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Rugby | Pro14

Shaun Venter © Gallo Images

Yellow cards cost Cheetahs dearly

Two minutes of madness cost the Toyota Cheetahs dearly as a double yellow card swung the Guinness Pro14 match in the favour of home side Benetton Treviso, who won the match in Italy 27-21.

The Cheetahs were leading 16-8 and were in full control of the match shortly after halftime, but then lost Torsten van Jaarsveld for repeated infringements, and in the ensuing scrum halfback Shaun Venter was carded for an alleged deliberate knockdown, although the initial action and poor television replay seemed to show nothing of the sort.

Still it reduced the Cheetahs to 13 men for 10 minutes and knocked the stuffing out of their game, as the Treviso team took full control, scoring twice while the two Cheetahs were off the field and then again as they reappeared, to open up an unassailable lead.

To their credit the Cheetahs did come back with a late try, but the desperation wasn’t enough to get them over the line as they struggled against a Treviso side keen to hold onto the victory.

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Three Fred Zeilinga penalties opened up an early lead for the visitors, who played the percentages well, but a beautiful break by Marty Banks shortly before halftime put away winger Monty Loane for a well-worked try and got the home side on the board.

Just after the break it was Oupa Mohoje who powered his way over to extend the lead, thanks again to a great penetrating break by Francois Venter, who was the standout player in the Cheetahs side on the afternoon.

But Venter walked off with an injury that may well be serious, and the Cheetahs lost their captain at precisely the wrong time as they were attempting to get back into the game.

Hooker Epalahame Faiva scored a brace and Federico Ruzza added another from a rolling maul as the Italian side took control, with Mohoje adding a late second try for his efforts to bring his team into bonus point range.

But the yellow cards were costly, more so than necessary and while it seemed that Shaun Venter’s call was a hometown decision on a day when several of those abounded, the double blow proved too much for the Bloemfontein side.


Toyota Cheetahs – tries: Oupa Mohoje (2). Conversions: Fred Zeilinga. Penalties: Zeilinga (3)

Benetton Treviso – tries: Epalahame Faiva (2), Monty Loane, Federico Ruzza. Conversions: Marty Banks (2). Penalty: Banks.


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