat the Highlanders. The Free State, in 1997 - before the regional teams system was introduced in South Africa's participation in the competition - defeated the Highlanders 49-18, also in Invercargill, in a Super 12 match.

* It was the first time since 2002 that the Highlanders lost in Invercargill.

* It was the Cheetahs' biggest victory - with 17 points - over Highlanders in the Super Rugby competition, and also the largest winning margin against any New Zealand team.

* The Cheetahs' previous biggest win over a New Zealand team was the 28-12 win on March 6, 2010 against the Hurricanes in the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein.

* The 30 points (30-6), the Cheetahs recorded in the first half against the Highlanders, was surpassed only by the 38-3 lead the Cheetahs racked up against the Lions on May 15, 2010 in the North West Stadium. That win, incidentally, was the Cheetahs' greatest victory, while the victory last Saturday was their sixth biggest win in the competition. The 36 points were the seventh most by the Cheetahs in a game.

* Saturday was the Cheetahs' 100th Super Rugby game since they rejoined as a franchise in 2006.

* Johan Goosen, who struggled with his goal-kicking in the first two matches of the season, this time succeeded with all eight shots at goal. His 21 points in the game is also the most match points he has scored in a Super Rugby match. He now has 176 Super Rugby points.

* Sarel Pretorius, with his nifty footwork and nippy breaks, produced a try-scoring double for the fourth time in a Super Rugby match. His total for the Cheetahs now stands at 17 - a record. Last year he also scored two tries for the Waratahs, when he played for Sydney-based franchise.

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