Benjamin hat-trick as FS rout Pumas
Jason Humphries
September 23, 2016

Ryno Benjamin ran in a hat-trick of tries as the Toyota Free State Cheetahs eased to a 52-10 (halftime 31-3) win over the Steval Pumas in their Currie Cup Premier Division match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday.

Left wing Benjamin’s performance deserved his three tries as he impressed with his work-rate on defence and attack.

The Cheetahs made it seven wins from seven matches as their unbeaten run in this year’s Currie Cup continued while they condemned the Pumas to their seventh consecutive loss.

The Pumas remain winless in this year’s competition and they were put to the sword as the Cheetahs ran in eight tries to one.

The Cheetahs opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Benjamin bashed his way over from 10 metres out for a converted try.

The visitors had most of the play for the first 15 minutes but the Pumas finally managed to hang onto the ball long enough for flyhalf Francois Brummer to slot a close-range penalty in the 21st minute.

But the Cheetahs struck back almost immediately when flank Uzair Cassiem was mauled over for a converted try after an attacking lineout five metres from the Pumas’ tryline.

The Cheetahs then constructed a wonderful team try with a move that started in their own 22-metre area with centre Francois Venter slicing through the defence before backs and forwards combined to send flank Paul Schoeman over in the right-hand corner as the visitors opened up a 19-3 lead after 26 minutes.

The visitors grabbed their bonus-point try in the 31st minute when a sweeping backline move saw fullback Clayton Blommetjies speed down the right-hand touchline before Venter was on hand to grab a well-deserved try.

The Cheetahs then conjured up another impressive try as Benjamin took a quick tap penalty five metres from the Pumas’ tryline before he put in a pinpoint cross kick to the unmarked Schoeman who scored his second try of the contest as the visitors reached the break holding a commanding 31-3 lead.

It took the Cheetahs seven minutes after the restart to score yet again with Benjamin on hand to score his second try, after a quick-tap penalty.

Benjamin completed his hat-trick, in the 59th minute, when he was on the end of another sweeping move between backs and forwards.

The Pumas finally managed to breach the Cheetahs’ defence, in the 71st minute, when hooker Frankie Herne muscled his way over from close range to score a converted try.

But the Cheetahs struck back when replacement hooker Elandre Huggett went over for his first Currie Cup try shortly before the end of the match.


Steval Pumas – Try: Frankie Herne; Conversion: Heinrich Steyl; Penalty: Francois Brummer.

Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Tries: Ryno Benjamin (3), Uzair Cassiem, Paul Schoeman (2), Francois Venter, Elandre Huggett; Conversions: Neil Marais (5), Fred Zeilinga.

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