Chiefs in last-minute draw ... again
Sat, 05 Apr 2014 12:36
Second consecutive draw
The Chiefs found themselves another draw on teir Super Rugby tour of South Africa.
Tim Nanai-Williams scored two minutes after the hooter to deny the Cheetahs what would have been a historic win - the final score in Bloemfontein: 43-all.
An inspired first-half display from the Cheetahs - in their game back from a month-long Australasian tour - saw them score a four-try bonus point within 37 minutes.
In that time they totally blew away the two-time champions in the first half.
But the Chiefs weren't ready to be rolled over, as they fought back hard in the second half to get within one point with 10 minutes remaining and then eventually snatching a second consecutive draw in the Republic.
Sarel Pretorius was instrumental in the Cheetahs' first half dominance.
He scored two tries and peovided the spark for the very exciting, ball-playing team.
The Chiefs on the other hand looked decidedly average for the first 60 minutes, far from the dominant force we saw when they were still back in New Zealand.
However, just like last week they turned it around in the last quarter. The Chiefs scored three quick tries late in the second half as well as one after the hooter to push the Cheetahs to an enthralling draw.
The Cheetahs got on to the scoreboard first through scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius. A typical sniping run after some patient build up saw Pretorius pick the ball up from the base of the ruck and run it in under the posts.
Goosen was able to get his kicking game on song after some early misses with an easy conversion.
The Chiefs got their first three points through the boot of Aaron Cruden from right in front.
The Cheetahs were soon back on attack through their super star Willie le Roux who, from broken play, was able to send a bit of a dodgy pass out wide, that was suspected to be forward, to Ryno Benjamin who collected and scored under the posts.
The referee wanted to have a look, but the TMO seemed happy enough to let the try stand; the Cheetahs were off to a flying start with Goosen adding the extra points.
The Chief's ill-discipline at the breakdown was once again punished by Goosen - this time he was able to boot a massive penalty from inside his own half really make the visitors worry about any misdemeanors they committed.
The Chief's scrumhalf Augustine Pulu was obviously watching his opposite number very closely as the Waikato team's first try was very similar to that of the Cheetahs. Pulu, after the Chief's patient build up, was able to dummy and go over the white-wash from close range. Cruden managed to pop over a tough conversion to keep the visitors in touch.
Goosen snatched back some points back from the Chief's soon after their try as he stepped up for another penalty kick, slotting it over easily.
More enterprise from Pretorius saw him go over for his second try.
A lot of praise should be piled onto the Cheetahs pack who got the scrum penalty right on the Chiefs goalline in the first place, allowing Pretorius to tap quickly while the Chiefs backs were turned and score the try. Goosen kept his good kicking display up with another fantastic kick from out wide.
The first half truly belonged to the Cheetahs with the forwards finally deciding to get in on the try scoring. Goosen turned down a kick at goal to set a line out five metres out, a rolling maul was set and Boom Prinsloo was on hand to fall over the line to secure the bonus point before the half-time whistle. Goosen again added more points.
The Chiefs comeback began in the second half as finally the Cheetahs defense was broken for Pulu's second try.
It was almost a carbon-copy of his first with the scrumhalf receiving quick ball after Jamie Mackintosh crashed it up, Pulu spotted a gap on the fringes and went over for the five pointer. Cruden nailed the conversion in an attempt to drag the Chiefs back into the game.
The Chiefs must have been disappointed to hand Goosen another three points from an indiscretion on half way, soon after their try, as the flyhalf struck a long ball over the posts, negating some of the visitors points.
Brilliant work from the Chiefs backline saw them claw their way back even closer through a Tim Nanai-Williams try.
The wing was able to gather a great chip kick from Cruden and beat Pretorius to the ball in the in-goal area dotting down right in the corner; the angle was too much for Cruden who was unable to add the extras.
Just like last week, the Chiefs woke up late in the second half with Tikoirotuma going over untouched in the corner. A massive momentum shift really turned the game around from about the 60 minute mark.
Tikoirotuma carried on the Chiefs resurgence as he dotted the ball down in the corner with the ball going through the hands, simple draw and pass defeating the Cheetahs defense.
Cruden managed the conversion to make it a one point game with still 10 minutes to go; the Cheetahs really throwing away the game.
Goosen looked to make it a four point game with eight minutes to go. The flyhalf held his nerve and slotted the kick; massive pressure on both teams now to get the win.
A late scrum effort again from the Cheetahs forwards gave the home team the penalty. Goosen took as much time as he could to slot over another the tree points making the game a seven-pointer with two minutes left.
It was heart break for the Cheetahs as Tim Nanai-Williams was able to find himself a gap right under the posts to dot the ball down leaving it for Aaron Cruden to convert for the draw. Cruden was steady in securing the 43 - 43 draw.
Man of the Match: A lot of the Chiefs backs put up their hands, the try scorers alone, Pulu, Nanai-Williams, Tikoirotuma each getting two deserve a mention. Brodie Retallick was his usual workman like self but the award goes to Sarel Pretorius for his two tries as well as the impetus he injected into the Cheetahs in the first half.
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Pretorius 2, Benjamin, Prinsloo
Cons: Goosen 4
Pens: Goosen 5
Tries: Pulu 2, Nanai-Williams 2, Tikoirotuma 2
Con: Cruden 4
Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Hennie Daniller, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Pieter Labuschagné, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Howard Mnisi.
Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Tom Marshall, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Michael Fitzgerald, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Tanerau Latimer, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Mils Muliaina.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry, Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommenstein (South Africa)
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