Cheetahs win cat fight
The Toyota Cheetahs were by far the better outfit in their 26-5 victory over the Lions in their Super Rugby match at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The Cheetahs scored two good tries as they they recorded their third win in a game in which they led from start to finish. The Cheetahs were good on the attack and clinical in their defence, conceding only five points to a lacklustre Lions side.
The Cheetahs attacked from almost everywhere on the field and gained good ground, but their inability to keep the ball in hand in contact situations killed many of their chances.
Much the same could be said of the Lions. In the 15th minute flanker Derick Minnie broke away but the visitors could not convert their possession into points.
Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen slotted a penalty through the posts in the 20th minute to give his side the lead. That was after he almost stunned the visitors in the sixth minute with a huge penalty kick of 66 metres, which went just wide of the upright.
The Lions struggled in the lineouts, although youngster Paul Willemse did well in his debut match. He tackled well and even managed to stop burly Cheetahs flanker Ashley Johnson dead in his tracks a couple of times.
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The Cheetahs managed a couple of good attacks and centre Robert Ebersohn scored the home side's first try, an brilliant individual effort after prop WP Nel collected a poor kick from Lions fullback Jaco Taute. The Lions suddenly were under a lot of pressure resulting in unnecessary penalties for high tackles and shoulder charges which Goosen kicked with ease. Ebersohn scored his second five pointer after Cheetahs winger Willie le Roux broke through some poor defence.
In the last three minutes of the first half the Lions put the Cheetahs under immense pressure on their goal line, but despite giving away multiple penalties in the dying seconds, the Cheetahs defence was rock solid and the Lions were left wanting.
The Lions came out all guns blazing in the second half, but the visitors still could not convert some good possession into points. Even when they set up camp on the Cheetahs goal line for a good five minutes, they were unable to break through the Cheetahs solid defensive structures.
The Lions finally managed to score their first try of the game in the 65th minute when flanker Cobus Grobbelaar went over after a good break by replacement scrumhalf Michael Bondesio. That was just after Lions winger Andries Coetzee was denied in the corner by good defence from Cheetahs fullback Hennie Daniller.
Sias Ebersohn kicked another penalty after Grobbelaar's try after which neither side troubled the scorers.
Toyota Cheethas – Try: Robert Ebersohn (2). Conversion: Johan Goosen(2). Penalties: Johan Goosen(3), Sias Ebersohn.
MTN Lions –Try: Cobus Grobbelaar