The Toyota Free State Cheetahs stepped up on Saturday against the Pumas in Nelspruit to give them a great opportunity for the playoffs.
At the end they took the win 43-37 in a high scoring match. They had to dig deep for the win but seemed to just have that little bit more in the tank than their host.
There is still just too many mistakes from Free State for coach Smith to be happy about as they prepare for a gruelling PRO14 Season that will start soon.
One of these mistakes led to a scorcher of a try to the Phakisa Pumas’ speedster Devon Williams, who rounded off a great counter-attacking move from an over-thrown Toyota FS Cheetahs lineout on the home team’s try-line.
This try was one of three which helped steer the home team to a 22-17 lead at the break, with a total of five tries scored in the first half as both teams dished up some industrious play. Alwayno Visagie scored twice for the Phakisa Pumas but the Free Staters never fell too far behind.
Visagie got his hat-trick after the break, but unfortunately for him and his fellow Lowvelders, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs found a higher gear in the second half as they added four tries to their tally.
Louis Fouché scored a great try for the visitors to finish with a personal haul of 18 points, while Benhard Janse van Rensburg got two of the Free Staters’ six tries.
Phakisa Pumas 37 (22) – Tries: Alwayno Visagie (3), Devon Williams, Jeandré Rudolph. Conversions: Chris Smith (3). Penalty goals: Smith (2).
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 43 (17) – Tries: Jasper Wiese, Clayton Blommetjies, Benhard Janse van Rensburg (2), Ruan Pienaar, Louis Fouché. Conversions: Fouché (5). Penalty goal: Fouché.