Cheetahs beat tryless Kings
Cheetahs beat tryless KingsSHARE
The Cheetahs managed to record their seventh win of the season, when they beat a determined Kings outfit 26-12 in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
While the Cheetahs will go into next week's bye happy that they are well and truly in the play-off hunt, they will be disappointed that they allowed a four-try bonus point slip out of their hands against a struggling Kings outfit – outscoring them by three tries to nil.
It was not flawless, with the Cheetahs probably their own worst enemies with a number of unforced errors.
While, initially, the Kings struggled to keep up with the high-paced game of the Cheetahs and their kicking game was also not up to par, they managed to slow the game to their pace with some determined tackling.
The scrums were a mess, with the referee's calls at best puzzling, while the Cheetahs dominated the line-outs.
The Cheetahs were heavily penalised, especially at the breakdown, but they still made better use of the possession they had.
A high tackle by Lodewyk de Jager on Cornell du Preez gave Demetri Catrakilis an early shot at goal, but the Kings flyhalf was wide of the mark.
While the Kings had a few more charges with the ball in hand, it was the Cheetahs who showed they know the way to the tryline – Raymond Rhule getting a try that had its origins inside the Cheetahs 22 where Robert Ebersohn won the turnover. Piet van Zyl ran into space and then near halfway off-loaded to Rhule, who sprinted the last 50 metres. Burton Francis couldn't add the extras, but the Cheetahs had started the scoring – 5-0.
Catrakilis got the Kings on the board in the 11th minute, a penalty against the Cheetahs for coming in at the side.
The Cheetahs continued to play a high-paced game and in the 15th minute the referee penalised the Kings for an offence at the ruck. Francis made it 8-3.
Just short of the half-hour mark the Cheetahs were penalised for offside in front of their posts and Catrakilis narrowed the gap to two points again – 6-8.
However, the Cheetahs came straight back at the Kings and a move that saw them first take it wide to the left and then back to the right created space for flank Pieter Labuschagne to go over for his team's second try. It has to be said the roles of scrumhalf Piet van Zyl and centre Robert Ebersohn were crucial. This time Francis added the extras – 15-6.
The Kings, in launching a big raid into Cheetahs territory, earned another penalty – which Catrakilis kicked to narrow the gap to 9-15.
That's how it stayed to the break.
Willie le Roux opened the second-half scoring with a try after five minutes – which included two minutes of intense build-up of phase play, pick-'n-drive and several penalty advantages to the Cheetahs. Francis couldn't add the extras, but the Cheetahs were accumulating tries and the Kings just penalties – 20-9.
Catrakilis kept accumulating points through penalties, kicking his fourth in the 55th minute – after yet another call went against the Cheetahs at the breakdown.
Francis recouped those three points just short of the hour mark, when the Kings transgressed at a tackle just metres short of their line.
And the Cheetahs flyhalf made it 26-12 with his third penalty, in the 67th minute. It all started with a scrum turnover inside the Cheetahs half, which saw Sarel Pretorius kicking deep into the Kings 22 and the visitors winning a penalty, which they turned into a line-out. They went over the line in a pile of bodies, but the TMO ruled that the ball was held up. The Cheetahs won two more penalties – the first taken as a tap-penalty and the second kicked at goal by Francis.
The only issues was now whether the Cheetahs would get the four-try bonus point that would have put them at the top of the SA conference, but they failed – something they may rue closer to the play-offs.
Man of the match: The Kings' best trait was again their defence – with loose forwards Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt and Cornell du Preez, along with centres Andries Strauss and Ronnie Cooke making valuable contributions. There were numerous strong carries by captain Adriaan Strauss and prop Coenie Oosthuizen, Heinrich Brüssow produced a great allround performance, while Phillip van der Walt, Pieter Labuschagne and Lodewyk de Jager (before his injury-enforced departure) all made big contributions. Among the backs Willie le Roux and Robert Ebersohn were both a handful, while Raymond Rhule also showed his finishing qualities. However, our award goes to Cheetahs scrumhalf Piet van Zyl, who caused all kinds of problems for the Kings with his all-action game – not just asking questions of their defence, but putting pressure on then when they have the ball.
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Rhule, Labuschagne, Le Roux
Pens: Francis 3
For the Southern Kings:
Pens: Catrakilis 4
Cheetahs: 16 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Phillip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Frans Viljoen, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Ryno Benjamin.
Southern Kings: 15 George Whitehead, 14 Michael Killian, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Siyanda Grey, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Luke Watson, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Siviwe Soyizwapi.
Referee: Jonathan White (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)