Cheetahs make it three in a row
August 19, 2016

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs overturned a halftime deficit to clinch a 32-25 (halftime 13-18) victory over DHL Western Province in a Currie Cup Premier Division match at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Friday evening.

Flyhalf Fred Zeilinga had a faultless evening with the boot, slotting six penalties and two conversions to help the men from Bloemfontein maintain their perfect start to the Currie Cup season and move to within one point of the Cell C Sharks at the top of the log.

Western Province hooker Scarra Ntubeni struggled to find his lineout jumpers while the rest of the team struggled with their handling and decision making. Young flyhalf Brandon Thomson struggled with his kicks out of hand and had it not been for the brilliance of inside centre Huw Jones, Province might have been on the end of another heavy defeat.

The Scottish International scored the opening try of the match, after running a good line to score under the poles after taking a good pass from scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, who had broken past a few defenders off the back of a lineout. Thomson converted the try to give the home side a 10-point lead after the slotting an opening penalty.

Zeilinga started to make an impact, slotting two penalties before debutante centre, Nico Lee, broke through the Province defense with an excellent line run to score next to the sticks. Zeilinga's conversion gave the visitors a three-point lead.

But Jones produced another piece of brilliance, whipping the ball out to right wing Kobus van Wyk on the short side after WP had turned the ball over. Jones spotted space on the blind-side and fed Van Wyk, who dashed down the touchline to score. Thomson was unable to convert from a tight angle to leave the hosts five points to the good.

The Free State coaching staff replaced their entire front row at the break with the change proving vital as the visiting scrum took ascendancy. An excellent break by Lee from loose play in the middle of the field led to scrumhalf Tian Meyer crashing over the line for the visitor's second try and a slender two-point advantage as Zeilinga converted.

Zeilinga added another two penalties to extend their lead to eight points but replacement scrumhalf, Godlen Masimla, picked up off the base of a ruck, sniping to the open side and feeding left wing Leolin Zass who crashed over the line to bring Province to within one point with replacement flyhalf, Robert du Preez converting.

But the Cheetahs made sure of their victory, and four log points as Zeilinga slotted another two penalty goals in the final 10 minutes. Province, who were flattened by the Blue Bulls in Pretoria a fortnight ago, walked away from the match with a losing bonus-point for finishing within seven points.


DHL Western Province - Tries: Huw Jones, Kobus van Wyk, Leolin Zas; Conversions: Brandon Thomson, Robert du Preez; Penalties: Thomson (2).

Toyota Free State Cheetahs - Tries: Nicolaas Lee, Tian Meyer; Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (2); Penalties: Zeilinga (6).

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