NEWS ARTICLES
Free State reach Vodacom Cup final
Marco Botha
MWP
May 01, 2010
His boots are made for kicking and that’s just what they did.

Louis Strydom proved the decisive factor on Saturday as Free State advanced to the Vodacom Cup final by beating Boland 22-14 (halftime 16-9) at the Boland Stadium in Wellington.

Boland’s ill discipline at the breakdown and Strydom’s pinpoint kicking was the eventual difference between the two sides.

The flyhalf succeeded with six from seven attempts at poles (17 points), none of which were easy.

Yet it was Boland who drew first blood after a monstrous tackle by Hilton Lobberts on Ashley Johnson forced a penalty the way of the home side. Fullback Jacquin Jansen did his part, but Strydom levelled things only moments later.

Though the match didn’t have much entertainment value in the first half, Strydom kept the scoreboard alive. His scrumhalf, Petrus van Zyl, scored a good try shortly before the break when the Bolanders were caught napping from a Cheetahs lineout 20 metres out from their tryline.

Trailing 16-9 after the first 40 minutes wasn’t ideal, but many a local probably hoped the home side would come back fighting as they did the week before against the Leopards.

But terrible handling and a lack of patience meant the Cavaliers were never able to build phases and put the Cheetahs under real pressure in their 22.

Lobberts, in particular, let his team down on various occasions. He is a primary ball carrier, but often lost possession in contact.

Valiant efforts by eighthman Zandré Jordaan, scrumhalf Neil Papier and Jansen were made undone by a lack of support. That gave the Cheetahs many kicking opportunities from pressure applied at the breakdown.

Replacement flyhalf Willie le Roux eventually scored seven minutes before the end, but Jansen’s failed conversion meant Boland still had to score twice.

The Cheetahs defended well and Boland kept knocking the ball on, seemingly to the beat of the brass band in the main stand.

Le Roux probably came on too late, as he got the backline away much better than Lionel Cornelius.

Boland had opportunities to win, but were ultimately outplayed by a reasonable Cheetahs side that did its basics right and capitalised on numerous kicking opportunities.

Scorers:

Boland 14 – Try: Willie le Roux. Penalties: Jacquin Jansen (3).

Free State 22 – Try: Petrus van Zyl. Conversion: Louis Strydom. Penalties: Strydom (5).

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
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