The Free State Cheetahs had to work hard to come from behind more than once to beat the Steval Pumas 33-32 on Friday.
The Free State showed early on how desperate they are for a win as they tried to dominate the Pumas and move the ball around.
Handling has been a major problem for them this season and prevented them from scoring early on. Their mistakes also gave the Pumas time on the ball and getting out of their half.
It was the Pumas that scored first with a penalty and lead the Free State 3-0.
The Free State finally got their phases and handling together to score the first try of the match under the stick and the lead of 7-3.
It took not long for the Pumas to hit back with their first try as well.
No one really dominated for extended periods of time but it was the Cheetahs that scored their second try through Africa after a lineout from the Pumas that went bad.
Just before the break the Pumas scored their second try and went into halftime with a 15-12 lead.
The second half followed the same trend as the first with both teams trying to get ball do the working but handling errors stopping most of their chances.
It was the Pumas that quickly pulled away with a penalty and a try to lead 25-12 but the Free State quickly scored two tries to take the lead back.
They did not have the lead long as the Pumas again got in their half and scored their bonus point try.
With minutes to go the Free State had the better of the game and ball and scored the winning try with Pelzer going over for his second try.
The Pumas could not get back after that and had to concede the game to the host 33-32.
Free State Cheetahs : Tries – Robbie Petzer(76′) Robbie Petzer(64′) Reinach Venter(61′) Cecil Africa(26′) Zee Mkhabela(15′), Penalties – None, Cons – Robbie Petzer(77′) Robbie Petzer(65′) Robbie Petzer(62′) Robbie Petzer(16′)
Pumas: Tries – Justin Van Staden(68′) Willie Engelbrecht(48′) Jerome Pretorius(35′) Frankie Herne(24′), Penalties – Kobus Marais(57′) Kobus Marais(11′), Cons – Kobus Marais(69′) Kobus Marais(50′) Kobus Marais(25′)