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PRO14 – Cheetahs and Kings falls short

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The PRO14 is still going strong and the weekend was not a great one for the two South African sides in the competition.

The Kings got another hiding this time by Ulster and the Cheetahs could not blow the final punch against the Blues losing 25-20 on Saturday night.

Ulster have thrashed the hapless Southern Kings in their PRO14 encounter at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Friday evening.

The home side won 59-10 after leading 21-3 at half-time.

Ulster scored a whopping nine tries through a hat-trick by Craig Gilroy, a brace by Robert Lyttle with Stuart McCloskey, Johnny McPhillips, Kieran Treadwell and Darren Cave also crossing the try line.

Scrumhalf John Cooney kicked seven conversions to see his side to a comprehensive victory.

The Kings lone try came through Harlon Klaasen with Benhard Janse van Rensburg landing the conversion and Masixole Banda kicking a penalty in the first-half.

The South African franchise has struggled in their debut PRO14 season, having lost all 14 matches to date and sit at the bottom of Conference B.

Scorers:

Ulster

Tries: Craig Gilroy (3), Stuart McCloskey, Johnny McPhillips, Robert Lyttle (2), Kieran Treadwell, Darren Cave

Conversions: John Cooney (7)

Kings

Try: Harlon Klaasen

Conversion: Benhard Janse van Rensburg

The Cheetahs suffered a blow as they went down to the Cardiff Blues 25-20 in a tough encounter at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday night.

Rory Duncan’s side desperately wanted the victory to strengthen their chances for the quarter-finals of the PRO14, and to shake off the tag of not being able to win in Europe.

The win was massive for the Blues as it managed to bring them a bit closer on the log to the Cheetahs who will still remain third in their respective PRO14 log despite the loss.

But while the Cheetahs didn’t stave off their mantra of a side that needs to prove they can win overseas, they did win a lot of fans with their approach to the game in poor rainy conditions in the Welsh capital.

The Cheetahs opened the scoring through a powerful drive that will have underlined the quality of Ox Nche, whose leg drive powered him over the line for the opening score.

It was a try that underlined their scoring prowess, and it wasn’t long before Fred Zeilinga had added a penalty to the cause.

At 10-0 up it looked as if things were going well, but the Blues struck back through a Ray Lee-lo try.

Reynier Bernardo was yellow carded for a professional foul in the red zone shortly afterwards, which allowed the Welsh team to take control of the game.

Ellis Jenkins rumbled over the line from the lineout drive called from the penalty for the yellow, sending the Blues into a lead they wouldn’t give up for the rest of the game.

Jarrod Evans added a penalty to put the scoreline up to a try difference, with the teams going into the break with the home side leading 15-10.

The Cheetahs brought that back by three when Zeilinga added another three points to the scoreline.

But the Blues extended their lead again with a try to Nick Williams on the hour mark, powering his way over from a scrum, with the try needing to be reviewed by the television match official, who eventually confirmed the try.

Uzair Cassiem produced a great leg drive to bring his side within range, with Zeilinga adding the extras.

But while the Cheetahs tried their best to attack, the Blues held firm, with Evans adding another penalty to put his side further ahead.

Try as the might, the Cheetahs couldn’t close the gap as the Blues’ defence held firm to stop attack after attack.

Scorers

Cardiff Blues

Tries: Rey Lee-lo, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams

Conversions: Jarros Evans (2)

Penalties: Evans (2)

Toyota Cheetahs

Tries: Ox Nche,Uzair Cassiem

Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (2)

Penalties: Zeilinga (2)

Here is the Results:

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9

Ulster 59-10 Kings

Edinburgh 29-24 Leinster

Dragons 15-15 Glasgow Warriors

Connacht 26-15 Ospreys

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10

Cardiff Blues 25-20 Cheetahs

Munster 33-5 Zebre

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11

Benetton Treviso 22-12 Llanelli Scarlets

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