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Free State Cheetahs

FULL-TIME
33     32

Pumas

Currie Cup | Bloemfontein
15:30 (GMT) | 22-09-2017
  • 81
Thank you for joining us for this Currie Cup clash! Join us at 19:15 as we build up to the match between Cheetahs and Leinster!!
  • 80
Cheetahs opt for the corner and look to put the game to bed completely and the ball is overthrown but the Pumas knocks it on and the Cheetahs have a scrum as they set their attack once again as the full-time hooter sounds and Blommetjies kicks it out and that will be it, the Cheetahs stay second on the log and are back to winning ways in the Currie Cup!
  • 78
Cheetahs have a penalty for offside and they can now make sure this match cant be decided on a penalty!
  • 77
Afrika played in the air as he gathered the restart and the Cheetahs are under advantage as they attack from their 22 and Afrika kicks ahead as advantage is called over and the Cheetahs get possession back as the Pumas knocked on!
  • 75
Petzer converts his own try and the Cheetahs lead again!
  • 74
Jordaan wins the lineout and they set the maul and are just 3ms from the Pumas line under and offside advantage, but they won't need it as they went through the hands and Petzer goes over for his second TRY of the match!
  • 73
Cheetahs work it up into the Pumas 22 and Afrika works it to the Pumas 5m line and they get a penalty as the Pumas kicked the ball out the ruck!
  • 72
Blommethies finds touch between the Pumas 10m and 22m lines and they throw it over the 15 to Mgijima and they set their attack outside the Pumas 22 and they build up nicely so far!
  • 70
Pumas looked to score and the ball is intercepted and now the Cheetahs have possession and they win a penalty for offside by the Pumas!
  • 69
Blommetjies' restart does not go the required 0 meters and the Pumas have a scrum on halfway and they set their attack to the left off the scrum and work their way up to the Cheetahs 22!
  • 67
Marais converts!!
  • 66
Pumas set the maul off the lineout and are only a meter or so out from the Cheetahs line and they get it wide to van Staden who takes the lead back for the Pumas with the TRY!!
  • 65
Cheetahs lose the ball in their 22 and they take it wide, but a good tackle by Afrika stops all momentum and referee brings them back for an offside call.
  • 63
Pezer converts his own TRY!
  • 62
Pumas turn t over and kicks ahead but Blommetjies counter attacks and they work it into the Oumas half and Blommetjies steps his way into the Cheetahs 22 and Petzer picks it up to dot it down for a well worked TRY!!
  • 60
Petzer converts!!
  • 60
Blommetjies fins touch 5ms from the Pumas line and the Cheetahs win the lineout rather sloppy as referee signals advantage for offside and a good sort pass from Mkhabela to Reinach Venter who ran with pace into the gap goes over for the TRY!!
  • 58
Scrum to the Pumas inside their own half and Ungerer makes a crucial mistake as he kicks the ball straight into touch from the scrum! Cheetahs lineout on the Oumas 0m line and they chip ahead, but Greef couldn't gather, but they win a penalty for holding on!
  • 57
Cheetahs lineout just inside their own half and they throw it in front and give it to Mkabela and Blommetjies make a half break and Mkabela just couldn't hold on to the pass!
  • 55
No problem for Marais as he slots it over!
  • 54
3 advantages called in a matter of one minute and now referee Peyper gives the home side a team warning as the Pumas opt to kick at goal.
  • 54
Pumas attacking off the scrum to the left side and they work it into the Cheetahs 22 and now they are 5ms from the Cheetahs line as refereee calls advantage for offside as the Pumas forwards look to force their way over the line
  • 52
Scrum reset is called. The Pumas scrum is under pressure this time and they kick ahead and the Cheetahs take it quickly and then lose it as the Pumas counter and van Staden looked to be away for all money before the ball is lost and it is all over the p;ace as they lost some ground and now the Pumas have an attacking scrum outside the Cheetahs 22!
  • 50
Bit of shambles from both sides in the Pumas 22 as the ball is charged down by DRy and then knocked on, Oumas kicked ahead and they Cheetahs managed to get it back, but then knocked it on!
  • 49
Marais converts!
  • 48
Pumas win the scrum and they take it wide and Boli gives it to Shabangu and he gives it wide to Engelbrecht who goes over for the TRY!!
  • 47
Poor handling by Mgijima and the Pumas have a lineout as Greef looks to steal the ball from Mona, but knocks it on.
  • 46
Good take by Willemse, but he knocks it on and the Cheetahs come away with the ball and the Cheetahs attacking from inside their half before Petzer kicks ahead and the Pumas kick it back as the Cheetahs attack again!
  • 44
Ungerer feeds and the Pumas have a power scrum and is under an advantage before losing it forward as they come back for the penalty and Marais finds touch in the middle of the Cheetahs 22.
  • 42
Cheetahs won the Pumas lineout as they knocked on and the Cheetahs have a scrum, but concedes the penalty and lose 10 meters extra due to backchat as the Pumas missed touch and the Cheetahs look to counter, but Pumas force a maul and win the turnover!
  • 41
Welcome back to the second half as van Staden get us underway, ball is fieled by Petzer and he gives it to Mgijima who burst through half a gap and then the ball goes through a few hands before Blommetjies chips ahead and the ball goes 5ms out

Half Time

  • 40
Cheetahs conceded the scrum penalty and van Staden decided they had enough and kicks it into touch. See you back for the second half!
  • 39
Cheetahs win the lineout and Blommetjies fools everyone who thought he would clear, but counters from his own in goal and gives it to Afrika who chips ahead and van Staden gathers and knocks it on and the Cheetahs have a good attacking scrum in the Pumas 22!!
  • 37
Pumas set the maul and the maul collapsed, they bash it up with their forwards and the wide ball to Shabangu is good, but his foot was in touch before he dotted it down!
  • 36
Pumas have the lineout as Mkabela;'s hand touched the ball when it went into touch, but referee calls for a penalty against Zee as it was a slap into touch and the Pumas go for the corner!
  • 35
Bit of a kicking duel going on and van Staden wins the battle for ground in the Cheetahs half. The ball is overthrown and the Pumas are back on attack and are under an advantage as they look to get it wide again and Isbell is tackled into touch by Afrika just as advantage is called over!
  • 33
Marais lines the conversion kick up and it is away to the left!
  • 32
Pumas set their maul and make some good meters over the 10m line of the Cheetahs and then Boli reaks away up to the Cheetahs 22 and now they have numbers out wide as Pretorius goes over for the TRY!!
  • 30
Ungerer feeds and the Pumas have a penalty as Martins went offside and Marais finds touch up to halfway
  • 29
Cheetahs win the lineout and they are in the Pumas 22 playing from coast to coast, but then Dweba knows it on and a good passage of play sees the Cheetahs waste a good attacking opportunity!
  • 28
Good interplay by the Cheetahs forwards and backs and the pass from Wegner isn't great, but they had a penalty and referee awards it as Blommetjies finds touch outside the Pumas 22.
  • 26
Petzer lines up the conversion it is away to the left
  • 24
Ungerer's kick is charged down and into touch off a Cheetahs hand and the Pumas have a lineout outsde their 22 and then they knock it on and the Cheetahs get it wide and a short pass to Africa on the wing sees the 7s speedster go in for the TRY!!
  • 23
Marais converts!
  • 22
Pumas go for the corner again and set the maul as they get their drive on and rumble forward and it is Frankie Herne who goes over for the TRY!!
  • 21
Pumas keep coming and is up to the 5m mark, but the referee brings them back for the penalty and they opt for the corner 5ms out from the Cheetahs line. They set the maul and is driven into touch, but there is a penalty for a side entry!!
  • 19
Cheetahs win the scrum and they go right on attack, but the Pumas defence holds well for now and they make meters with every carry so far, but the ball is Ripped and Hearne kicks ahead as Isbell chases and the Pumas have possession and under an offside advantage as they look to score again!
  • 17
Pumas win the scrum and they set their attack to the right and then knocks it on! Cheetahs scrum. Very stop-start affair so far!
  • 16
Cheetahs breakout from their 22 through Greef and they work it up to the Pumas half and then knocks it on!
  • 14
Conversion is good!
  • 13
Pumas looked to take the 22 quickly and it backfires as the Cheetahs wrestled for the ball and got it back and are a few meters from the tryline and Mkhabela dummies and score next to the posts!!
  • 12
Robbie Petzer lines up the penalty attempt and it is away!
  • 11
Pumas win the scrum and set a few phases before Ungerer clears and finds Clayton Blommetjies who gives to Africa who makes some good meters as the referee signals an advantage and then brings them back fo the penalty for being on the wrong side of the ruck!
  • 10
Cheetahs get the ball back from the restart through good chase work and then they knock it on! Scrum to the Pumas in their own 22!
  • 9
Marais lining up the penalty from right in front and it is over!
  • 8
Good attacking scrum opportunity to the Pumas in the Cheetahs 22 and Ungerer feeds and they get the penalty for collapsing on the loosehead side by the Cheetahs!
  • 7
22 drop out to the Cheetahs and they take it quickly and Carel Greef makes a schoolboy mistake by dropping the ball straight to the ground!
  • 6
A penalty for holding on to the Pumas! Marais finds touch in the Cheetahs 22 and the Cheetahs win the lineout against the throw and they take it wide and Clayton Blommetjies chips ahead and they get the ball back as they work themselves up in the Pumas half!
  • 4
Free kick to the Pumas and they take it quickly as they take it wide and then set some phases before clearing and Clayton Blommetjies takes the high ball and the Cheetahs start attacking from their half!
  • 2
Scrum reset called
  • 2
Good build up by the home side undone by a knock on and also good defence from the Oumas to force the error and they have a defensive scrum in their 22
  • 1
Good early pressure from the Cheetahs as Pretorius takes and is tackled into touch in the 22 and the Cheetahs set a maul and then breaks away and they are 5ms short from the Pumas line!
  • 0
Jaco Peyper blows his whistle and Clayton Blommetjies gets us underway!
  • -5
Prediction: The Free State Cheetahs have brought in a few experienced players for the clash, but we think the Pumas will still be too strong for them in Bloemfontein. The Pumas to win by 10 points.
  • -10
Players to watch: For the Cheetahs: The little Blitzboks star and playmaker could be the thorn in the side for the Cheetahs with his vision and attacks in space and also speed to burn and putting players in space and will be closely watched today by the visitors For the Pumas: Thembelani Bholi have been a beast for his side this season with strong Carries, running good support lines and getting his side over the advantage line
  • -15
The Pumas have collected some big scalps in this tournament including wins over the Lions, Western Province and putting 51 pints on the Blue Bulls, and will look to make the playoffs for the first time in their history!
  • -20
The Cheetahs playing in the Pro 14 as well have selected second string sides in recent weeks and this may come back to bite them in terms of their playoff aspirations
  • -25
For both sides, this is an important match in terms of log positions heading into the playoff situation. The Pumas had a good win over Western Province last week and are tied on log points, but behind WP due to points difference, the Cheetahs are tied on 25 log points with the Lions and need to keep winning to stay in the playoff picture.
  • -30
Welcome to the first Currie Cup clash of the weekend between the Free State Cheetahs and Steval Pumas live from the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein!
Free State Cheetahs
Mc pumas graphic80x50
Pumas
START LINE UP
  • 1 Gert Kotze
  • 2 Joseph Dweba
  • 3 Erich de Jager
  • 4 Dennis Visser
  • 5 Carl Wegner
  • 6 Daniel Maartens
  • 7 Chris Dry
  • 8 Jasper Wiese
  • 9 Zee Mkhabela
  • 10 Robbie Petzer
  • 11 Cecil Afrika
  • 12 Lloyd Greef
  • 13 Ali Mgijima
  • 14 Vuyani Maqina
  • 15 Clayton Blommetjies
RESERVES
  • 16 Reinach Venter
  • 17 Andrew Kuhn
  • 18 Jeremy Jordaan
  • 19 Nicolaas Immelman
  • 20 Juan-Philip Smith
  • 21 Jacobus Jonker
  • 22 Stephan Janse Van Rensburg
START LINE UP
  • 1 Khwezi Mona
  • 2 Frank Herne
  • 4 Pieter Scholtz
  • 5 Stefan Willemse
  • 6 Hugo Kloppers
  • 7 Brian Shabangu
  • 8 Thembelani Bholi
  • 9 Willie Engelbrecht
  • 11 Stefan Ungerer
  • 12 Kobus Marais
  • 13 Ruwellyn Isbell
  • 14 Hennie Skorbinski
  • 15 Gerrit Smith
  • 16 Jerome Pretorius
  • 17 Justin Van Staden
RESERVES
  • 18 Marko Janse van Rensburg
  • 19 De-Jay Terblanche
  • 20 Cameron Lindsay
  • 21 Francois Kleinhans
  • 22 Hilton Lobberts
  • 23 Theo Maree
  • 24 Salom Gavor
Mc article dillyn leyds wp 2017 800

PREVIEW: Currie Cup, Round 11

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:33

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The pressure is set to rise significantly in the Currie Cup Premier Division this weekend as all seven participating teams still have a chance of securing semifinal berths in the competition with only four pool rounds remaining including this weekend.

The Free State Cheetahs and the Pumas kick-off the weekend's action on Friday in Bloemfontein.

There are two matches on Saturday - the Sharks will take on the Bulls at Kings Park in the early game before Western Province welcome Griquas to Newlands in the final game.

The Golden Lions have a bye in Round 11.

We take a look at all the Round 11 action!

Friday, September 22:

Free State Cheetahs v Pumas
(Free State Cheetahs, Bloemfontein - Kick-off: 17.30; 15.30 GMT)

The Pumas will look to register their first Currie Cup victory against the Free State Cheetahs since 2014 when the sides meet at in Bloemfontein on Friday. 

The hosts come off back-to-back defeats, while the Pumas will enter the match with confidence after toppling Western Province.

While a victory for either side will boost their chances of a semifinal berth, a defeat for the Free State Cheetahs could see them drop out of the top four, while the Pumas will be under pressure to fight for a semifinal berth in the next few weeks if they suffer a defeat.

The Free State Cheetahs' side features 11 personnel changes, among them the inclusion of BlitzBok Cecil Afrika on the wing, hooker Joseph Dweba and flyhalf Robbie Petzer.

Another Springbok Sevens star, Chris Dry, will again lead the team. 

The Pumas made only two personnel changes, which sees hooker Frankie Herne and flank Brian Shabangu earn starts.

Recent results:
2017: Free State Cheetahs won 45-34, Nelspruit
2016: Free State Cheetahs won 52-10, Nelspruit
2015: Free State Cheetahs won 37-37, Nelspruit
2014: Pumas won 31-17, Bloemfontein
2014: Pumas won 28-21, Nelspruit

Prediction: The Free State Cheetahs have brought in a few experienced players for the clash, but we think the Pumas will still be too strong for them in Bloemfontein. The Pumas to win by 10 points.

Teams: 

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Ali Mgijima, 12 Lloyd Greeff, 11 Cecil Afrika, 10 Robbie Petzer, 9 Zee Mkhabela, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Chris Dry (captain), 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Gert Kotze.
Replacements: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Andrew Kuhn, 18 Jeremy Jordaan, 19 Nicolaas Immelman, 20 Juan-Philip Smith, 21 Jacobus Jonker, 22 Stephan Janse van Rensburg.

Pumas: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 Gerrit Smith, 12 Hennie Skorbinski (captain), 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 Kwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Theo Maree, 22 Selom Gavor.

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jaco Kotze, Eon van Zyl
TMO: Lourens van der Merwe

Date: Saturday, September 23:

Sharks v Blue Bulls
(Kings Park, Durban - Kick-off: 15.00; 13.00 GMT)

The Sharks will have their sights set on cementing their semifinal spot and strengthening their position at the top of the log when they meet the Blue Bulls in Durban on Saturday. 

The visitors, in turn, will also be determined to register a victory to remain within a realistic range of working their way into the top four as the pool stages draw to a close.

The home team are on an eight-match winning run, while the Blue Bulls will be chasing their first win since September 1.

The Sharks have included Springbok squad members Mahlatse Ralepelle (hooker) and Daniel du Preez (loose forward), in the starting team in two of five changes to the side, following their release to play Currie Cup rugby. 

New Bok squad member, scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, however, will miss the match due to a family commitment and has been replaced by Michael Classens.  

The Blue Bulls, in turn, have named Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard among the replacements in a side that shows two changes to the starting team, with prop Conraad van Vuuren replacing Matthys Basson and winger Johnny Kotze taking over from Rabs Maxwane.

"It's great to be back in Durban to be playing at Kings Park after sucking oxygen for 80 minutes in Kimberley last week," said Sharks hooker Franco Marais.

"They have quite an expansive game plan, they run from kick-offs, from everywhere, so it's going to be a challenge, but the Bulls always rely on their strong, dominant forwards, so we as a forward pack know the match is going to be very physical."

Meanwhile, Blue Bulls coach John Mitchell believes his side will have to be at their very best to upset the home side. 

"We are no doubt facing our biggest challenge of the season," Mitchell said.

"The Sharks have been in awesome form this year and to have to travel down to Durban to face them is not making it any easier. That said, this group is all about challenges and how we confront and handle them, so we are looking forward to the clash."

Mitchell was keen to see more improvement from the team.

"We are slowly starting to come to grips with a number of structural changes and for once, there is some continuity available in selection, something that was not possible earlier in the competition."

The team will again be captained by Burger Odendaal.

"We are working hard to adapt to a number of things and there was a positive approach to the work put in this week, so we now need to go down to Durban and show the improvements," Odendaal said.

Recent results: 
2017: Sharks won 28-20, Pretoria
2016: Sharks won 26-19, Durban
2015: Blue Bulls won 17-13, Durban
2014: Sharks won 26-15, Pretoria
2013: Sharks won 18-16, Pretoria

Prediction: The Sharks are strong outfit and they are full of confidence. They should win by 12 points at least.

Teams:

Sharks: 15 Garth April, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Michael Classens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.                
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Jean Droste, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Tristan Blewett, 22 Rhyno Smith.

Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Burger Odendaal (captain), 12 John Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Jano Venter, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Nic de Jager, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Tim Agaba, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers.

Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Ruhan Meiring, Rodney Boneparte
TMO: Christie du Preez

Western Province v Griquas
(Newlands, Cape Town - Kick-off: 17.15; 15.15 GMT)

Western Province will look to bounce back from their defeat last week and make amends for going down against Griquas in Kimberley in the first half of the competition when the sides meet at Newlands on Saturday. 

The visitors are currently languishing at the foot of the log after four successive defeats, which makes a victory vital to keep alive their slim semifinal hopes, while the hosts will want to remain in the top four and in the running for a possible home semifinal.

Griquas' best result in Cape Town since the 1996 season was a draw in 2011, but they will have to step up their defence, in particular, to give Western Province a run, as they have conceded close to double the amount of points to the hosts so far in the competition.

Western Province bolstered their starting team with three returning national squad members, Dillyn Leyds, Damian de Allende and Wilco Louw, among six changes to the side that went down last week. 

The clash will be particularly memorable for captain and lock Chris van Zyl, who will earn his 50th cap.

Griquas, in turn, made seven personnel changes, which features a new captain, flank Sias Koen, and a new-look front row with prop Devon Martinus and hooker Wilmar Arnoldi earning starts.

The WP coach, John Dobson, said that his team is looking forward to playing at Newlands again.

"We know that we have to raise our standards significantly and the players are excited to play at Newlands again," the coach said.

"It is great to have some players back from Springbok duty, but the focus is on delivering a convincing team performance."

Recent results: 
2017: Griquas won 44-34, Kimberley
2016: Western Province won 52-31, Kimberley
2015: Western Province won 33-15, Cape Town
2015: Western Province won 43-19, Kimberley
2014: Western Province won 36-12, Cape Town

Prediction: Province have a few Springboks back and they are playing at home, so they should win by 15 points at least.

Teams:

Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Werner Kok, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 John Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Johan du Toit, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Ruhan Nel.

Griquas: 15 Eric Zana, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Kyle Steyn, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Kevin Kaba, 7 Sias Koen (Captain), 6 De Wet Kruger, 5 Sintu Manjezi, 4 Jonathan Janse Van Rensburg, 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Devon Martinus.
Replacements: 16 Abraham Le Roux, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Shaun McDonald, 19 Conway Pretorius, 20 Christiaan Meyer, 21 Christopher Bosch, 22 Adriaan Coertzen

Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Sinethemba Mrulwa
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans

Mc article free state cheetahs v pumas 2017 800

Cheetahs win see-saw battle in Bloem

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:00

CURRIE CUP REPORT: The Free State Cheetahs got back to winning ways in this year's Currie Cup with a narrow 33-32 win over the Pumas in Bloemfontein on Friday.

The home side outscored their opponents by five tries to four in a match where the lead changed a number of times.

Cheetahs flyhalf Robbie Petzer was the star of the show as he scored and converted two tries in the final quarter to help his side edge the Pumas.

Both sides had their fair share of the ball in the opening 10 minutes, but it was the Pumas who had a slender lead through a penalty from flyhalf Kobus Marais.

The Cheetahs had an opportunity to level matters three minutes later with a penalty of their own but flyhalf Petzer pushed his kick wide of the uprights.

However, the Pumas gifted the Cheetahs possession from the restart and after a couple of phases inside the visitors' 22, it was scrumhalf Zee Mkhabela who found a way to the tryline with Petzer adding the extras with a conversion.

Despite looking the more enterprising with ball in hand, the Cheetahs' lead did not last long as the Pumas hit back with a try of their own in the 22nd minute when hooker Frankie Herne crossed the whitewash from a powerful driving maul. Marais converted the try to put his side 10-7 in front.

Like the Cheetahs, the Pumas could not hold onto their lead for long and a minute later wing Cecil Afrika was put into space down the touchline to race away for the Cheetahs' second try.

The see-saw nature of the game continued in the first half when the Pumas launched a dangerous attack inside the Cheetahs' half before wing Jerome Pretorius sprinted for a try in the 33rd minute. Marais could not convert, but the Pumas led 15-12.

The Pumas were the first to score in the second half when No.8 Willie Engelbrecht finished off some good work by his teammates to score in the 48th minute. Marais stepped up to convert to extend the visitors' lead to 10 points.  

The visitors went further in front in the 56th minute when Marais converted a penalty into three points after sustained pressure from the Pumas inside the Cheetahs' 22.

The Cheetahs needed to be the next team to score to keep their hopes alive and they did just that when replacement hooker Reinach Venter crashed over for a try in the 60th minute with Petzer converting.

The home side then completed their mini-comeback four minutes later when Petzer stretched over for a try which he converted to give his side a one-point lead going into the final 15 minutes.

However, once again the Cheetahs could not hold onto their lead for long as the Pumas hit back in the 67th minute when fullback Justin van Staden ran in for the easiest of tries after some clever passing in the Cheetahs' 22. Marais converted to give the Pumas a 32-26 lead.  

The home side were not about to give up and after sustained pressure and numerous penalties inside the Pumas' 22, Petzer crashed over for his second try in the 75th minute, which he converted for a one-point lead.

That would be the final bit of scoring in the game as the Cheetahs held on for the win.

Man of the match: Clayton Blommetjies was dangerous with ball in hand throughout the 80 minutes. However, the award goes to Cheetahs flyhalf Robbie Petzer, who played an integral part in his side's victory. 

The scorers:

For Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Mkhabela, Afrika, Venter, Petzer 2
Cons: Petzer 4

For Pumas:
Tries: Herne, Pretorius, Engelbrecht, Van Staden
Cons: Marais 3
Pens: Marais 2

Teams: 

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Ali Mgijima, 12 Lloyd Greeff, 11 Cecil Afrika, 10 Robbie Petzer, 9 Zee Mkhabela, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Chris Dry (captain), 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Gert Kotze.
Replacements: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Andrew Kuhn, 18 Jeremy Jordaan, 19 Nicolaas Immelman, 20 Juan-Philip Smith, 21 Jacobus Jonker, 22 Stephan Janse van Rensburg.

Pumas: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 Gerrit Smith, 12 Hennie Skorbinski (captain), 11 Ruwellyn Isbell, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 Kwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 De-Jay Terblanche, 18 Cameron Lindsay, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Theo Maree, 22 Selom Gavor.

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jaco Kotze, Eon van Zyl
TMO: Lourens van der Merwe

 

Zee Mkhabela (13min), Cecil Afrika (24min), Reinach Venter (60min), Robbie Petzer (62min), and Robbie Petzer (74min)
TRIES
Frank Herne (22min), Jerome Pretorius (32min), Willie Engelbrecht (48min), and Justin Van Staden (66min)
Robbie Petzer (14min), Robbie Petzer (60min), Robbie Petzer (63min), and Robbie Petzer (75min)
CONVERSIONS
Kobus Marais (23min), Kobus Marais (49min), and Kobus Marais (67min)
 
PENALTIES
Kobus Marais (9min) and Kobus Marais (55min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
 
 
 
VENUE Bloemfontein
REFEREE Jaco Peyper