Cheetahs too hot for Stormers
Cheetahs too hot for StormersSHARE
The Cheetahs scored five tries in their comfortable 35-22 bonus-point victory over the Stormers in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The defeat leaves the Cape side at the bottom of the standings, with the Cheetahs moving past them after what was just their second win this season.
The Stormers drew first blood when Nizaam Carr scored under the poles and were soon 10-0 up once Peter Grant had kicked a penalty.
However, the Cheetahs scored 20 unanswered points aas tries from Hennie Daniller, Ryno Benjamin and Willie le Roux gave them a 10-point lead at the half-time break.
Both sides scored two tries each in the second half as the Cheetahs cruised to a comfortable win to take a full house of five log points whilst the Stormers left empty-handed.
The Stormers started at a frantic pace and put the Cheetahs under immense pressure early on. It paid dividends as early as the fourth minute when a solid scrum five metres from the hosts' goal line resulted in a try for flank Nizaam Carr, that flyhalf Peter Grant converted.
That put the Cheetahs on the back foot and the pressure applied resulted in ill discipline by the hosts.
Grant kicked a penalty in the 12th minute after the Cheetahs infringed, giving the Stormers a handy early lead of 10-0.
The Cheetahs finally got on the board after a helter skelter first 15 minutes, when play maker Willie le Roux used the advantage and gave a cross kick that fullback Hennie Daniller caught and rounded off for the hosts first try. Flyhalf Elgar Watts missed with the conversion, but suddenly the Cheetahs were back in the game.
In the space of the following two minutes the hosts scored again, this time after a good snipe by Le Roux lead to a break by flank Heinrich Brussow. The latter handed off to centre Rayno Benjamin, timing the pass brilliantly to help draw the scores level at 10 points each.
The Cheetahs took the lead for the first time when Watts kicked a penalty in the 27th minute, being successful after missing the two earlier conversions. In the remaining 10 minutes before the break, both sides produced some exciting running rugby.
It was the hosts that fared better however, with Springbok Le Roux dotting down in the 33rd minute and Watts converting to give the Cheetahs a comfortable lead of 10 points, going into half-time with a score of 20-10.
The pressure applied by the Cheetahs, especially in the scrums, led to several penalties against the Stormers and Watts kicked another attempt in the 56th minute to open up the lead to 13 points for the Cheetahs.
The Stormers nearly closed the gap via a try by centre Juan de Jongh, but it was disallowed because of obstruction by the visitors. They did get that elusive five pointer however when Super Rugby debutante Devon Williams rounded off after a good scrum by the Stormers. Grant missed the conversion.
Replacement wing Cornal Hendricks then scored the bonus point try for the Cheetahs after turnover possession and a run of nearly 80 metres. Soon after, Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane got his five pointer for the hosts. It was converted by Watts.
Stormers captain and centre Jean de Villiers scored a consolation try near the end, but it still meant that the visitors returned home empty handed with regards to bonus points.
Man of the match: There was much to admire in an open and entertaining game, but the difference between the sides was the creativity of Willie le Roux.
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Daniller, Benjamin, Le Roux, Hendricks, Nyakane
Cons: Watts 2
Pens: Watts 2
For the Stormers:
Tries: Carr, Williams, De Villiers
Cons: Grant, Coleman
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Johannes Prinsloo, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Walter Vermeulen, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Riaan Smith, 23 Cornal Hendricks.
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Devon Williams, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Michael Rhodes, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Kobus van Wyk.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)