What a great game of rugby we saw in Bloemfontein when Free State came form behind to beat Western Province 38-33.
It was a great showcase of South Africa rugby with plenty of tries and no nails left from anybody that followed their teams passionately
It was a great start for Province putting pressure on Free State from the start and forced them back in their own twenty two.
Province wasted a perfect opportunity to get the first try but Nel spilled the ball over the line. They did get a penalty from the scrum which SP Marais kicked over for the first points on the board.
Free State were giving away penalties and SP was to happy to kick them over and by the time the clock ticked over to 16 minutes SP had kicked three penalties to take the lead to 9-0.
SP knocked another penalty over before Province got the ball through the hands and some direct play saw Wilco Louw use his power and speed to score the first try under the sticks.
This gave Province a 19-0 lead after 25 minutes.
Free State answered back with the best possible way also running the ball through the hands to send Small-Smith over in the corner for their first points.
Province had to stepped up on defence as the Cheetahs put huge pressure on their line but eventually got out.
Then we saw the magic of Willemse stepping his way through to send Leyds over to extend their lead to 26-5.
This was undone by some poor exiting from Justin Phillips which the Cheetahs took full advantage from a quick take penalty to send Joseph Dweba over just before halftime.
This made the halftime score 26-12 for Western Province.
Although Free State were all over Province in the second half it was Scarra who scored first in the half when SP Marais kicked for no one but Scarra picked up and scored in the corner.
Free State did not wait long before they put their first points on the board with Tian Meyer getting over.
This made the lead only 33-19.
Province were starting to slip tackles and Free State scored their bonus point try to reduce the score to 33-26.
The scores were level on the 60 minute mark when the Cheetahs scored another and all to play for in the last 20 minutes.
It was frantic stuff at the end with Province camping on the Free State line but were unable to get through with some brilliant defence from the home side.
With this win the Free State Cheetahs secured a home semi-final.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs: Tries -William Small-Smith, Joseph Dweba, Tian Meyer, Darren Adonis, Ox Nche, Jasper Wiese Conversions – Tian Schoeman(4)
DHL Western Province: Tries – Wilco Louw, Dillyn Leyds, Siyabonga Ntubeni Conversions – SP Marais(3) Penalties – SP Marais(4)
|1||Free State Cheetahs||6||4||2||0||0||22|
|2||Xerox Golden Lions||6||4||2||0||0||22|
|3||Tafel Lager Griquas||6||4||2||0||0||21|
|4||Cell C Sharks||6||4||2||0||0||19|
|5||DHL Western Province||6||2||4||0||0||14|