Cheetahs bag first Pro14 win

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 17:00
Large makazole mapimpi cheetahs v zebre 2017 800

PRO14 REPORT: The Cheetahs bagged their first win in the Pro14 competition when they beat Zebre 54-39 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

In the second ever Pro14 encounter hosted on Southern Hemisphere territory, it was Zebre who showcased more attacking prowess from the off as the travelling Italians raced into an 11-0 lead.

But the Cheetahs powered back through successive tries from Makazole Mapimpi, Luther Obi and William Small-Smith to ignite a blistering first-half.

The South African outfit turned on the heat after the break as Torsten Van Jaarsveld and Mapimpi completed doubles.

Zebre's ill-discipline saw Dave Sisi and George Biagi sin-binned, as their frustration fuelled the Cheetah's dominance.

It looked like Rory Duncan's side were destined for another defeat when Biagi crossed for Zebre's first try on South African soil following efficient support play from the forward pods.

But the Cheetahs responded almost immediately after Mapimpi stormed down the wing to cross at the other end.

Mapimpi's magic sparked the one-sided game into action, as Canna failed to make it three penalties from three.

And the hosts capitalised with the extra man, as Small-Smith ran a perfect infield line with eyes only for the tryline after a perfectly timed offload from François Venter.

Ernst Stapelberg edged the hosts in front with the conversion, before Obi plucked Francois Venter's floating pass to run in for Zebre's third try and complete a memorable first-half resurgence.

The visitors remained in touching distance as Johan Meyer charged over at the other end to pull a try back with 14 men, as Michael Bradley’s side trailed by a point at the break.

But the momentum remained with the Cheetahs after the restart, as Mapimpi latched onto Sergeal Petersen's grubber to grab the Cheetahs' fourth.

And a fifth ensued after a solid driving maul from the hosts saw Torsten Van Jaarsveld power through Zebre's rattled defensive line, with Stapelberg putting daylight between the two sides at 33-18.

But just as they had done in the first half, Zebre refused to relinquish with a man down and Mattia Bellini stormed over, with Marcelo Violi slotting his first points of the game at 33-25.

Van Jaarsveld crossed at the other end for the Cheetahs' sixth, before Faialaga Afamasaga reduced the deficit to six points with a try with Violi converting.

Tian Meyer broke clear of Zebre's defence to dive over, before Petersen joined in on the fun with his second and the Cheetahs' eighth.

Giulio Bisegni salvaged a fifth at the death for Zebre, with Guglielmo Palazzani converting, but it was not enough as the Italian side's winless run in the new season continues.

Source: @PRO14Official

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Mapimpi 2, Small-Smith, Obi, Van Jaarsveld 2, Meyer, Petersen
Cons: Stapelberg 7

For Zebre:
Tries: Biagi, Meyer, Bellini, Afamasaga, Bisegni
Cons: Canna, Violi 2, Palazzani
Pens: Canna 2

Yellow cards: David Sisi (Zebre, 26 - foul play, dangerous charge); George Biagi (Zebre, 51 - cynical play, collapsing the maul)


Cheetahs: 15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Junior Pokomela, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche. 
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Rynier Bernardo, 20 Chris Dry, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Nico Lee, 23 Cecil Afrika.

Zebre: 15 Ciaran Gaffney, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Mattia Bellini, 12 Tommaso Castello (captain), 11 Gabriele Di Giulio, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Renato Giammarioli, 7 Giovanni Licata, 6 Johan Meyer, 5 George Biagi, 4 David Sisi, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Sami Panico, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Roberto Tenga, 19 Leonard Krumov, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Serafin Bordoli, 23 Faialaga Afamasaga.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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Waratahs v Rebels 05h05 Sydney
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Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
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Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
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Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Lions v Blues 35 | 38
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
Cardiff Blues 17 9 0 8 42
Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 17 12 1 4 61
Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
Ulster 16 9 1 6 46
Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9