The Free State Cheetahs continued on there winning ways on Friday when they gave the defending ABSA Currie Cup Champions Western Province another defeat with the end score 28-21.
The Cheetahs started the game with a high pace which Western Province did not had any answers to and was quickly up to a lead of 25-3 within 30 min of the game. The Cheetahs interplay was brilliant in the first part of the game and open up the opportunities to score quickly.
Coach Dobson and his team will have to seriously look at there defensive structures as for the second week in a row they were left behind on the scoreboard due to poor defence.
Niell Jordaan scored the Cheetahs first try shortly after kick-off and the writing was up on the wall for the men from Cape Town from then. This after he charged down an attempted clearance by Demetri Catrakilis outside WP’s 22. And after booting the ball ahead, Jordaan only had to dive on it when it rolled over the visitors’ try-line.
Fred Zeilinga missed with his conversion attempt but he made it 8-0 shortly afterwards when he slotted a penalty after WP were penalised for illegal play at a ruck.
Catrakilis added a penalty of his own shortly afterwards, but the Cheetahs then got their second try when, after launching a drive from a line-out inside WP’s 22, Shaun Venter made a break around the fringe of the maul and shrugged off a challenge from Sikhumbuzo Notshe before scoring under the posts.
Zeilinga added the conversion and another penalty before the Cheetahs scored their third try in the 26th minute. This after Raymond Rhule pounced on a loose ball close to the halfway line and set off towards the whitewash. But when the cover defence closed in, he broke infield and offloaded to Benjamin who burst through three tackles before crossing.
WP bounced back with tries from Seabelo Senatla and Rynardt Elstadt before the break and with the score at 25-15 at half-time they were still in the game.
The second-half was a more subdued affair, and WP narrowed the gap to four points by the hour mark after successive penalties from Kurt Coleman.
Although the Cheetahs chased hard for a bonus point they couldn’t afford to let the visitors in via the back door. And when Jaco Taute used his hands in a ruck, close to his try-line, Sias Ebersohn sealed his side’s win with a penalty in the 72nd minute.
Western Province backline looks like they have no plan with the ball and the ball they do get just get shifted out to the side of the field. Serious questions needs to be ask by Dobson on the effort and commitment his players have put in the past two weeks and if they want to have any say in defending the Currie Cup, they will have to start winning.
After two straight losses for the Cheetahs they are back in the running with two great wins over Griquas and Province.
For Free State Cheetahs:
Tries: Jordaan, S Venter, Benjamin
Cons: Zeilinga 2
Pens: Zeilinga 2
For Western Province:
Tries: Senatla, Elstadt
Pens: Coleman 2, Catrakilis